Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Reliable Choice & The Missing Engineer

It's probably better not to go into too much detail; suffice to say that yesterday I spent over seven hours waiting at the workshop for a telephone engineer that never appeared. I'm now told that it will be July before I get my telephone and broadband installed - now that's what I call customer service (not).

However, I can access a wireless service from the workshop using a domestic service and I have been getting an intermittent connection using a Belkin USB Network adpater that managed around 36Kb/s. It worked, but it is a painfully slow solution and the constant drop-outs did nothing to repair my temper. The solution was to install a wireless PCI in my refurbished PC: a little research indicated that I would have fewer problems if I chose a device using any of the following chipsets: Ralink (2500/RT2400), Realteck RTL8280, or Atheros (AR9170). I picked up a TP-Link TL-WN751ND adapter from my local Maplin and paid heavily (about twice the online price of c.£10.00) for my impatience.

Easy to fit (of course) and I even took some time to re-route the front umbilicals. The good news is that the adapter works out of the box on my mongrel Ubuntu 12.04 setup and delivers 72Mb/s (exactly twice the speed of the Belkin). I have experienced one drop-out since installation, but it does appear to be a significantly more stable connection and this might be the solution that gets me out of trouble.

So, my trusty mobile and new TP-Link Wireless N PCI adapter it is, at least until I can get my phone line installed. The reliable choice? I don't know, I'll have to live with it for a while; but, so far it seems like a good choice.

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