Musings on Broadband

Every so often I read news stories about one telecoms provider or another increasing their broadband speeds to N million customers. Just recently I read that one company was increasing its top end speed from 100Mbps to 120Mbps. And I started to think about why would I need 100Mpbs broadband? And if I did need it, why would I need a bump to 120Mbps? First some context, my first “broadband” connection was just 64kbps (that is 0.0625 Mbps in today’s terms). I think the cable company didn’t call it broadband as it wasn’t much higher than the 56kbps modems that existed at the time, but the key was that the connection was permanently on, no more dial up!

64kbps was brilliant, surfing the web became enjoyable and large downloads became a reality (if I let them run over night). Of course at that time (this is back in 1999) there was no YouTube, no streaming of live video webcasts, no iTunes, no NetFlix. Fast forward a decade and a bit and I know have 10Mbps which is 160 times faster than what I had in ’99. Is 10Mbps useful? Yes. Downloads from iTunes would be unrealistic without at least 2Mbps and now with kids in the house there are lots of devices sharing the same connection.

But do I need 100Mbps or even 120Mbps. 100Mbps is 10 times faster than what I have now and 1600 times faster than what I had in 1999. If I buy a movie from iTunes it is normally about 1.5GB in size. My top download speed is about 1MB a second, so to download it takes 25 minutes. Downloading the latest version of Ubuntu Linux takes about 11 minutes. This is quick. If I wanted to watch a film, and it was a “on the spur of the moment” thing, I could start the download, boil the kettle, pop some corn and the film would be downloaded. If I had 100Mbps broadband then it would download in 2.5 minutes. Do I really need to download a whole 2 hour movie that quick? I think the answer is no. Recently a different broadband provider in our area tempted me to change to their service. They offered 50MBps. Did I change? No I didn’t. I like what I have, it is reliable, economical and does exactly what I need.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Quick Password Generator released for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

Do you ever need to quickly set a password and then your mind goes blank as your try to think of an orignal one?

Are you always using the same old password but need something better?

Have you signed up for a web site that needs numbers as well as letters in the password?

If the answer is YES to any of those question you need the Quick Password Generator.

The QPG app creates five different types of password:

  • Memorable password (generates passwords from ordinary English words, which makes them easy to remember, but it also substitutes letters like E for 3 or O for 0 and so makes the password more secure but based on an easy to remember word).
  • Strong password (made from a random combination of letters and numbers).
  • Ultra strong password (make from a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols).
  • Web safe password (made from a random combination of letters, numbers and some web safe symbols which don’t include potentially confusing symbols like quotation marks).
  • Pin number (four random digits).

Download it from here.