Router switching on my FibreOp connection

Dear Aliant,
The provided ActionTec R1000H router is… well… crap… at least for anyone like me.
Power User.

[singlepic id=15 w=320 h=240 float=left] Say hello to the ActionTec R1000H gigabit, 4-port router with wireless N and HPNA support. It’s designed for FTTH (Fibre To The Home), and is Aliants choice for FibreOp installs. The ActionTec connects into the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) where the Fibre line terminates inside the house, via ethernet cable. If you also signed up for FibreOP TV, then your receiver(s) will also connect to the ActionTec, either via Cat5 or with the HPNA connection. [singlepic id=17 w=320 h=240 float=right]You also get 4 (3 if 1 is used for TV) gigbit lan ports to wire up your desktops, laptops, and other devices. The router also has wireless N, with a decent output level, for strong reception where ever you might need a good wireless connection.

I found (with some help from the internets on a few of them) a few weak points in the ActionTec router…
1 – No DHCP reservations. This sucks for users, like me, that have servers and devices with dedicated ip addresses.
2 – 1024 concurrent connection limit. This is no good for users, like me, that use torrents.
3 – Lacklustre QOS. Not much of a let down for me, but I was able to see a difference between 2 PC’s playing World of Warcraft.
4 – Software NAT. This added more load to the router while processing packet requests.

So, having followed a thread on closely, I decided to go ahead with the purchase of an Asus RT-N56U. [singlepic id=16 w=320 h=240 float=left]This router overcomes the short comings of the ActionTec, along with looking a lot nicer. What really seals the deal, one of the other members on the DH forums took the time to customize the Asus factory firmware, to tag port 4 with the vlan for the FibreOP TV. So now I get all the feature of the ActionTec, with DHCP reservations, 30,000 concurrent connections, Intelligent QOS, Hardware NAT, UPnP file and print sharing, and bandwidth monitoring!

If you have FibreOp, I highly recommend switching to the Asus router.
You can find them at NCIX, CanadaComputers, FutureShop, MemoryExpress and more… or like me, you can snag one cheap on eBay.
A must read for anyone thinking of switching is here.

Why I’m buying into the Play 4 Free game model

By now, most people have heard of the ‘Play 4 Free’ gaming model. Basically, developers and publishers will put out a game, which costs the gamer nothing. Theses games may be supported by advertisements, backing from a major publisher, or even paid for premium content or extras. Now, I wouldn’t call this approach to games new, as it seems like a new take on the old Shareware methods of the 80’s and 90’s

So, some of the big players that have put out games that I have played, and am probably still playing, include EA, Funzio, and Turbine. Yes I am including a few browser based games in the mix, partially because of the portability factor with them.

Let me start with Funzio. They are responsible for the browser based game Crime City, which I bumped into on Google+. It is also available in Facebook, and through the Apple iTunes store for iOS devices.


Next up, Turbine. They gave us Lord of the Rings Online, based on the J.R.R. Tolkien series of books. The game has decent graphics, DirectX 10 support, and does require a client download. They have also recently announced an upcoming expansion, Riders of Rohan, due out later this year.

Now, we’ll get into They responsible for World of Tanks. Who doesn’t want to drive around in a selection of WWII period tanks, blowing other players up. It does require a client download, but it’s worth it. The game has a tiered based system for upgrading to newer and larger tanks, and each tank can be customized with different guns, ammo, engines, etc. has also announced that they are working on another WWII game called World of Planes… say hello to my next time vampire.

Lastly, I’ll mention the biggest name in the field… EA, but I won’t detail there products quite as much, as just list the ones that I play, or have played and enjoyed. My list of games that have garnered my attention include:
Lord of Ultima
Battlefield Heroes
Battlefield Play4Free
Tiger Woods Online
– Something that I cannot name due to having signed an NDA and it is still in closed beta.

And why do I like Play 4 Free type games so much? I don’t get tied to them like I did with Warcraft… I can play when I want, and for as little or as long as I want.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to login into World of Warcraft…

The Beer is ready to drink… almost.

[singlepic id=12 w=320 h=240 float=left]A bit late with this one, but it’s time for an update on my adventure with making my own beer. It was just over 2 weeks ago that I re-checked my keg to see how the fermentation of my wort was coming along, it still had a slight cloudy appearance to it, but had lost any hint of sweetness, so I decided that it was a good time to go ahead with the bottling. The instructions called for adding 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar into each bottle, so I used a funnel to get that in, then slowly add the fermented beer wort into the bottles, and fill them up to the spot right around where the neck of the bottle starts.

[singlepic id=11 w=320 h=240 float=right]After I filled all 8 bottles, I had to gently flip the bottles a few times to make sure that the sugar was fully mixed in. I then had to move all the beer back to my office, again to spend the next 10 to 14 days with temperatures between 20’C and 24’C. I also took the time to add a label to each bottle with the bottling date, ready to drink date and expiration date. All this waiting is going to leave me extra thirsty… thank goodness I’m making a lot of beer!

Now to speed up to 88mph and jump ahead a few days…
[singlepic id=13 w=320 h=240 float=left]The fermentation is done, and the bottles are nice and hard, and the beer has become clear. Now, this doesn’t mean that I can just crack open a bottle and start drinking… at least not without chilling the beer, no one likes warm beer, right? I am living up to following the instructions, and will do the conditioning step, which has me setting the beer aside for 2 more weeks minimum (up to 3 months). So, now I am setting a date of 3/3/12 to enjoy the first sip of my first batch of home brewed beer, at least, that didn’t come in a 2 litre bottle, though I still enjoy my Mister Beer too.

My crazy ideas – or – Am I just nuts?

[singlepic id=10 w=320 h=240 float=left] So, I have been struck with this crazy idea to setup my own online channel dedicated to technology in general, and of course get a corresponding website. This idea came to me after watching some recent episodes of, one of the online projects that Amber MacArthur does, not that I don’t like commandN, but I feel there are other areas that could use some coverage. Now, I’m a big fan of Linux, being a Fedora/RedHat user for the past 13 years, though I will openly admit to keeping a Windows machine for gaming (Blizzard, please port your games to Linux… please).

I’ve already come up with a cool name (This space removed to protect my wacky idea), but I’ve already found hurdle number 1… someone has the domain I want. I will also need to work with my current host, or look for a new one that will offer unlimited bandwidth, unlimited traffic, email, and (hopefully) cheap domain registration.I will probably also need to look into getting some decent A/V gear, although I’m sure I could get some decent video with my Canon PowerShot ELPH 300HS, it probably won’t suffice for the audio. I will also need to get some other people to get involved in the project, and I have a few people in mind, who I think will get on board.

Well, I guess to get this crazy idea going, I’ll need to draw up a plan, present it to a few people, and then see if we can make it happen.. and then to free up some time to work on it.

To play on an old meme…
1 – Setup blog/website/youtube partner channel
2 – Get sponsors
3 – ???
4 – Profit!!

Oh yeah, the title is an homeage to the old Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, yeah these guys:
Rocky and Bullwinkle, the idea guys