Aside - did you know that the mac shortcut to navigate to the beginning of a line is the same as the Firefox shortcut to go back one page in your history. The is the 3x at writing this. Lesson learned. Writing blog posts longer than one paragraph should only happen outside of a browser.
Over the past two months we have been trying out Netflix as it is now available in Canada. What follows is what I have the patience to recreate after typing this three times (see above, I don't learn fast). This is my experience in Whitehorse, YK.
We have traditionally used about 10 -> 12 GB of data per month. The addition of about 2 hrs of shows has boosted us up to by about 50% to 18GB/mth. If you are a heavy TV watcher (or must have high definition) then upgrading your internet package will probably cost you more that just bundling cable with your internet (if you live in Yukon). Something to keep in mind.
We are watching a lot of Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Tank Engine and ... not much else. There are some documentary stuff, some HBO/BBC stuff and some slasher/horror/b-list movies but not really much here for the mainstream cable TV viewer. Apparently this will be improving in the "near" future. The selection of shows for those older than two, in my humble opinion, sucks.
We have a 5MB/s cable internet package and have found that we can easily watch standard definition shows/movies/etc with almost no issues in streaming; there is a short delay while things get setup and then the performance is solid. The image quality is "good enough" for our devices. I can't comment on the performance of high-definition content as we just don't watch any.
We did not abandon high-def cable for Netflix. We don't have cable, so this is a way to get "on-demand" shows for cheap. Cable is a purely optional luxury for us - if this service didn't exist we would not be subscribing to cable. We subscribed via the free trial (on the Wii!) and the convenience of the service is enough that we don't mind paying the $8 monthly fee.
For our, admittedly low, expectations and needs Netflix works. The combination of our movie rental habits, acceptance of standard definition content and meager viewing hours per week means we can fit this into our lives with minimal cost or change.
A quick post to follow up on my tweet last night.
I went on a very wet, cold and rainy ride last night with Paul G and Mark N. It was awesome because even though the weather said "Stay at HOME!" none of us wanted to be the one to call off the ride. Man up and ride!
The trail up Rollercoaster was nasty. The combination of recent heavy rain and the large amounts of clay in Riverdale dirt meant my wheels turned into heavy, non-mobile, clay laden donuts. It was nasty and took some work in a puddle to clean off the mess. I also noticed that my brakes were acting "quirky" - still stopping, but rather less responsive than usual.
Fast forward through some more climbing/riding/descending (Red Trail -> No Shirt, No Service -> Mother T -> Go T -> bottom end of Downtown Boogaloo -> Boogaloo Heights -> Upper Boogaloo). I was beginning to notice a significant lack of stopping power though Go T. It took some serious weight shifting to make the corners.
It was at the top of the fun valley section of Upper Boogaloo that I noticed that I pretty much had no more front brakes, they kinda worked. Still, I was in the zone so I ripped it down.
... until the last hard left just before the trail crosses the powerline. My brakes were totally gone, no stopping power, no slowing. I was going pretty quick. I forgot the golden rule of mountain biking - if you look at the tree you will hit the tree - until the last second that I went to the right between the tree of tooth loosening and a big piece of deadfall. Teeth intact, I came to a stop - giggling - and walked out and called it a ride.
On the way home I figure the combination of *a lot* of descending over the past month plus the clay conspired to eat away my brake pads faster than expected. I thought I had at least the rest of the season left in my stoppers - I am glad I was just XC riding, if it was more steep I might have less teeth!
Moral of the story - stay off your brakes in Whitehorse clay!
It started innocently enough, as a twitter post asking if I could get an iPhone with no voice plan required. I barely use voice, but I could see myself rolling in data with the interweb at my fingertips (and Skype for the occasional voice call).
If you have been having trouble connecting to the internal servers at the Yukon Government by their short name over the VPN then this tip is for you.
This tip is tested with Windows 7 and IE8. Other OSes and browsers may not give the same results.
1. Ensure you have the hosts file with the short name - the Service Desk should be able to provide this. It goes into <Windows>/System32/drivers/etc
2. Set IE8 to NOT Automatically Detect Settings. Under Internet Options -> Connections -> Lan Settings deselect the Automatically Detect Settings checkbox.
Thanks to everyone that came out to the Meltdown this past Tuesday! We had a great Q&A session on Virtualization with Richard Whittaker, who had many great observations from his experiences in virtualizing a data centre. We then continued the conversation at the Roadhouse over a beer.
Thanks again to Outcrop Yukon for providing a comfortable location and drinks and nibbles for the attendees. Many thanks to Jason.
The next Meltdown is scheduled for a Monday in early/mid June so keep your calendar open for the next event!
This is the third MeltDown scheduled to re-occur every 6 to 8 weeks. We avoided a March meet-up because of "March Madness" and gave our busy tech community some time to recover from the end of the Government's fiscal year.
The last event was awesome!! Thanks to all that attended and Outside the Cube for hosting.
MeltDown 3 will be graciously hosted at Outcrop Yukon's offices, details below, where there will be some nibbles and drinks and space to chat in. There is not a lot of power available so bring fully charged devices if you are planning on bringing them.
This time we are going to have an Q&A evening with Richard Whittaker, a Configuration Manager at Northwestel, on a current buzz technology topic: Virtualization.
Richard was a significant player in the very successful migration of Northwestel's significant server infrastructure to VMWare's ESX platform. Their migration reduced power consumption, heat production and physical server counts.
Richard will be available to talk about software concerns, hardware concerns, and any of your other tricky virtual questions. He will also be available after the Q&A session to chat about specific solutions for your business.
The Q&A session will start after 5:15p.
Location: Outcrop Yukon Offices - 207 Black St (the big blue building beside what used to be the Brick)
Date: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Duration: 1.5hrs - if people have an urge to go longer we will be migrating to the Roadhouse to continue the evening!
For people unfamiliar with this event see this link: http://www.justwerks.com/site-
Join the Discussion on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.
I have no doubt missed some people so please forward this on to others (e.g. your employees or co-workers) that would be interested.
Please RSVP so we can know the headcount for the evening!
Thanks for your time! Hope to see you shortly!
Thanks to everyone that came out to the Meltdown this past Monday! We had a great presentation on XML Storage by Glen Jolly of Pinnacle Consulting and there were many questions along the way.
Thanks again to Outside the Cube for providing a comfortable location and drinks and nibbles for the attendees. Thanks to Alastair.
The next Meltdown is scheduled for a Monday in early/mid March so keep your calendar open for the next event!
If you have a desire to present and/or host a Meltdown please fire me off an email and we can work out the details.
I have attached a PDF summary of Glen's presentation for your interest.