by Anura Guruge
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>> Sirisena starts off inauspiciously.
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Let me just start off by saying, just in case anybody gets the wrong impression, that I have NOTHING, absolutely nothing, against this new President. In the pictures of him that I have seen he comes across as a very amenable and personable Sri Lankan. I am sure we would get on well IF we ever met — BUT therein lies the problem. Though we are BOTH Sri Lankan, Sinhalese at that, born 2 years and 1 day apart, according to him we have no common tongue. He only speaks, per his claim, Sinhalese and I, alas, just English (and that not too well).
Let me also just say that I do not know him and only became aware of him just a couple of weeks ago. Until this election I had NOT followed Sri Lankan politics or politicians for 30 years. I was not a Sri Lankan citizen, had no assets in Sri Lanka and as such had lost interest. So, that out of the way … and I do wish Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena all the best. He has a daunting but rewarding task ahead. I hope he succeeds.
I find it hard that he claims just to speak Sinhalese. That is pretty hard to do in Sri Lanka! Most people especially in Colombo (and surroundings) speak English.
As I said Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena is just 2 years and 1 day older than me. He was born just 3 years after independence. Yes, he grew up in a village far from the cosmopolitan Colombo that I grew up in. But at his age, two years older than me, he would have HAD to have learned English at school. It was mandatory. We all learned English at school. We had at least one, maybe 2, English channels on Radio Ceylon. Sri Lanka didn’t have TV till the 1980s but when they did they had English shows.
My point is that it is difficult for a Sri Lankan of his vintage to have escaped English.
I am 100% sure that he understands English and can read English. He might not be a fluent speaker (but neither am I).
My bone of contention is simple. I think he is trying to convey a sense of unsophistication to Sri Lanka that is unbecoming and wrong.
Sri Lanka is a modern country with a well educated population.
That is also the reason I was put out that he was propagating all the superstitious mumbo jumbo about auspicious times.
As the new President I had hoped he would impart an air worthy and reflective of Sri Lanka of sophistication, sauve and class.
I think back to J.R. Jayewardene. I knew him in his 50s, decades before he was the President. He was a bit like Nehru. Impressive.
I still believe that Sri Lanka can have Presidents of that calibre.
That is all.
I wish Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena well. he is going to need it.
He and I, other than being born a day apart in September, which according his astrological beliefs would make us ‘close’, share similar names. His first name and my third name have the same root, i.e., ‘Palle’. I think it is an allusion to a temple.
For Sri Lankans not to be able to talk English is not unusual. The incongruity in the case of Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena having to do with his generation.
He and I are of the same generation.
My grandfather, a postman (and a J.P.), though he could read and write English (as postman had to do given that he served under the British) claimed he could not speak English. But he was two generations before us.
The last time we met was in 1980. He was well into his 70s but walked 4 miles, with no effort, in the evening to come and see me at my hotel in Kandy. I had left Ceylon 13 years earlier, at 14, and no longer was able to speak (fluently) in Sinhalese. But we chatted away, for a long time, and people watched us in amazement. He would speak to me in Sinhalese. In those days (unlike now) I understood Sinhalese with no trouble. It had been my mother tongue. It had been my ‘medium of instruction’, i.e., the language used for teaching in school. So I would comprehend what he was saying or asking and reply in my by then normal English. He understood English; just didn’t feel that he could speak it. He would respond in Sinhalese. This went on. Neither of us thought this was strange. In some ways this had been normal in Ceylon. Many households were multilingual with people switching back between Sinhalese and English, sometimes in mid-sentence. But this is different story.
by Anura Guruge
Though I got a 75Mbps/5Mbps Internet service from MetroCast on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, I was NOT going to commit to it until I saw how the bandwidth held up during peak cable traffic on a Saturday night. As I just documented, MetroCast, to its credit, at least on this Saturday night, did ‘OK’.
So I am going to ditch the two (2) 15Mbps fiber connections I have to the house and go, for now, with the 75Mbps MetroCast service.
But, now I need to redo the entire home network. We currently have two, intentionally separated networks: one just for my main PC with 15Mbps of dedicated WAN bandwidth and another for the rest of the house, including Wi-Fi, using the second 15Mbps fiber.
Now, for the first time in like 2.5 years we will again all be back on the same network.
Yes, if I wanted to I could just about get by using the current, 2.5 year old Linksys EA3500 Wi-Fi router we have. But if I did that, first and foremost, I would use up the last LAN port on that. That means we have zero ports if I needed another LAN port (in a hurry). I don’t like not having a spare LAN port handy. Plus the way the two TDS fibers are brought into the house, the two TDS phone-jack connections are on either side of house. So the Linksys EA3500 is on Deanna’s side of our ‘office’. So I would have to run a long Ethernet cable to connect my main PC to that Linksys. I don’t want to do that.
Plus, and this is a major factor, after all the trouble I had with Linksys Range Extenders I don’t like Linksys. I don’t want Linksys in the house.
I have come to admire TP-Link. The little $23 TP-Link Range Extender I got to replace the pathetic Linksys ones works like a champ.
I asked around TP-Link is gaining a solid reputation.
So I am going to get a whole new 802.11 AC standard based network. No, I do NOT currently have any 802.11 AC devices. But, given that I do have 35 years of networking smarts under my belt, I did some research and checking around. 802.11 AC Wi-Fi routers, especially with AC1900 standard, have better range and, moreover, Beamforming technology to locate and focus the Wi-Fi signal in the direction of the devices picking up the signal. Appears that Beamforming does work. I want Beamforming.
I need the Range Extender for the IPTV box I have to watch cricket. It has an ancient 802.11b chipset! It needs as higher signal has possible to stream without issue. So I am going with a new TP-Link AC Range Extender. Yes, I will give my old TP-Link Range Extender to some lucky soul.
So, I will order the 3 TP-Link boxes today. Given that I have Amazon Prime I will have them by Tuesday. With luck I should have the new network up and running by the end of the week. I am going to get my computer guy Shane Selling to come and help me.
by Anura Guruge
>> Search ‘TDS’ and for other related posts >>>>
The one major inescapable problem (other than outages, of course) of getting Internet from a cable provider is that you are always getting shared bandwidth. That is a fact of life. You are on the cable — albeit with today’s cable carrying 8 or more high speed channels. But given that you are on a shared medium you always run the risk of losing bandwidth when there is lots of other traffic on the cable.
This is why I was happy to have a dedicated, fiber to the house, service from TDS. With that I had dedicated bandwidth until I hit TDS’ servers. But TDS Telecom, alas, despite its promise of gigabit Internet in the future, can only offer me 15Mbps download. I wanted more. That is why we ended getting two fibers to the house for a total of 30Mbps — though I split that into two networks, keeping 15Mbps dedicated for my main PC.
Well on Wednesday, as I documented, I got the MetroCast 75Mbps/5Mbps Ultra service. It works. Definitely more bandwidth.
But, I was NOT going to ditch my TDS connections UNTIL I saw how MetroCast performed over a Saturday night — the night when, typically, there is most traffic on the cable. Last time I had MetroCast, 4 or 5 years ago, bandwidth used to plummet between 8 – 11pm on Saturdays. Now to be fair I don’t use my PC, much, during that time. So it is not a great hardship.
The MetroCast folks assured me that my bandwidth will not drop. I knew that that would NOT be the case. I knew that there will be SOME degradation — the question was how much.
But, I had to see it myself. So I made a point of testing the bandwidth, Saturday night, using “speedtest.net”.
I was impressed.
I had set an acceptable threshold of 70Mbps/3.5Mbps.
As you can see from the image above, the bandwidth did fluctuate, more than normal on Saturday night. But it stayed well upwards of my threshold.
Yes, I appreciate that this could change in the Summer when we have more people on the road! Risk you take.
I do use my own SurfBoard SB6141 as opposed to the SB6121 that MetroCast provides. This might be a FACTOR as to why the bandwidth did NOT degrade that much.
The SB6141, in the case of download, can bond together 8 cable channels. The SB6121 can only bond a maximum of 4. That is why I coughed up the extra $25 and got the ’41’ rather than the ’21’. When the service was installed we checked the modem for signal strength. You could see 8 channels.
I just took a screenshot of it. 8 channels.
I also noticed that ONLY 2 channels are being bonded for Upstream. Upstream bonding is the same on the ’41’ and ’21’ — i.e., up to 4. Hhhhmmm. Interesting that MetroCast only permits 2 channels to be bonded, BUT given that they are giving ‘us’ 8Mbps, as opposed to the 5Mbps, they promise, I can’t complain.
But, for now, per the claim I made to ‘all’, I will cut over to MetroCast and ditch the TDS connections — until they have gigabit. I have no contract with MetroCast. So I can cut over whenever.
I will keep you posted.
I do realize that it will not be all smooth sailing. 90 days after I ditch my TDS connections I will again be treated as a new customer. I would then be able to get a 2Mbps connection for $15/month. I might do that, to serve as a backup, and get a $65 TP-Link WAN port aggregator.
But for now it seems I have sticking with 75Mbps Metrocast.
I will do a post shortly on what my new network will look like.