Yesterday my life changed for the better.. a bit. I was finally able to receive the sort of wifi signal most people (in Auckland anyway) take for granted.
I’ve been waddling along the internet for years with speeds of 5-8 mbps but with so many HD files around now that sort of performance just isn’t cutting the mustard. We actually had the ultra fast fibre installed a year or two ago when it was first launched, but through vodafone it was so hopelessly inconsistent that we cancelled it and went back to the old copper line.
However, recently we changed to the ridiculously named ‘Spark’ and installed their modem to access the ultra fast fibre again. While the house reaps the full benefit of the 30/10 mbps plan, I was still getting a signal as slow as 4 mbps – I discovered that by opening the bifold doors at the back of the house I could get up to 18, but that’s not really an option all through the year.
So after many conversations with various technicians and techo shop staff, the solution walked through the door in the well bearded form of a man called Keiran. The flame haired genius was actually here to salvage files off a failing hard drive but when this done i told him my tale of wifi woe and quick as a flash he had the answer.
The ‘TP Link 300mbps AV500 wifi powerline extender starter kit‘ was what I needed, and he just happened to have one in his car. In a jiffy I was enjoying the same 30mbps of internet activity as her indoors. Don’t ask me how it works but it most definitely does. Simply plug one bit into the socket nearest the modem and another bit near where you want the signal and with a bit of online jiggery pokery, you’re getting the same speed as if you were standing next to the main house modem.
So if you are having similar wifi worries, get yourself a TP Link extender thingy and change your life! a bit.
Also, if you’re having computer concerns, call the guys at ‘Geeks on Wheels‘ – they use those wheels to travel to you! Which is really convenient.
So I went to our local pub – The Portland Public House in Kingsland – with my wife the other night for a bite and a drink (the food is the best pub food in Auckland, possibly New Zealand) and it just so happened that the Paul Henry show was coming through to do its ‘9 in 10’ quiz competition. The premise being that the randomly chosen contestant has to name 9 things in a category in 10 seconds. So we thought we’d stick around to watch. At about 11 o’clock my wife got sick of waiting and headed home with instructions to win us car. As it happened my good mate turned up so we had a few wines and practiced our game plan – naming 9 cars in 10 seconds, because the guy in the TV van said it might be cars… so we’re minding our business at the back of the pub, furiously practicing, at least Nick was, I wasn’t too bothered because I was sure they’d pick one of the attractive women who were busily plumping themselves up, preparing to be noticed. And then a wee man in a suit with a microphone walked over to me, and this happened (you have to click on the link below, for some reason it won’t show up in the collumn on the right);
So then we had to go to TV3 and pick it up the next night, live on air. They even put make up on us, which was probably a good thing as the night before got a bit boozy and long. So I think that’s my almost 15 minutes of nearly fame used up. We still don’t have the car though, for some reason it takes 2 weeks to do the paper work on a car that’s sitting here in Auckland somewhere. So here’s us ‘receiving’ our new car – which we will sell as soon as we can!
I was on jury service recently (do it if you get selected, it’s really interesting) and spent the most time in Central Auckland that I’ve spent in many a year. It seems government employees get long lunch breaks, so I had some time to wonder around the city streets. Now, I actually love Auckland – I’m not from here but I’ve spent the last 16 years here and I think I’m finally ready to call my self an Aucklander – but there are certain things that rip my robe and this page features two of them; A large portion of the CBD ‘architecture’ and Auckland drivers.
Thankfully council passed a resolution a few years ago requiring new apartment buildings etc to actually include some aesthetic value, as opposed to the approach of the previous 40 odd years where it seems the architects were trying to outdo each other in a bid to ‘design’ the most offensively dull and featureless concrete rectangles outside the Soviet block! These buildings are so awful they don’t even fall into the category of ‘so ugly it’s beautiful’. The fact that these things have replaced the beautiful old colonial buildings that were already there should be a criminal offense. I loathe these CBD developers for they did in the 80’s….
Another rant worthy issue in Auckland is the rubbish driving, in particular the apparent lack of ability to park so that others might squeeze their car into the ridiculously small parking spaces provided in most parking buildings – this one shown is in the Civic. This person must have seen how they were positioned, did they really walk away thinking ‘no that’s fine, I’ve done well there’? I also get really annoyed by the lack of consideration – not letting other drivers in and/or not acknowledging other drivers (me!) when they are let in, but that’s another rant.
Anyway, nearly everything else about Auckland is pretty bloody great, and we’ll end it there.
My wife was recently given this amazing tea as a gift (part of) by her colleague/boss. I’m not keen on girly herbal tea as a drink but this stuff is pretty cool. It comes in a very styley pack but that’s just the start. The fairly innocuous looking tea ball thing does something amazing once it’s in the hot water – see the pics below. I was so impressed I pulled an opened ‘flower’ apart to see what was going on and it has actually been tucked, folded and sewn together to create that flower, pretty impressive.
As a designer I know that things like this don’t just happen, someone spent untold hours developing this product until it could be produced in commercially viable numbers and I think they’ve produced something pretty special. Nice job whoever you are!
I very much enjoy the brilliance of the panorama tool on the iphone camera. How do they do that?! I don’t know – there’s lots I don’t know, like how do mobile phones work, or the internet, or TV or in fact most things…but it’s really clever. Here’s a wee collection of pics taken using this amazing functionality from here and abroad by me….