dalliard.net

He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

The End

As you've probably gathered by now I have a lot of technology. Of all the stuff I've got, one device has been a godsend over the years, my MiFi. It's a wonderful little widget that's about the size of a bar of soap* and works as a mobile router, allowing me to hook up my iPad, laptop or whatever in the middle of nowhere. I've had it for approximately seven years now, with the only maintenance required being a new battery after about four years. It's been great, has got me out of a hole on a regular basis and has even allowed me to happily stream Netflix. Even now, when I show it to people, they still go "oooooh", like it's witchcraft. Some pieces of technology are wonderful, and this is one of them.

After seven years, I thought I'd have a look to see what deals were out there, whether a 4G version was available and whether I could get more bandwidth for my money.

Yes, it was. And yes, I can.

So, here we are. This is my third MiFi and it's a simple-beast:

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Like most mobile routers, setup is fairly simple. If you've got a smartphone, you can just take a photo of the QR code on the inside of the back cover, which will automatically setup and join the network once switched on. As before you can get to the web interface fairly simply and change the SSID and default password if you want. Huawei also have iOS and Android apps that allow you to administer the device once you've joined the network. It really is pretty simple. You then have a mobile 4G router.

The speed is most certainly good, as this Speedtest illustrates:

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This is pretty much the same as most people's ADSL connections. Sure, the ping isn't the best for gaming, but apart from that it's perfectly acceptable.

This brings to mind a question - has the need for a separate fixed-line and ISP now disappeared? Well, for me it has. The bandwidth allowance is generous enough that I don't have to worry about limits and because the tariff I'm on allows the streaming of Apple Music, Deezer and Netflix without deducting from my monthly bandwidth allowance, it's a no-brainer. My only minor niggle is that I'd like to see dynamic DNS support, but given that the device is pretty small, perhaps that's asking a bit much - and I guess that if you're a family that spends its time bingeing on YouTube, then this probably isn't the device for you, but it's worked pretty damn well for me.

This costs me just £8 a month for 20GB, with the above exceptions not cutting in to my allowance. I've streamed, I've worked from home through a VPN and done loads of general browsing and have to say it's pretty great. I think this could be The End for something, the end for BT and Internet Service Providers. Perhaps the future has finally arrived.

Now, where's my flying car?

* Quite obviously, soap is the benchmark by which all technology should be gauged. More of a Cusson's Imperial Leather than a Lush affair, though.
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History

Today I was doing my backups, as all good I.T. people do. As I waded through the many years of crap I keep on my hard-drives, I noticed that I still have most of the data associated with the previous sites I administered. My first (still available on the web if you know where to look) was about the Acorn Computer demoscene. My second was dedicated to my love of travel and the spotting of ladies who wear black and white.

Yes, that's right - nuns. Who doesn't love a nun?

So, in an effort to fill in the gaps in my internet history I've decided to republish Nunspotting, which now exists on its own subdomain. Please don't take it too seriously, but instead look on it as a period in the history of the internet where things were pretty good. Broadband lines were starting to become commonplace, Web 2.0 wasn't really a thing and people didn't continually take photos of their lunch. Happy times.

I used Nunspotting as a way to record my travels around the world, as well as photograph those wonderful ladies of the cloth. Bear in mind that there's probably all sorts of broken links, inaccuracies and cruft within this site, but back in those days nobody really cared. Enjoy.
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G.I.N.Y.F

Jumping the Google bandwagon…. Read More...
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Fudge

I was talking to a friend not long ago, who made me realise that I’ve been using the internet in various guises for nearly 21 years. It’s strange now, to think that there are people born who have been in existence for less time on this planet than the internet - which started to make me think about my college days, as that’s where it all began for me. My friends and I were a pioneering bunch. We had no setup CDs, no tech-support lines and no forums to visit. We fudged - and when I think back to it, we fudged well. So here’s a story about lots of fudging. If you’re not interested in acronyms, technology and my geeky history, changes are that this isn’t for you. Read More...
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Mistakes...

...I’ve made a few. I wish I’d done it my way. Read More...
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MiFi

A look at Three’s MiFi wireless broadband access point... Read More...
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