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stephen
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Joined: 18 Nov 2004
Posts: 348

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: re: Talktime question Reply with quote

Ta for that Chris. Every little helps... Very Happy

I'm not sure how long it takes to set up now. It took quite some time for me because I ordered it about a month before the published RFS date, and then BT had some delays in enabling the exchange which pushed the activation date back to the 9th August. However, now they have everything set up I expect it'll go a lot quicker. I imagine it'll be around 7 - 10 days from your order.

What happens is that Eclipse will pass your order on to BT, who will then get back to Eclipse to tell them your activation date. Eclipse should then let you know the date.

You can check the progress of your order through the eclipse website. If you go to https://www.eclipse.net.uk/index.cfm?id=login&relocate=1 and log in using the email address and password you registered with, then go to Track -> Track you should see how things are progressing. It does tend to lag a bit, but it should at least give you your activation date when they know what it is.

The line can be activated any time up to 19.30 on the activation day, and you won't get any notification that it has happened - you just have to suck it and see.

The bit of information that doesn't seem to get through very reliably is what your connection login and password are. When your account is enabled, you'll be able to see this in your admin panel. Log in as before and go to Admin Panel -> Connection manager. You'll see a user name (nasomething@adsl.eclipse.co.uk) and a password (random characters). This is what you need to put in to the login dialog you get when you connect via the ADSL modem. Do NOT use the address and password you set up when you registered, as this will not work. Trust me - I spent half a day trying before I rang the support guy.... Embarassed

The other gotcha is to read the installation instructions very carefully. Install the drvers on your 'puter BEFORE you connect the ADSL modem to it.

As to the phone bill - sorry - no idea how that works. I've not had one yet, so I'm keen to find out...

I went the ADSL router approach, which cost a bit more, but I now have a small netwrok in the house with all machines connected to the interweb. It is very funky, although I still have this nagging "jings I've been on the web a long time this is going to cost a bomb" feeling at the back of my head all the time. I'm sure that'll pass with time.

That first 10mb download in about 40 seconds is a wonderful thing, believe me!

Good luck, and let me know how you get on.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:28 am    Post subject: Some thoughts on email addresses Reply with quote

Most of you migrating to broadband will find you have a new email address, and the old one will either stop working or will only work for a limited period. You'll have that whole painful "telling everyone your new address" thing, which about 50% will not understand or ignore and so will continue to send to your old address which you won't see. Such a pain.

A lot depends on what email address you use and who provides it. For instance, if you use a hotmail of Yahoo! email address then nothing changes. If, however, you used an address that comes with your dialup account then as soon as the account ends you'll stop getting email via that address. Most ISP email accounts have a web interface, and you can usually go in there and set up an address to forward your mail to and/or set up and auto response ("vacation message"), and that will help catch some of those using your old address, but it won't last for long.

For instance, anyone using a freeserve/wanadoo pay as you go dialup connection will find that their email address will stop working about a month after the last time they dial in. However, you can go in via the web and set up a forwarding address or an auto-response for all those who don't catch on when you tell them you've changed your address.

Some broadband accounts (e.g. the eclipse one that I have) are "wires only", which means you don't actually get an email address. I've set up a free email account with Yahoo! (mail.yahoo.co.uk), which works brilliantly and allows POP/SMTP access so you can download your mail using (e.g.) Outlook just as you would normally.

Crumbs - this is all very complicated, isn't it.

Here's the thing. Email addresses are transient. They come and go when you change your ISP. This can be a massive pain in the backside to manage. The simple solution is to buy yourself a domain name and use it to forward your mail to wherever your email account is this week. When you change your address, you just change where the domain forwards the email to instead of having to tell everyone what your new address is. A .co.uk domain typically costs 10 for 2 years.

So - my advice;

1) Get a free email account the allows POP/SMTP access. (I use Yahoo!). e.g. myName@yahoo.co.uk
2) Register a domain name. (I use Easily). You'll then have an address like whatever@mydomain.co.uk.
3) Configure your domain to forward mail sent to whatever@mydomain.co.uk to myName@yahoo.co.uk.
4) Set up your "reply to" address in your mail program to be whatever@mydomain.co.uk (see 2).
5) Tell everyone your address is whatever@mydomain.co.uk.
6) When you decide to change your real email address from (e.g) myName@yahoo.co.uk to myName@gmail.com, just change the forwarding on mydomain.co.uk. No mess. No fuss. No missed emails. Tada!!!!

I hope that's clear. If I can explain anything better, or if you have any suggestions to add, then please post something here.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:12 pm    Post subject: more speed! Reply with quote

There are some useful tools for fine tuning your broadband setup at http://www.speedguide.net/. The TCP/IP Analyser will tell you what, if anything can be changed to improve your setup, but the information is a bit technical and some may find it alarming. Fortunately, there is also a TCP/IP Optimizer that you can download and run to automagically make the changes for you. It's very easy to use and worth the minimal effort.

Also worth running is their Security Scan, which will tell you how good your firewall is. You do have a firewall, don't you?
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Pieter
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Catterline

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: All Systems Go! Reply with quote

Got my line converted last Friday, put in the ADSL order the same day, and got connected today! Not bad at all, only 5 working days.

In the end I selected Zen's 'ZenADSL Home 2000' package, and here are my speed test results:
Direction Actual Speed True Speed (estimated)
Downstream 1838 Kbps (229.8 KB/sec) 1985 Kbps (inc. overheads)
Upstream 245 Kbps (30.6 KB/sec) 264 Kbps (inc. overheads)

Very happy with that!
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stephen
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: even faster Reply with quote

Just tried the speed checker again after using the speedguide optimizer and got the following;

Direction Actual Speed True Speed (estimated)
Downstream 1870 Kbps (233.8 KB/sec) 2019 Kbps (inc. overheads)
Upstream 241 Kbps (30.1 KB/sec) 260 Kbps (inc. overheads)

That'll do. Very Happy
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stephen
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject: download Gb Reply with quote

How are you all doing for monthly download amounts? I forget what I had for the first month - somewhere around 4Gb I think, and definately below 5Gb (not that it would matters much as the first month with Eclipse is unlimited anyway).

So far this month I've used 1.27 GB (08/09/2005 - 30/09/2005), which is equivalent to about 1.8Gb per month. That's comfortably inside the my 5Gb monthly cap, and to be honest perhaps a little lower than I thought it would be.

How are the rest of you doing?


====

Latest speed test :

Direction Actual Speed True Speed (estimated)
Downstream 1798 Kbps (224.8 KB/sec) 1941 Kbps (inc. overheads)
Upstream 240 Kbps (30.0 KB/sec) 259 Kbps (inc. overheads)

====
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Pieter
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Location: Catterline

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to give you a bit of feedback on my download/upload quantities. Unfortunately my ISP doesn't make that data available, I guess because I'm on an unmetered package. However, to give you an idea, the last two weeks I've started to 'explore' the torrent communities, and in that period I've downloaded 32GB and uploaded 21GB (and counting...). I also listen to 128kbps Internet radio streams quite a lot, on top of the 'regular' browsing and e-mailing.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That's quite a lot more than me, although I don't use any of the peer to peer stuff. Mostly I just do regular surfing and occasionally listen to radio programs that I missed. Seems to be around 2-3Gb per month.

BTW - I presume your router is on pretty much permanently. You should be able to get upload and download stats from it. Mine currently says;

Bandwidth Up/Down (Kbit/sec) 288 / 2272
Uptime 23d 22:04
kBytes Tx/Rx 269505 / 1713331

That's about right for 2.5Gb/month xfer.
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jcarr
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Joined: 31 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject: broadband connection Reply with quote

After 5 weeks, I still have not got my broadband connection with Tiscali. Apparently BT have to remove the daks from the line. Or maybe it is ducks on the line. If it's that simple I'll just shoot them!
Is anyone else having a similar problem?
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stephen
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject: DACS on the line Reply with quote

I think what Tiscali are refering to is DACS. Here's what the ADSL Technical FAQ has to say about DACS;

Quote:
If your line has a DACS (a device BT use to share a pair of copper wires between two phone lines), it must be removed from the line prior to ADSL activation.

The procedure to do this is to apply for your ADSL line as usual. When BTwholesale perform the various line tests, they should spot the DACS and arrange for the removal of the device. This may delay your order by a few days, but once removed it shouldn't stop you from obtaining ADSL so long as your line passes the necessary tests (see question above).


A DACS would be a problem regardless of the ISP you choose, so it isn't really Tiscali's fault. Mind you, 5 weeks does seem quite a long time for BT to sort it out. Might be worth asking Tiscali what the current status of your order is.
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Last edited by stephen on Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stephen
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: if it quacks... Reply with quote

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. However, if it's a small grey plastic box on a pole near your house, it's probably a DACS.

There's a bit more about DACS at http://frank.gwc.org.uk/~ali/dacs/. There are even a couple of pictures so you can track down your DACS yourself. If it turns out instead to be a duck, then by all means shoot it. However, shooting your DACS is unlikely to improve your phone line or get you ADSL any quicker and I would advise against it. Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:55 pm    Post subject: speed Reply with quote

My latest speed test results seem to show a slight slow down on previous results, but nothing really significant. 1781 K dn, 241 up. It's only a single snapshot though.
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stephen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: Eclipse broadband down Reply with quote

As some of you will have noticed, Eclipse suffered a major problem yesterday (Monday 21 Nov 2005) which affected all their users nationwide. As far as I can tell, we were out from about 16.30 until after I had gone to bed (~23.00). I checked again this morning before setting off to work and everything was fine, so they must have got us sorted out some time in the small hours.

Some users elsewhere in the UK are still affected, but as far as I can tell everyone off the Catterline exchange is working properly. There are still some very upset people elsewhere who are not connected, and there is much wailing hysteria on the message board over at ADSLGuide, and dark mutterings about "having had enough" and "going to another ISP". However, this strikes me as rather premature considering that, as many people have said, this is an isolated occurence for an otherwise very reliable ISP. Most of the disgruntled users seem to be more upset about the fact that they didn't get enough information as to what was going on.

You can find details of what happened on Eclipse's Service Status page. (See also their outage ticket quoted below).

For future reference, in case you have problems connecting and want to check if it's your providers fault or BT's, you can use BT's ADSL test login to bypass your ISP and go directly to BT's test page. (This works with any ISP and not just BT). Change your ADSL login to bt_test@startup_domain and reconnect. The password doesn't matter - it can be anything you like or blank. When connected, go to http://www.bt.net/digitaldemo. If you can connect and see BT's page, then the line is OK and the fault lies with you or your ISP. If you cannot connect, then then may well be a fault in the line, although you will still need to contact your ISP to get it resolved.

Remember to set your login back to your proper one afterwards, or you'll not be able to see anything except the BT test page which - lovely though it is - is not fantastically fulfilling.

Quote:

Outage Ticket: 2936 OPEN
Outage Date: 21 Nov 2005 at 16:35:00
Affecting: Other Services, see details.
Description: ADSL platform
Details: 21 Nov 2005 at 16:36:00

Engineers are investigating issues with ADSL connectivity. It is expected that full resolution will occur by 17:30. Please bear with us whilst the resolution is completed.

21 Nov 2005 at 17:35:00
Service issue has now been recovered. Connectivity to service has been resumed. You may find it necessary to reboot your ADSL hardware to resestablish the connection.

21 Nov 2005 at 21:25:00
Partial service has been restored, engineers are working to resume full service on the ADSL platform as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.

22 Nov 2005 at 09:13:25
Service has now been restored. Engineers will continue to closely monitor the platform throughout the day. Some users may find authentication slower than usual and may need a few attempts to re-connect. Users who are unable to connect following this issue are urged to reset their ADSL hardware.

22 Nov 2005 at 13:07:12
Following extensive monitoring this morning, we have identified that some customers are still unable to connect following a reset of their ADSL hardware. Engineers continue to work towards a full resolution ASAP.

22 Nov 2005 at 13:55:21
We have now identified a limited number of users that have ADSL connection sessions 'stuck' within BT's network. Eclipse Engineers are currently liaising with BT to resolve this ASAP.

22 Nov 2005 at 15:20:42
Eclipse Engineers are continuing to work with BT to debug this issue. Additionally, as a result of this outage, there is a large volume of mail pending for customers who receive mail via an SMTP feed. Rest assured no mail will be lost, just delayed. Apologies for any continuing inconvenience.

22 Nov 2005 at 16:32:19
BT have now confirmed that there is indeed an issue on their network preventing a number of our users from connecting through to the Eclipse ADSL platform. We continue to chase BT as a matter of urgency.

22 Nov 2005 at 18:40:11
BT are now in the process of clearing stale sessions. Unfortunately this may also clear live sessions, however this is unavoidable. Any dropped users will be able to reconnect within a couple of minutes. More to follow...

22 Nov 2005 at 21:44:26
BT have now cleared all stale sessions for our users on their network. Subscriber levels are now normal. Users may still need a final reset of their hardware to establish a connection. Engineers will continue to monitor.

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stephen
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: ADSL speed test result Reply with quote

Just ran the speed tester on adslguide.org.uk and got the following result (which is similar to one last night);

Downstream 1793 Kbps
Upstream 241 Kbps

Maximum downstream speed on a 2M line is 1920 Kbps, so that's not too bad at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: MaxDSL is coming... Reply with quote

Some of you may have heard of the latest development in broadband - MaxDSL. This has been on test for what seems like forever, but BT have recently announced that they are going to roll it out across pretty much the whole country in the very near future. The Catterline exchange has been scheduled for upgrade on 31st March 2006, but that is the provisional date for the whole country so yu can expect that to slip somewhat.

So what does this mean? Well, our exchange will be capable of delivering up to 8Mb/sec download speed, which is four times faster than the current maximum of 2Mb/sec. Upload speeds will also be increased, but whether or not you'll be able to take advantage of this increased bandwidth depends on several things but pretty much comes down to how far away you are from the exchange, but if your line length is less than 3Km you should be OK for the full whack.

Of course the other limiting factor is your ISP. Each ISP will almost certainly have a different way of handling the upgrade, and whether they do it for free and charge more for the service or charge for the upgrade or whatever is pretty much up to them - you'll need to see what they say, and some of you may well have already received some bumph about it. Those of us on Eclipse still have a bit of a wait to find out what will be available, as all that Eclipse have said so far is that their new MaxDSL products will be available in "2nd quarter 2006".

There is a good writeup on MaxDSL is and all the technical details here, and info' on what some of the ISP have planned is here.
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