Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

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  • Blog Post: Early bird gets the RC2 worm...

    Microsoft has these kewl time off days called floating holidays. You get two each year to use as religious holidays, unwind, whatever. I took mine the past couple of days to get caught up on sleep, do some honey dues, run errands, etc. In short, it's a holiday from email. You know, the ole electronic...
  • Blog Post: I caved... I'm now a Motorola Q fanboy

    I wasn’t kidding when I said my Cingular Audiovox SMT 5600 was obsolete . Verizon made it easy for me. They dropped my employee discounted price to the “get off the fence” price point. I picked up my Motorola Q at the local CircuitCity store a couple of days ago. They have a rather...
  • Blog Post: I am in the dark

    After two years, my fiber connection is dark. Verizon is switching my account from business to residential so this is one of the steps toward that end. My cable provider has also been canceled and they picked up my television set top boxes. So I am without a cable tv feed or high speed internet access...
  • Blog Post: Symmetrical 15meg speeds rock

    At lunch time, I called Verizon to bump my FIOS data plan speeds up a notch. I left my download speed alone (15meg) but had them change the upload speed from 2meg to 15meg. Yep, I have a 15meg connection each direction now. I’m on the month-to-month plan for $72 USD. They have cheaper and faster plans...
  • Blog Post: Verizon Begins Taking Orders For FIOS TV

    Verizon began taking orders for their new video service in Keller, Texas this week. The new video service uses their fiber optic network. While this may seem unimpressive to some, please keep in mind this is a large company entering into a new market. Southwestern Bell Communications (SBC) is next so...
  • Blog Post: Xbox360 High Definition game videos here

    Ok, what’s your excuse now? I see Xbox360 boxes for sale in all of the retail stores around my area. What about your area? I’ve been a bit of a gaming whimp the past few months. Work has consumed far too much time. After next week, I’m ready to tackle the games I have. If you are...
  • Blog Post: How do you learn?

    A recent Wall Street Journal article, " The New Workplace Rules: No Video-Watching " written by Bobby White highlights the fact that many people are watching videos at work. It's even more interesting that the heaviest consumption of those videos takes place during the lunch hours. I worry about this...
  • Blog Post: And you thought I was kidding about a 100Mbs fibre connection to my house

    NEW YORK - Verizon technicians are upgrading FiOS with next-generation electronics to dramatically enhance the speeds, and thus the capabilities, of Verizon's all-fiber-optic FiOS broadband, video and voice network. Known as gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment, the new electronics can increase...
  • Blog Post: Walt spills the beans on new iPhone release?

    Walt Mossberg was filmed talking about a lot of interesting subjects a couple of days ago. He went on a bit of a rant about the lame broadband connections most people have in the US. In fact, he singled out Verizon. I thought that was pretty interesting considering he has a Verizon FIOS fiber connection...
  • Blog Post: Dell XPS 420 six month report

    I've had my Dell XPS 420 six months now so I thought I'd give you an update on my impressions of the machine and changes I'm made to it since the initial purchase.  In reality, it just now does everything I want correctly.  Windows Vista SP1 fixed the last issue I had with the machine. ...
  • Blog Post: The Giant Orange Spool!!!

    Why would anyone get excited about a giant orange spool? Because that spool is a spool of fiber optic cable getting ready to be buried up and down my street! Verizon is rolling out fiber optic internet services for select areas across the United States. Keller, Texas was the first city in the US...
  • Blog Post: Closing the books on Fiscal Year 2007

    First of all, I want to say thank you personally and on the behalf of my company!!! Microsoft appreciates your business and the opportunity to help you solve problems, make money and have fun. FY07 has been a blast for me. Let's rewind a bit and see what happened. Back in July of 2006, the beginning...
  • Blog Post: My SBS server got paved today

    It was a sad day. After a couple of years of non stop service, I flattened my Small Business Server (SBS). I feel so naked without the strength of ISA Server guarding the perimeter. I feel depressed that I'm back to pop3 downloads instead of the rich synchronization of Exchange Server and Outlook 2007...
  • Blog Post: I have seen the light and it is fiber optic

    I'm back in the speed zone. Thank heavens for Verizon Wireless EVDO Broadband as an interim solution. I have successfully transitioned from a static business fiber account to a residential dynamic account. This was no small undertaking and it included shutting down my Small Business Server (SBS). So...
  • Blog Post: Is the laser on?

    I’ve been a fan of Verizon FIOS since day one.  I was one of the first people outside the initial pilot on Keller, Texas to receive the service.  I’ve had it over three years.  The data service has been stellar.  Reliable.  Fast.  Cheap.  How many people...
  • Blog Post: I should order this, right? I’m worth FIOS Ultimate

    http://www22.verizon.com/Residential/Bundles/Landing/fiosinternet_ultimate/fiosinternet_ultimate.htm
  • Blog Post: Now if we can just get this client into Xbox360

    Microsoft Mediaroom. I love the name. However, what the name conjures up in my mind isn't what the new name is all about. Here's the full marketing description: Microsoft ® Mediaroom™ enables a new, personalized television experience. Consumers can easily find and discover TV, video, movies, and digital...
  • Blog Post: Ready, Set, TiVo

    I could not resist. The recent promotions on the TiVo Series 3 HD DVR made me bite. I tried to resist the temptation, I really did. If you aren't aware, they dropped the price of the TiVo from $800 to $600 then offered a fathers day rebate of $200 on top of that. So I ordered one from costco.com to take...
  • Blog Post: NFL Network begins HD season this weekend

    I am looking forward to having a new channel this year. One of the Verizon FIOS HDTV benefits is the ability to receive NFL Network in HD. Of course the pre season for US NFL Football officially kicks off this weekend and having another broadcast channel will be great. For all of you Directv snobs, take...
  • Blog Post: Is your internet service 20/20 ?

    Verizon is at it again.  Over on the east coast of the US they are cranking up the service line offerings of the fiber optic FIOS data service.  They just announced a symmetrical data plan with 20meg down/20meg up.  Great.  What am I, chopped liver?  FIOS started in Keller, Texas...
  • Blog Post: DNS testing - try these automated tests

    Have you ever wondered if your DNS mad skillz are really up to par? Would you like to test your DNS implementation? Are you tired of pouring over the standard text books and looking at whitepapers? Hey, I don’t blame you one byte. So stop fretting and head over to http://www.dnsreport.com/ . The site...
  • Blog Post: What should I run? SBS 2003 Premium SP1 or individual components?

    I’m fortunate enough to live in a place where I can get one of those kewl new fiber optic connections to the internet. It’s called Verizon FIOS and has been steadily rolling out in North Texas and other parts of the USA. This coming week I am converting my 15meg/2meg residential plan to a static ip address...
  • Blog Post: When Upscaling DVD Players Are Good Enough

    Tonight I was surfing the guide on my TiVo S3 an noticed Showtime HD has Casino Royale scheduled. Considering I had just watched half of the movie last weekend on DVD before heading to Phoenix and Las Vegas, I thought it was pretty interesting timing. So I setup the recording and watched a different...
  • Blog Post: Looks like my Verizon FIOS data plan changes to 20/20 next week

    The heat is on and the ISP connection speeds here in the US are getting ready to get crazy.  With DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts happening in the cable company turf, Verizon announced today they are increasing the speeds of their fibre optic plans. Verizon had already offered the 50/20 Mbps and 20/20 Mbps...
  • Blog Post: Is this going to be a dud or a home run?

    As you know, we are on a mission. The mission is to come up with an affordable HDTV recording solution. Most of the solutions on the market are not affordable and therefore aren't used by us mere mortals. Sitting on the fence and waiting is boring. My first attempts at quenching the HDTV thirst proved...