Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

Expecting — September 6, 2018

Expecting

Herself spent her entire 35 year career caring for companion animals. She toiled at various clinics, the University of Miami Medical School and for many years at the Atlantic Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She has pretty much seen it all.

It has been fun watching her prepare for the arrival of puppies in our pack. No one is more caring, prepared and thoughtful through the entire process. For her it is a calling and for her it is fun. She is happiest when she is caring for her canine family. When I offer assistance it is always politely declined with the comment,” I enjoy this”.

Last night she moved to the kennel and slept on an air mattress to be ready to assist Hallie if assistance is required. Her time is close and I just hope all goes well. We know she is carrying 2 pups. One will go to a friend and one will stay with us. 3 of our 4 dogs are elderly and will not be with us much longer and if all goes well it will be fun to have puppies making us laugh.

Both Hallie and the male are grand champion dogs and subject to the vagrancies of genetics the pups should be exceptional dogs.

Commendable — September 2, 2018

Commendable

Our provincial overlords have issued a RFP for the delivery of Internet service to the 31,000 underserved households on PEI. This is a commendable goal for what is generally deemed an essential service. Before we get to excited we should note this is only a RFP. When our overlords see the actual cost to bring true high speed access I suspect they will pucker and back off quickly. It IS an expensive process.

I caution our overlords:

Watch out for the usual sharks and carpet baggers who will swarm to suckle the government teat. Slick consultants will roll off the Toronto flight with their styled hair, $1,000 suits and big square leather briefcases. They add nothing to the process.

Avoid satellite service as a solution. Despite what you will be told, it does not work well. I have used it. It is awful – when it works.

If there is a winner, and there could be more than one, build in an enforceable penalty when they do not deliver as promised.

Demand that any winner subscribe to a policy of net neutrality. Be prepared to audit and enforce.

Be cautious of small community driven builds that do not partner with some of the big players. This is a complex demanding technology that requires expertise that communities typically will not have.

Demand that service of the network be Canada based. Demand that local technicians be domiciled in PEI.

Impose reasonable service standards. If a subscriber needs service mandate reasonable response times.

(Xplornet LTE service is an excellent example of how this can and should be done.)

Be cautious of acceptable use policies (AUP) which place unreasonable bandwidth usage caps. With higher speed access the data usage will increase drastically in typical households. When my household went from slow DSL to higher speed LTE my monthly data usage jumped from 7 gigs to over 200 gigs monthly. My monthly cap with Xplornet is 500 gigs and I expect when Winter overtakes us I will approach the monthly cap. Absolutely prohibit the blocking of certain types of data traffic.

Currently fibre to the home will provide the best service but will probably prove to cost more than our overlords can afford to subsidize.

Demand that any solution be future proof. What works today will be obsolete soon.

Our overlords have only one chance to get it right. Throwing taxpayer money to a system that under performs or is unreliable is a waste of OUR dollars and a guarantee of frustration.

I am not being negative. I think this is a worthy initiative and one I enthusiastically support. Having more than a little knowledge of building networks and the potential pitfalls I am merely being cautious. This initiative has the benefit of potentially bringing an essential service to under serviced area and will be politically popular in those areas.

Andrew Gillum — August 30, 2018

Andrew Gillum

For the past week I have been watching US mainstream news networks over lunch. The democrat candidate for governor of Florida is an intelligent, eloquent black Floridian who impresses me when he is interviewed. His delivery reminds me of Obama. He is trying (or claims to be) to stay out of the swamp.

Please read — August 17, 2018
Might be old news to others — August 13, 2018

Might be old news to others

But new to me. In the past week I required customer support for two tech related products. To my surprise they did not offer email nor telephone support. Support was only available via an app named Telegram.

I installed the app and asked my questions. I had answers in both cases in under 5 minutes. This is a new approach to customer service (to me) and when the provider of support is attentive it works well.

Cutting the cord — August 10, 2018

Cutting the cord

I am not a big TV watcher but I do enjoy ending my day watching a few programs that pass the mindless drool test. As do many who live outside the service area of the hard wired cable companies I use Shaw Satellite service. Is is reliable and the few times I needed service I was satisfied. However it is expensive.

With true high speed Internet access and using IPTV technology it is possible to have 1,300 English channels and if multi lingual one can choose from over 8,000 channels. It is not perfect but it is very very close. The cost is $12.95 monthly.

It is easy to understand why the conventional content delivery companies are facing each day with a pucker as their customers cut the cord.

There will be puppies — August 9, 2018
Flash back to 1967 —

Flash back to 1967

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing.

Thank you Roger Marcy, senior year English teacher.

A — August 5, 2018
Magpie — August 3, 2018