Archive for January 1st, 2004

Net: Faster ‘net Connection

January 1st, 2004

It’s looking like I need a faster internet connection here at home. At the moment I’ve got a “bog-standard” ADSL link (512k downstream/256k upstream) and it’s just been maxed out recently – a little bit of background first:

I’ve been working on a BIG personal project for a couple of months now which has necessity a LOT of data crunching (somewhere in the region of 20Gb of raw data) on my two machines (‘Zaphod’ my Fedora/RedHat Linux Box and ‘Ford’ my WindowsXP box)- most of that data has been downloaded from the internet via various methods (plus I’ve got all my email and other downloads using the connection). I’ve now processed the data and I’m in the stage of getting it up to ‘houston’ (my webserver which this blog and various other sites run on: it’s called Houston not because of the star of the World’s Largest g-b or because of the space shuttle, but because it’s actually in Houston, Texas): however, ADSL is short of “Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line” and hence I can only upload at 256k (Asymmetric basically means the download and upload speeds aren’t the same). I tried moving a 7Gb.tar.gz file (yep – that means it’s already been compressed: and that’s only half the data) and it just wasn’t going to be uploaded. First my router/firewall was stopping it after a few hundred Mb, then I switched to “passive mode” (if you don’t understand how FTP works and “Stateful firewalls” operate you perhaps can’t see why this was necessary) and managed to get around half a gig uploaded, but still no dice. So I’m having to work around it for now.

At the moment, I’ve got Houston fetching the data “from the source” and I’m going to have to run the “cruncher application” on the server remotely (which will cause CPU usage to spike), but then I just need to get around another 5Gb uploaded. Fun fun fun 🙁

“But that’s just going to be a spike for a few weeks” I hear you cry. Well, no it isn’t. My “home network” (consisting of Ford and Zaphod) is growing by the week at the moment: I’ve just brought an oldish Acorn A7000 computer and a RISC PC is on order from ebay and they’re going on the network (I need access to various floppies, CDs and Zip discs which only they can read) and I should have an Dell Inspiron notebook coming to add to the network (with a wireless card). Talk about expansion: by the end of the month, I’m going to have 5 machines running for various tasks and it’s just me in the house(!).

Now, that’s why I’m looking for a cheaper “higher bandwidth” connection – BulldogDSL seem to be offering 1Mbps ADSL connections for the same price as my 512K link: but has anybody had any experience with them?

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