AT&T To Take A Gamble In Reno, Nevada, Capping Limits Of Internet Services

November 4, 2008

AT&T serves up a new ‘trick’ and takes away the ‘treat’ in Reno, Nevada
as noted in an October 31st letter to the Federal Communications Commission by AT&T’s General Attorney, Jack Zinman, where in AT&T outlines its’ intent to place limits on the amount of usage any one account can upload or download each month.

With all the uproar over Comcast’s 250GB limitation recently imposed on their customers, Reno AT&T Internet Service customers are sure to want to beat the house when they discover that their ISP has raised the table stakes by capping their ‘unlimited service’ at only 20GB for some users and 150GB for others.

For customers that exceed their bandwidth allotment more than once – the size of which varies based on the service level, starting with a 20 GB limit for 768kbps customers and topping out at 150 GB for 6 mbps lines – they will find an additional charge of $1 per gigabyte on their monthly bill,” reports Tom Corelis, blogging for Daily Tech.

The filing notice points out that only a small minority of customers “consume a disproportionately large amount of the total bandwidth available,” and that as of now (The letter says this “trial” begins “in November.”) customers who exceed 80% of this cap will be notified that they are getting close to their limit and be reminded of the usage tier and that additional charges will apply if they exceed that limit.

The letter does state that new and existing customers not willing to participate in this “trial” run, will be permitted to “cancel their broadband internet access service without an early termination penalty.”

I don’t know about you, but this is a bit distressing for “Joe the Plumber,” and others that I’ve spoken to about this issue of limiting “unlimited” service.

AT&T is promising an online meter that customers can monitor usage with in order to avoid an overage, but if their problem is with “a small minority” of their clientele, why set up the majority for potential problems except to profit from it?

Can’t they just deal with the high-rollers by tossing them out of the game on a case-by-case basis?

What do you think about all this and how might a 20GB/150GB cap effect you?


Coolest PC Rig, In More Than One Way!

October 29, 2008

So I’m cruzin’ through my daily heap of computer related news and gadgetry when I come across Andy Salisbury’s article on MaxPC’s news feed about a computer completely submerged in mineral oil.

Ok, ok…so this isn’t really NEW news; many of you have heard about tech heads playing with concept for awhile now, but this is the first time I’ve seen the YouTube video and been offered a way to buy a DIY kit from the nutz…er…I mean geniuses at Puget Systems!

Here’s a shameless plug right off the website J : “By offering these DIY kits, we are saving you very large amounts of time spent on research, ordering, and mistakes. The end cost of the project is much lower, because you can get in the right parts, the first time. Since we are ordering in the parts in bulk, we are able to get the parts cheaper, which allow us to make the margin we need to fund the project, while continuing to offer them at a lower price than you’d get if ordering them one at a time from various sources. It’s a win for everyone! We are offering the kit in two separate modules: the main aquarium module, and a cooling module. We also offer all the components for sale individually on our parts store.”

Ok, so as cool as this is (no pun intended) you need to know that utilizing this kit will void your warranty; and, the peeps at Puget being the upstanding citizens that they are, point it out clearly with this warning on their website: “Submerging your hardware in mineral oil will void your warranty. Do this project only at your own risk. Puget Systems is not liable for any hardware problems or damage to your personal property. Mineral oil is very difficult, if not impossible, to clean from your components once they are submerged.”

With that being said, you should also know that Puget claims to have been running a system for over a year in mineral oil, without any ill effects.

But WHY would someone WANT to do this? Cuz its COOL!

Not just cool LOOKING, Puget has set up everything from a cheap-o experimental rig up to the newer system in the video, to run at the fastest speeds possible and have maintained an uber cool, practically noise-free (those darn bubblers are loud, don’tcha know! LOL). And even more recently, they’ve tossed an overclocked Intel QX9770 into this oil bath and kept it at well under 50c! (click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page)

I’ll be following the progress and changes that this crew puts into place as new tech comes out and will be sure to update you as well!

Tech On!

From Pocket Protector to Pocket Projector!

September 26, 2008

Dell Puts SVGA Projector in Your Pocket for Only $500

Posted 09/25/08 at 10:39:41 AM |  by Paul Lilly

Back in July, a leaked Powerpoint slide surfaced revealing Dell’s plan to release a pocket projector, but it didn’t say when or for how much. Those questions are answered today, along with a list of final specs.

For less than what some early adopters paid for a first-gen iPhone, Dell will sell you a pocket projector capable of an 858×600 (SVGA) resolution. The $500 Dell M109S On-the-Go Pocket-Sized projector checks in at 0.80 pounds (down from the Powerpoint slide’s target weight of 1.1 pounds) and will fit in the palm of your hand. Dell rates the M109S at 55 ANSI Lumens with a projection distance of 94.5 inches. And to keep the clutter down, the pint-sized projector uses the power adapter from a Latitude or Vostro laptop. True to the slide, the shipping version remains green with a mercury free LED source Dell says will last up to four years.

Look for availability in the US right away, with a global roll out in the coming months.

Reposted with permission from MaximumPC

Strange Innovations to solve problems

September 5, 2008

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention and we’ve all heard that “Everything is possible…the impossible just takes a little longer,” but often times one needs to come up with some innovative or unusual “workaround” to solve a repeatable problem or simplify a task.

The other day we were working on inventorying computer/network assets for our annual audit when I found that whoever ‘tagged’ our network switches, had done so by applying the little white bar coded sticker to the back of the device…which I guess wouldn’t be too much of a problem IF WE HAD A BAR SCANNER! But we don’t and the only way to identify these units is by retrieving the tiny number under the barcode.

Oh, did I mention that the switches are rack mounted to a WALL? Yeah…so there’s like 3 inches between the back of the units and the wall…no open sides…nothing.

So, how am I supposed to read the tag? (Even the Dell Service Tag is on the back and no one thought to document which tag went to which switch ID so the “SW-1” was useless to me)

Being an ex-plumber (Ya, ya…insert your own “Jack of all trades” joke here) I remembered using my handy-dandy ‘mirror on a stick’ to see my solder joints on the backside of the pipes; unfortunately IF I still have that, it’s in a bucket at my house in the **GULP!** garage from Hades. (Tools check in, but they never check out!) – So I asked as many purse-totin’ peeps as I could find if they had a pocket mirror I could borrow. No luck there either.

Fortunately for me I happen to work with one of the most brilliant and out-of-the-box thinkers I’ve ever met: My boss. “I’ve used my cell phone to take pictures behind the racks before,” says the wise young sage and IT Director.

 Innovative Solutions

So, with a positive ‘whatever it takes’ attitude, I did just that…and viola! (ok, so it took ten plus tries to find and get a recognizable picture; hey, it worked so nnyah!)

Anyway…that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!



And I end with this saying, reportedly in the words of Mother Teresa (I kid you not): “We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing”

What about you? Have any ‘workarounds’ that others haven’t thought of and would garner a strange look from an unknowing passerby? Share them here J

Online Vehicle Registration Renewal: If only EVERYTHING at the DMV was this easy!

September 4, 2008

Techies and internet shoppers will love how easy it is to renew your vehicle registration online…at least with the California Department of Motor Vehicles!

Even if you need to get a smog check done before you can register, it’s still a breeze, as the smog check station electronically relays the results to the DMV immediately upon successful completion of the process.

Step 1: Enter vehicle or vessel/boat information – So once you’ve determined whether or not you need a smog check (and done so if applicable), just check your renewal notice for instructions on how to register online…it’s literally three steps from being a done deal at that point!

Enter the “Renewal Identification Number” printed on your notice into the allotted box, enter your license plate number (on the notice too) in its box and click ‘Ok.’

Step 2: Record Verification and Payment Information – Once you confirm the info about you and your car, enter your payment method (I punched in my ATM number) and hit ‘Enter.’

Step 3: Transaction ConfirmationThe third and final step is the confirmation/receipt…print it, click “Finished” and you are done!

“CONGRATULATIONS! – Your online registration renewal was successful! The Registration Card and Year Sticker will be mailed to you within 5 business days. The information from your transaction will update on the vehicle registration record after settlement of the daily transactions. This usually occurs during the next business day.”

Have a nice day…I know I am going to enjoy the two to four hours I just saved; heck, even had time to blog about this! J

Listen to Quiet Time author LIVE!

August 22, 2008

Catherine Martin, world-wide published author, and full time Quiet Time advocate, is going to be LIVE online, and on the radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Monday, August 25, 2008, 6 am Pacific Time.

You can find more info at this site à
Mid Morning Bible Study

If you want to keep up with where Catherine lands next or just here an encouraging word, be sure to put her on your Twitter follow list: catherinemartin

August Rainstorm – Vacation Day 1

August 7, 2008

This is amazing! I awoke this morning to the sound of thunder in the desert…in August!

I grabbed my laptop and camera and snapped a few shots of this unusual event as it just doesn’t rain much EVER in the desert, let alone in August! (Although some of the worst flooding in the deserts history has occurred in the summer months)

The sky is partly clear, partly beautiful blue and part ominously gray. And the temperature is nearly 100 degrees to boot!


And I think the pools already raised an inch in a very short, but furious, downpour!


There’s a lone bird, that struggled against the sudden wind, which landed on the power lines behind my house…lines and poles that are normally filled with pigeons and doves, but are strangely void of movement, except this small sparrow, that is now hanging on for dear life!

And while I can’t SEE any lightening, the thunderous booms echoing in the sky tell of its appearances.

Wow! What a way to start my first day of vacation…guess mowing is out of the question for now, heh.

I wonder what this sudden and violent downpour will do to the lodge in Big Bear that we are heading to tomorrow morning?

Lord, thank You for the rain – we really need it – and thank You for reminding me what an awesome Presence you can manifest in our tiny little chunk of the world!