Uncommon knowledge – fast network

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today’s lesson is; holy simplicity. Another one: there’s no common knowledge, or if there is, take the time to hear it from many sides of the table.

Common knowledge is a kind of tricky concept. How I perceive it: it’s something that (a) many people hold true, but not necessarily because of it would have been tested to be true. Common knowledge says a lot of things; it’s the memes of our cultural heritage, carried over within and across populations; “Don’t buy a cheap car”, “Avoid X”, “Do this”. You know.

We come to believe certain limits and individual facts, by mere cognitive lazyness: to test everything, to be suspicious of everything, would indeed “kind of” allow us to be equally resistant to false knowledge, but it would also dramatically slow down our practical sense and wisdom. Common knowledge is the B-class social oil, better when there’s not much more available.

I believed that the neighbourhood I was living in just happened to have bad mobile network connectivity. I’d tried to do a lot of tricks, to improve the speed with which my laptop operated via the 3G modem. But then, perhaps due to too many attempts, I just came to believe that indeed it would be vain to resist ‘the bad luck’. Next steps would have really involved building semi stable antenna structures, and I just really wanted to get over with the problem – you know, “a good net, easily”. I was at times really frustrated. Being online is a must for me, both in life in general and for work purposes.

Short takeaway: got a mobile, well working 11 mbit/s connection. And it’s going to be even faster in the future. Hooray DNA!

I finally got a decent 3G connection to laptop. It’s now approximately 11 mbit/s downstream – a major improvement to 1 mbps. The difference is not only in bulk download speeds, but also the responsiveness is much better; ie. things really happen.

It’s a Novatel wireless ‘Ovation’ modem MC547, which supports also the future technology of dual carriers. Dual carriers means that the modem reserves another, extra band to data so it can achieve higher speeds than would be possible with an ordinary modem technology. As of now there’s very few dual carrier enabled 3G towers, so the feature will roll in slowly over the country.

I ran into the decision by having two facts: since the time when the last 3G modem was bought, tech had been changing and improving pretty much. That much was sure. But the interesting part of this deal came when I noticed that the two fiercely competing operators had their shops almost next to each other. I first took a trip to the one I thought would probably be my choice. They had a sleek outlet, always without any queues, but still customers coming in steadily. The competitor had a sleazy shop, with a lot of people complaining about the products, and thus the service personnel were really sweating it out.

Good news was that the price dropped from 19,- a month to 18,- a month. Also a major good news was that the speed expected from the modem was about 15-20 fold, compared to the old one – and, in the future, automatically upgraded to even better counts.

What about simplicity? It’s the inescapable question of feature-creapism, and the practical must to select some kind of a configuration out of technical system, which finally comprises a product. At home this complexity is present as three laptops, all having different operating systems, and different health. But seems that now that I started writing voluminously, it’s better to get down to that later on. Cheers! Happy camper with a mobile connection logs out for the moment.



Reading Time: 2 minutes

Lately I’ve been immersed in tech with a fresh outlook – namely getting back to study towards a Master’s in Aalto University. I was working a lot during 2000-2008, also experiencing along the way the setup of my own business. But times change and I’ve come to really miss the academia; plus getting a diploma surely wouldn’t hurt.

Computer science is a field of its own. It’s a bit different than the everyday application of “daily IT”. Both have their time and place, and usually the theoretical part of Comp. Sci leads to ideas and activity in the everyday information technology field. Sometimes though even a Ph.D. in theoretical things doesn’t lead to anywhere in consumer applications.

What I’m really glad about is that Aalto seems to offer a neverending depth of study, in various fields. There’s nowadays 3 universities which combined into Aalto. It has to offer a strong palette of business, arts and design and core technology courses. From film production studies to nanomaterials and medical imaging, and anything you can possibly imagine between.

I went to Aalto one day. You see, it had been 3 years in between. The place was very much the same, but a lot of infrastructure had changed. It was a pleasure to get enrolled once again. No more hassle with payments; the guild room for tutoring had computers where you could use electronic banking to immediately pay tuition fee (btw. this is mere 80 eur for a semester).

I’m thrilled when I spend days in the university. The people, the computer classes, everything. It’s the uplifting feeling that makes a big difference. Even though I’m currently a remote student most of the time, every time I get to the campus area I take a deep breath, and enjoy what I’m doing. Aalto atmosphere.