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recommendations

New cable modem

Maybe it was getting old, or maybe the much-increased traffic from pandemic WFH caused problems, but for whatever reason our Spectrum-provided cable modem has been a problem. I’ve had to power cycle it a few times to clear slowdowns. Symptoms – speed tests dropped down to under 10 megabits, and on reboot would rebound to over 200. (We’re paying for 400/25 and seem to be provisioned for faster.)

Having seen similar problems before, I first narrowed the suspects down by power cycling the (apple) access point and (Mikrotic) backbone switch and (ER-4) router; none sufficed but a modem cycle did. I found the Spectrum supported modems page, did some research and bought the Netgear CM1000v2 direct from the manufacturer and installed it today.

Install was painless. I called Spectrum’s activation line (877-309-5869) and waited for a callback. The tech took the MAC address, waited patiently for the power, sent down an activation packet and waited for reboot and DHCP to the router. Easiest install I’ve ever had with any ISP!

Now things are back at line speed and I’m a lot happier. I’m spending hours a day on Zoom and BlueJeans and now Google Meet, so fast and reliable internet is rapidly becoming essential.

fast.com is a great test
Admin interface is basic

The CM1000v2 isn’t their fastest – they have ones that can gang 2 or 4 gigabit ports together. I decided not to bother, as 1G is the max available locally and going faster than that would cascade to needing a new router and possibly multipoint wireless. I’ll wait.

New gear

I considered the other supported modems, but the Arris ones ran hot and some had the problematic Intel Puma chipset; hard pass. Do your research if you’re thinking of buying an Arris SB8200 Rev 4 or Arris SBG8300.

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Site news

Back to blogging

So for years, I had a self-hosted blog, running WordPress on my Debian server at home. I still have a family-only blog running that way, but my fnord.phfactor.net was, frankly, a pain to keep running. Comment spam, exploits, maintenance, etc. I tried static sites and discovered that desktop-only authoring was a blocker.

So I’ve been quiet for a few years, with¬†notable¬†exceptions that I’m now also tired of maintaining. I do, however, quite like to write and share, so today I bit the bullet and paid for a personal plan here on WordPress, plus a paid theme. Let’s see how this goes; the total out of pocket for the first year was $48 for the WP and $45 for the theme; enough that it should remind me to post but not enough to annoy my spouse.

So let’s see how this goes!