Monthly Archives: December 2009

Is the Internet Hazardous to Your Health?

The challenges of traveling for business are many. There’s finding good hotels at reasonable prices that have decent beds and clean showers. Believe me, you don’t want to hear some of the stories, but I’ll say this, I’ve slept in my cloths before.

The biggest challenge for me though is Internet access. I am a connected person that lives on the Internet, so the speed and type of connection are important.

At home, I have a great service provider, but traveling, not so much.


Here is a typical speed test from home. As you can see, I have great speed and a very low latency. It is fast and snappy.

The home connection before fiber was great too, just not as fast. In several years, the connection was down a couple of times for short periods. Since the upgrade to fiber a few months ago, bliss.

On the road, the situation is much different. The first screen shot is from out hotel in Corpus Christi over the Thanksgiving holiday. The next two are from hotels in the Texas Panhandle on my recent trip.

CorpusChristiHotelSuper8Central_Amarillo Super8_Lubbock

As you can see, the speeds are not terrible, but compared to my normal connection, they are lacking. What I find interesting is the Corpus Christi connection. You’ll notice it is almost symmetrical. And with the speed shown, it is either a SDSL connection or a T1 that is shared by the entire hotel. The latency doesn’t show bad on the speed test, but it didn’t work well. It was slow and not very responsive, taking a lot of time to load pages. This could be caused by running through a bad proxy server, but I don’t know.

The other two connections are decent and responsive, but slower than I like, although typical of what I see on the road.

The other problem is just having access. All of the hotels I stay in offer wireless internet, but that doesn’t mean it always works. One in particular, in Lubbock, Texas, is never working on the third floor. I have to call the desk every time for them to reboot the wireless access point. I can connect and get an IP address assigned, but there is no throughput. This is almost always a problem with a cheap wireless unit bought at a discount store. Good equipment doesn’t have this problem.

I experienced this problem myself until I spent a little extra and got a unit I could install Linux on. What a difference that made.

So, is the Internet hazardous to your health? Maybe not specifically, but if you hurt your foot kicking the desk because it isn’t working, then yes it is.

A fond farewell to NaPodPoMo 2009

NaPodPoMo Day 30 … For today I bid a fond farewell to NaPodPoMo 2009 with the final podcast of November. It’s been a challenge, but an enjoyable one. Please be safe out there.

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