Monday, February 25, 2008

New phone, new ISP

I've been a bad blogger, not posting for several months. Of course, I rationalize this by thinking that if readers are subscribing to me with RSS readers, they'll just get another post when I post and not notice when I don't. But if someone is returning day after day to Mental Compost, hoping for a new post, I'm sorry. It has been a long wait.

Anyway, I've had two recent tech developments that seem appropriate to post here, since this is sort of my personal tech blog (actually, it's my anything goes blog, but it has a personal tech slant). First, I got a new old phone. Second, we switched ISPs to Comcast.

As for the phone, the headset/headphone jack broke on my Treo 650, and I replaced it via insurance. Sara and I were dismayed to find out that we owed a $50 deductible, and after replacing the phone, we canceled the insurance on both our phones. My new phone is just like my old phone, except that it is running the current version of Palm OS, and it lacks branding on its faceplate. I like the lack of branding (my old phone said "Treo" and "Verizon" on the faceplace). It looks slick.

As for switching to Comcast, I have mixed feelings about this. When we switched to Speakeasy, I was very enthusiastic about moving to an independent ISP. Also, Comcast does not have a great record on net neutrality. Recently, however, Speakeasy was purchased by Best Buy, so they're part of a big company now. Also, we didn't get great speed -- 1.5 Mbps down/384k up. In addition to these issues, Sara was often noticing problems with our VOIP. The phone would cut out suddenly under certain circumstances.

So we switched to Comcast Triple Play (TV/Internet/phone) last week. The speed is quite fast, as advertised. If I'm hooked to ethernet, I'm really getting 16 Mpbs down and more than 2 Mbps up, which is as much as I need right now. Internet video seems reasonable now. It's too early to tell if there are any problems -- right now, everything works quite well.