What's Your Favourite Country? 25 September at 10:49 PM 0 comments

A question I really love to ask people is: What's your favourite country? Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world? 

People usually follow this up with "the country I'm living in", or "do you mean to live or to go on holiday or what?". Honestly, I don't really like these answers. 

I like to hear something interesting. I want them to make me consider a country I've never heard of or been to before. I don't really like the distinction of liking a country for living or tourism either, but then I have some fairly crazy ideals. 

But then, perhaps this is all because I hope to make a list of places I can one day go to, and people telling me the United Kingdom - that is to say, the country I'm already in, isn't all that interesting. 

AAISP are wonderful 20 September at 7:28 AM 0 comments

For years I've been with Virgin Media, and for the most part I've been reasonably happy with them. Sure, I've had downtime with them on many occassions, sometimes lasting several hours but hey - it's a consumer broadband product. Things break. Sometimes it takes time to fix things when they break, and their pricing seemed fairly reasonable. Sure, it crept up every few months for no real reason at all and their censorship seemed to break from time to time, doing such wonderful things as blocking the entirety of Imgur. 

Still, for the most part I was reasonably happy, despite my sometimes frequent annoyances with the service. 

Until a few weeks ago, when the internet decided to die for no reason whatsoever, while I was on holiday. I know this because I'm a geek who runs a server from home and I noticed I could no longer remote into it. 

Not the end of the world - I'm sure it'll be fixed by the time I get home I thought. Nope - got home, still not working. 

All in all, it took Virgin Media about two and a half weeks to get my connection fixed, despite me constantly moaning at them on Twitter.

In the end, I figured that even if they resolved the issue (which they admittedly eventually did), I'd rather not give my money to a company with such shocking customer service, and ordered the new Home::1TB offering from AAISP. 

Now, one could be forgiven for thinking that would be a downgrade - I mean I would be going from a 200Mbps service from Virgin Media to AAISP using a standard BT FTTC line at 80/20. And yes, the connection only syncs at roughly 50Mbps now, but so far, from my real world usage, I'd argue the connection is downright better.

YouTube actually works properly. It seems crazy to me to even say that, but it's actually true. I mean sure, it's not like YouTube doesn't work on Virgin Media, but I'd often endlessly find myself playing with quality settings getting things to play, without even realising that it's not normal to have to do that. Videos don't ever seem to buffer on AAISP - things just work

AAISP make it very clear that they aim to never be the bottleneck. The overall performance of the line is fantastic. There's no censorship or filtering anywhere on their network, which is amazing considering how few other ISPs in the UK can honestly say the same. 

Having native IPv6 is awesome. It's crazy to think that so few other ISPs offer it, and whilst I'm aware that BT and Sky are planning on rolling it out later this year (or possibly early next year?), it's awesome that AAISP already are offering it and have been for some time. Their implementation is rock solid. What more could you want?

The main reason I switched though, is probably their support. Their support are awesome, and though I've yet to really need them for anything, it's wonderful knowing that if I ever do need any help with anything they're a knowledgable, UK-based team. I can't even tell you how frustrating it was calling Virgin Media, only to get someone who, despite their best intentions, was usually powerless to do anything to get issues resolved, and who simply wasn't trained for anything beyond resetting the hub. 

Should you switch to AAISP? Maybe. If you're happy with your current ISP, that's great. Maybe you should stick with who you're with. If, on the other hand, you're willing to pay a premium for a better, more reliable service, backed by knowledgable support then they're definitely worth considering. 

Apple Are Still Committed To The Mac 09 September at 9:02 PM 0 comments

Whilst I'm very happy with my MacBook Pro, and I have no intentions to upgrade, it's important to me to see that Apple are continuing to release hardware updates and software updates, ensuring that it continues to remain an appealing platform to both users and developers. 

The lack of updates for the Mac Pro is concerning, with some suspecting this could be due to a lack of AMD GPU updates which would be suitable for the updated form factor.