Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why a white night

The word euphemism came to mind.
On the satellite disk mounted on the roof of the Fuso Szulc it is painted in proud red letters: Datastorm.
But there was no data storm at all.
The data transmission had slowed down to less than 2 kilobytes per second.
Even a snail would pass by the data transmission with hair waving because of its speed.

The usual speed of data transmission has been going down before.
But this time it was extremely slow and not going up.
Even after two days.
Very frustrating because e-mails came in at speeds of 0,5 KB per second taking forever.
Visiting websites virtually impossible unless reading a book at the same time while the site was downloading.
SKYPE phone calling impossible.
Watching TV from websites out of the question.

Because life now is in peace and harmony, the situation was approached calmly and professionally.

This Datastorm Satellite System was installed in the Fuso Szulc without additional explanations how to operate it.
There was also no instruction book.
It came with a CD-ROM with a manual and software but only useful for Windows.
Not for Apple computers.

For hours research was performed on the Internet.
To try to find a clue why the Datastorm was so slow.

There is a website of Datastorm users with different forums and FAQ.
There resolve and solutions were looked for.

Eventually the following was found out.

When subscribed to Datastorm and use the satellite, there is a limit to the data one can download.
It is 425 MB per day.
If somehow a customer uses more, for example by downloading movies, automatically the FAP kicks in and the customer’s data transmission speed goes down to snail pace.
FAP stands for Fair Access Policy and is a way to democratically share the capacity of the satellite.

Apple computers have standard software that looks for possible updates of the Apple operating system and the Apple software programs.
Like iTunes, iPhoto, etc.
This can be automated.
Last week Apple came with an update for the operating system.
For reasons unknown this update was enormous.
Over 600 MB.
That’s like putting an elephant into your computer!
But all fervent and loyal blog readers will understand that if this update is downloaded, after 425 MB of the 600 MB, the FAP becomes active and the happy life is over.

It takes 24 hours to get out of the FAP punishment.
There is even a website where one can see how many MB has been used and if one is in the FAP mode or not.

The solution was to switch off this effort of the Apple computer to want to download the update of over 600 MB and wait 24 hours.
To return to the normal speeds.

There is a gimmick.
Datastorm allows downloading as many MB’s as a customer would like without that it counts for the FAP maximum of 425 MB.
This is though between 2.00 AM and 7.00 AM. E.T.
Download speed during that time will depend how many people use this option.
The more are downloading, the slower it gets.

There are people who use download manager software and program the computer to download during the happy hours.
But in case of the Fuso Szulc, to get the Apple software update, it will be a white night.


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