Downloading Starcraft 2

Last weekend I went to http://prazefarm.co.uk to play some Starcraft 2 and to install a WZR-HP-G300NH, to make the house fully Wireless-N. See the details on my WZR-HP-G300NH blog post.

To my surprise, downloading Starcraft 2 involved a bit torrent client and about 7G to download. The Internet speed at Praze Farm is roughly 5mbit down and it estimated the download at about 5hrs, which progressively got a lot worse as time wore on.

It was only much later in the night, I realised there was a "direct download option" in the client, which greatly sped up the download despite the warnings it would be slower.

P2P versus direct download

The upload channel chokes the download channel

On ADSL especially, with its limited upload channel, when you start doing bit torrent (peer to peer) traffic, which requires you to upload, the connection gets unstable. Unstable in the sense the download channel become erratic. The best way to combat that this, is to deploy Quality of Service(Qos), which I've yet to configure on the WZR-HP-G300NH.

I'm a little pissed off that I have to setup QoS in the first place. Only fairly decent routers flashed with dd-wrt like the WZR-HP-G300NH offer sane QoS features. And then when you set QoS up you need to put in your ADSL limits. Once you've setup your limits on the router, say 5mbit down and half a mbit up, if the connection into that router ever improves (or drastically worsens), the router won't bloody care, because it's basically locked to 5mbit down. That sucks.

What about over supply instead of QoS?

My parents aren't heavy users like I am of the Internet, so they're on a roughly 21GBP a month package supplied by the excellent Andrews & Arnold (AAISP).

The BT line rental is roughly 11GBP, so lets say 35GBP a month for quality baseline broadband Internet. AAISP offer bonded lines for something like £42.56+VAT, which I would like to look into. This seemingly might double the cost of Internet, though if this works, I would be very pleased to get a 10mbit connection in the Cornish countryside.

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HTML driven DTP

Editing in OpenOffice or XeteX IMO is just insane. The complexity and bloat are just out of this world.

Latex I concede is still the best choice if you are doing Mathematics, however lets say you know a bit of HTML & CSS and you want to write a letter.

Or you can use the Web application http://letterly.com which hides all that nasty LaTeX behind a HTML5 form.

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Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH DD-WRT disappointment

dd-wrt & buffalo partnership

Despite the DD-WRT partnership with Buffalo hardware and the stunning endorsements, the router is really disappointing compared to my previous Linksys WRT54G.

If you bother to trawl the DD-WRT forums several threads talk about how unstable and disappointing V24-SP2 build 14998 DD-WRT (Professional) firmware is.

Compare

Low power

with

71mW versus 15dBm

  • For me the WZR-HP-G300NH is less powerful than the WRT54G (ironically the "HP" stands for High Power)
  • It fluctuates in speed and power, and just has an unpredictable unstable feel to it (could this be a "feature" of Wireless-N ?? )

My own post on the Buffalo forum goes un-answered, and contacting Buffalo directly is a sad redirect to (ref: 107218) http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/ for support.

This sadly seems to be some poor execution and followup by Japanese Buffalo. Firstly you need someone with a clue answer people's questions on the DD-WRT forums if you won't support DD-WRT on your Buffalo forums. The "professional" DD-WRT is hardly niche, it's ironically far easier to use than the default "stock" firmware.

Someone in Buffalo and DD-WRT obviously tried to make this work, but failed somewhere (Atheros driver?). Still I really hope you address peoples' complaints and issue a fix and try give your users support. Otherwise geeks and "professionals" will never trust your brand again Buffalo. :(

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