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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Upgrading my Internet connection from 2MB to 8MB

Posted by briandh on April 14, 2007

I thought I would share this in case it helped anyone else.

I recently upgraded my line from 2MB to 8MB and was sorely disappointed at the result. The download speeds were all over the place – dropping well below my original 2MB and never going above 8MB.

Pipex said that the first 10 days after a change their system is testing the line so to wait, which I did. After 10 days it was still no better.

So I went hunting on the Web and came up with the following site: Broadband Reports (tweak FAQs)

And in particular this: Tweak Tester

Turns out my RWIN setting was not optimal – the site checks several settings and suggests fixes and includes the tools to make the changes. It also debunks a lot of nonsense suggestions you find all over the place.

The above helped but it only stabilized my downloads to around the 4MB point – still well short of my 8MB.

I then checked for updated drivers for my Pipex supplied Thomson
SpeedTouch 330 USB modem. This is where I got a surprise. It turns out that the modem operates in two modes – the first is for up to 4MB and will never permit download speeds higher than 4MB. The second boosts it to the full 8MB.

I downloaded new drivers (there is also a registry tweak if you have the correct drivers but they are set up wrong).

This is the link to the support site for the modem: Speedtouch Drivers

What was really weird was that this site had abysmal download speeds – 56k modem level. Odd.

Anyway I am now happily downloading consistently at full speed.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Too much of a good thing

Posted by briandh on March 28, 2007

I’ve been exceptionally quiet since getting my new machine and finally getting it set up correctly.

The reason is simple – I’ve been doing exactly what I said I would with my new machine – playing games.

I first spent more than a month playing nothing but Oblivion – no, not all day and all night, I do have a life outside computer games. Not much of a life, true, but it is there if you look hard enough. After this I thought that I needed a change, I hadn’t finished Oblivion but went looking for something else to occupy my time.

I came across a (UK only) legitimate game download site called Metaboli. For a small monthly fee you have access to a growing set of over 100 games – 140 if you opt for the more expensive option. You download and play the games from their site and there is no limit on how many games you can play or for how long – as long as you keep up the monthly payments.

The games themselves are mainstream games, not made-for-budget ones. They are adding new games all the time and these will generally be recent games perhaps just past the full flush of retail sales (so only a few months old in some cases). They have even scooped a couple of games before retail release – Darkstar One was the most recent one.

You do have to be online to play and you can usually play online games as normal. About the only technical limitation is that game mods will not work in most cases.

The way the pricing works seems very fair to me. There are two options – “The Essential Collection” contains currently 114 games and costs about £7 a month, “The Ultimate Collection” costs £13 per month but has around 147 games. Each week they usually add 1 new game to the Ultimate Collection and 1 game from the Ultimate Collection becomes available on th Essential Collection. So eventually all the games come down to the Essential collection.

If you are like me and can never play all the games you want then the cheaper option works well. By the time I work my way through the ones I want from the cheap list there will be some new ones already waiting in the wings.

Most games have proper PDF manuals, a few are missing and the quality of some is not brilliant (photo-copy quality rather than proper PDF’s).

I have been using it now for about 10 weeks and I’d say it is excellent value for money no matter how you add it up – provided you use it. And I have been using it – hence the “Too much of a good thing”.

So far I have gone through four complete games:

  • Syberia
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
  • Still Life

clocked up several hours in a few others:

  • The Bards Tale
  • Beyond Good and Evil
  • Perimeter
  • Syberia II
  • XIII
  • Dungeon Seige

and dabbled in about a dozen more.

The dabbling is great, you can play games you wouldn’t think of buying normally to see if you might like them after all.

Oh, and Oblivion? Yeh it is great, and I will finish it – just after …

Posted in computer, computers, download, game, games, hands-on, Oblivion, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Disillusioned by a horse’s ass in Oblivion

Posted by briandh on December 21, 2006

Note: I have resolved this issue – see “23% Performance Boost – no overclocking

If you have read any of my previous posts you might know that I have bought myself a nice new kick-ass computer. This, and the fact that I have been busy with other “real life” stuff, has been why I have not posted anything for a while. What time I have had to play with my new computer has been dedicated to doing just that – playing with it. Not posting blogs, not uploading images to Zooomr, just setting up and playing with my new toy.
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Posted in ATI, computer, computers, Crossfire, game, games, hands-on, Oblivion, Uncategorized, whinge, X1950XTX | 3 Comments »

It is here!

Posted by briandh on November 23, 2006

I am going to try to keep this short as I want to play games!

My new machine finally arrived at lunch-time on Tuesday. Since I paid for a Saturday delivery I should really try and claim back the additional delivery charge – even although they were probably trying to be helpful with it being so late. It was just luck that my wife was in to accept delivery – she’d only got in 15 minutes earlier.

So I took the afternoon off to go home and get it set up …

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Posted in computer, computers, games, hands-on, shopping, toys, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Smooth Nights

Posted by briandh on October 21, 2006


I promised in my Menorcan Memories post to let you know how I got on smoothing out some of my night shots taken from my balcony. Jumping straight to the answer – pretty well, I think.

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Posted in cala galdana, digital art, digital photography, hands-on, how-tos, menorca, night photography, night time, Paint Shop Pro 8, photography, Uncategorized, zooomr | Leave a Comment »

WordPress Themes

Posted by briandh on August 22, 2006

Settled on a nice theme now – thanks …
Original post … Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in hands-on, Uncategorized, wordpress, wordpress themes | Leave a Comment »