Internet


Bell Home Hub 2000 to 3000

When we first changed to Bell over 4 years ago, they gave us a Home Hub 2000, for our Internet. It is also the hub for the television and it is the WiFi hub as well. Pretty much from day one, there were occasional issues with the Hub rebooting.

From day one, there were issues with wiring to the house, and into the house, that has been repaired completely by Bell. This is still a copper set up (no Fibre as of yet). The wiring from the pedestal to the house was repaired about a month ago, however it did not fix the rebooting issues.

Bell Home Hub 3000
Remember to change the Modem Login password, FIRST !

Finally a home tech came about a week ago, to check the wiring one more time. He found that the copper infrastructure (not the bonded version needed for 100 Mbps) was working as it should. The only issue that remained was the Home Hub 2000.

My wife decided to keep a log of when the hub rebooted. By Reboot, I mean it suddenly stops working, and restarts. If you look in your logs, you will see that the Hub’s logging reverts back to the year 2012 for a little while, until it find a time source. These reboots were happening every 2nd day. Once the wiring to the house (to the point of entry of the house) was repaired the frequency dropped. Bell hoped with the repair, there would be no more reboots, but they still kept happening.

Luckily, the tech brought a Home Hub 3000, the newer Internet Hub that Bell has in their package. It is not that new in terms of technology, but it has a much better CPU that the 2000. Both the tech and 3rd level support had noted that the CPU on the 2000 series was at 100% most of the time. This suggests our Internet usage was quite high.

That assumption makes sense given we have 4 adults all streaming, video conferencing and using the Internet throughout the day.

The tech installed the 3000 and it seems to be working no problem. There have not been any reboots, and a few other points were noticed.

  • The video on the TV receivers (wireless) would occasionally get jerky (stop and start), that seems to have gone away.
  • Video streaming from an IPTV source didn’t really work reliably, and now it does.
  • VPNs for works are now working reliably as well.
Kobo Canada Aura Edition 2

The replacement Home Hub 3000 seems to have resolved our Internet reliability issues. To get more throughput (100 Mpbs+) there will need to be upgrades to the wiring to the house (bonded pair or fibre), and that may be the the next step.

There are issues with buffering on the Home Hub 3000, so there may still be problems ahead.

As with all Internet providers in Canada, price may end up being the important factor. Rogers may come in with a better deal yet (as they have already upgraded our neighbourhood to hybrid fibre), so that remains to be seen.


Adventures with Solid State Drives

So after spending about 3 weeks futzing around with Solid State Drives, Vista and Windows 7, I think I have come to a set of truths that I have learned.

First, upgrading your operating system is a mistake, you should always install a new clean version of your operating system no matter what. You can find all the install codes you need for your software and you can figure out how to back up your data, and a clean install just fixes a myriad of problems and sins that have built up over the life of your previous operating system lifetime.

I managed to get a good size solid state drive, and I have learned that if you install your operating system correctly on the device, your system will run much better (if you are running Windows 7). I think putting an SSD on a Vista or XP system is just not worth doing (Windows 7 seems to understand the devices and optimizes to use it). You should run Windows 7 to use an SSD.

Attempting to Clone your disk to the SSD while it sounds like an interesting concept, is a bloody waste of your time. I ended up with a somewhat faster system, but, not as fast as when I simply reloaded the OS from scratch and loaded it onto a formatted SSD.

I am not sure what the lifetime of an SSD is, so you should have a reliable back up system for your important data (or better still have all your important data on a NAS or server elsewhere). This makes the system you are running on almost “disposable”, but it is much faster for now, and that is what you are looking for.

Solid State Drive

Spinning Drive vs. SSD

The system I upgraded was a POS HP Laptop, which was having no end of issues with Blue Screens of Death and overheating issues that seem to have subsided for now. As I have ranted previously HP laptops are not worth buying, and not worth buying at any price (I have had to replace 2 of them for my daughters), but if you stick an SSD in one, it might make it a bit more reliable (I we shall see).

All in all an interesting experiment, but if I had simply started from scratch as I was told to do by folks in the know, I wouldn’t have wasted 3 weeks the way I did.

Epilogue: I found the same thing out again, after replacing the HDD in a Dell Inspiron N5110, it ended up being better to start from scratch (again).

Oh, and YouTube is invaluable in these situations:


Photo by tor00722. Published on 29 July 2014 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


External Links and Carnivals

Link Carpet Bombing

After last week’s discussion of external linking, the search for links from the big boys, I didn’t really go into depth about the current methodology I have in place.

I have been over doing the whole social media thing and plan on curtailing this activity for a while and see if it changes much, but I have added a new way to build up links to posts, and that is Carnival Carpet Bombing.

The important thing, is to get all your posts links of some kind, so they don’t become little orphans (this means internal or external links, but especially external links). As most of my readers of THE Canadian Personal Finance Blog knows I create new content every week (usually about 5 posts), and I have been making a conscious effort to make sure that each post has a link to something internally on my site (usually a much older post), to ensure I have fewer orphaned posts (especially older ones).

The second thing I do is typically on Thursday, I will go to Blog Carnival Central and submit each of the posts for the week to one of the many Personal Finance carnivals, to ensure that then each post has an external link to it (hence the concept of Carnival Carpet Bombing).

Will this bring a lot more readership to my site? I am skeptical, it sometimes brings spikes in readership, but there is a low retention rate on these new readers. This does add external links, and if you are starting out, more likely than not from a higher Page Rank site, which then gives you a higher Page Rank. As long as the external site linking to you is not an identified SPAM or SCRAPING site, then this can only help your site in Google’s Eyes.

What might be useful would be a tool to wander around the net and draw the link map for each of your post, showing where it might have links to, and show the traversal path of robots through your Internal Link Lattice as well. Anybody know of such a tool? I prefer graphical output, since text files with thousands of words give me headaches.

NB: So the ability to do this has become a lot harder with the death of Carnivals as a methodology, and the inability to easily enrol in them.


WordPress + Amazon Associates + Iframe = :-( (concl) 2

How to Add Amazon Associates Ads to Your WordPress Blog {Part 2}

Hell Boy
Amazon Link to Hell Boy

Yesterday I showed what you need to do to include an Amazon Associates text link advertising link into your WordPress article, and you ended up with this: Hellboy (Special Edition, 2 discs)

What if you want some spiffy pictures instead (like the one on the side here)?. This article will outline the obtuse steps that you need to take to do this.

Remember the fancy IFRAME version of the advertising from Amazon is completely out, because WordPress thinks it is a security issue, so you can’t do that.

The steps you need to take are like before:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Associates account
  2. Select Build Link/Widgets
  3. Select Classic Links
  4. Select Product Links
  5. In the Example I had it search DVD for Hellboy
  6. This time select IMAGE ONLY for your link (to make it look like the picture on this page).
  7. You highlight the HTML like before and copy it over to your WordPress page as usual:
    <a href=”http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00008EY65?ie=UTF8&tag=bigcajunstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B00008EY65″ mce_href=”http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00008EY65?ie=UTF8&tag=bigcajunstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B00008EY65″><img border=”0″ src=”51ksuxW%2BPcL._SL160_.jpg” mce_src=”51ksuxW%2BPcL._SL160_.jpg”></a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/e/ir?t=bigcajunstore-20&l=as2&o=15&a=B00008EY65″ mce_src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/e/ir?t=bigcajunstore-20&l=as2&o=15&a=B00008EY65″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” mce_style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
  8. However, now you have a problem, the picture reference in the first IMG tag (src=”51ksuxW%2BPcL._SL160_.jpg” mce_src=”51ksuxW%2BPcL._SL160_.jpg”) is relative to the Amazon web page, and you must now replace that with a fully instantiated web address
  9. To find out the images real address, right click on the same page and choose “Copy Image Location” and copy it into the above code, so now it looks like:
    <a href=”http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00008EY65?ie=UTF8&tag=bigcajunstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B00008EY65″ mce_href=”http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00008EY65?ie=UTF8&tag=bigcajunstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B00008EY65″><img src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ksuxW%2BPcL._SL160_.jpg” mce_src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ksuxW%2BPcL._SL160_.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Hell Boy” align=”left” /></a><img style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” mce_style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/e/ir?t=bigcajunstore-20&l=as2&o=15&a=B00008EY65″ mce_src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/e/ir?t=bigcajunstore-20&l=as2&o=15&a=B00008EY65″ border=”0″ alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ />
  10. Problem solved (kind of), I’d rather have the slick IFRAME code work, but the picture works for me too.

Hope this helps you get more Amazon Associates sales, it hasn’t worked for me much, but you never know what might happen soon.


WordPress + Amazon Associates + Iframe = :-(

How to Add Amazon Associates Ads to Your WordPress Blog {Part 1}

Trying to start using my Amazon Associates linking capabilities (never made me any money before, but who knows, it might be useful).

I finally figured out why I was having so many problems with my Amazon Associates account (I am associated with Amazon Canada), so I finally figured out how to log into my account and saw complete inactivity (needless to say). I have tried previously to include Amazon links in posts like  Have Good Content and You Will Succeed and others, so I figured now that I have my own blog, I’d try it again with WordPress.

As you can see from the Content post, I did succeed, but it is an obtuse fix as you will see.

Let’s take an example of my new favorite character Hell Boy, to put an ad for Hellboy the first movie, I could simply add it as a text link Hellboy (Special Edition, 2 discs)(like in this sentence). That is easy:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Associates account
  2. Select Build Link/Widgets
  3. Select Classic Links
  4. Select Product Links
  5. In the Example I had it search DVD for Hellboy
  6. Select TEXT ONLY option and click on Get HTML button and you get:<i><br /> <a href=”http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00008EY65?ie=UTF8&tag=bigcajunstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B00008EY65″ mce_href=”http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00008EY65?ie=UTF8&tag=bigcajunstore-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=B00008EY65″>Hellboy (Special Edition, 2 discs)</a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/e/ir?t=bigcajunstore-20&l=as2&o=15&a=B00008EY65″ mce_src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/e/ir?t=bigcajunstore-20&l=as2&o=15&a=B00008EY65″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” mce_style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” /></i>
  7. Cool eh? There you have it, and from that you get this link:
    Hellboy (Special Edition, 2 discs)

However, if you want to put a nice picture in it, like they show on the Amazon Associates web page, you suddenly get code that looks like this:

<iframe src=”http://rcm-ca.amazon.ca/e/cm?t=bigcajunstore-20&o=15&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00008EY65&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” mce_src=”http://rcm-ca.amazon.ca/e/cm?t=bigcajunstore-20&o=15&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00008EY65&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”width:120px;height:240px;” scrolling=”no” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>

Which the WordPress editor really does not like, it thinks the iFrame code is a security risk, it strips it out and you are screwed.

Tomorrow, but I want a picture!!!!


Start of a New Idea

Well, I have been “fiddling” around attempting to make some extra money blogging about finances for the past two years or so, and have marginally made a little pocket money (almost coffee money, but not quite). A lot of times I have great ideas, but they aren’t about finances, they are about how the blog site should work, or how things hang together, so I figured, I’d start a line of consciousness blog about what I have done, what I am doing, and what I am planning on doing for the blogs that I am attempting to make a little extra cash with on the side.

Why would you read this? That’s a good question, and a valid one too (I’ll get slapped for that response, I can tell), mostly I hope to use this as my notebook, so I can keep track and remember why I did some of the odd things that I have done in the past two years, and in the years ahead. Hopefully I will put some things up that help other folks who are attempting the same thing as I, and help them out. Also, hopefully I’ll make a sack of cash and then get to retire (oh that is funny every time I write it).

First posts are old hat

How Old Is This ?