10Mbps with WiMD

Post by Mark

After trying out WiMD with unlimited speed I finally had to decide on what connection I was going to subscribe to and I decided to go with the 10Mbps. I originally wanted to go with 15Mbps but decided KD72 a month is more than what I was willing to pay. 10Mbps is KD523 a year which works out to KD43.5 a month and to me is a much more reasonable amount.

I’ve had this connection for 2 days now which is enough time to get a first impression. Browsing is still super fast and I managed to download torrents at speeds of around 1.3MB/s to 1.5MB/s which is pretty fast. I imagine with a 15Mbps connection you would get around 2MB/s to 2.3MB/s speeds. The best part is that even if I’m downloading torrents at full speed it doesn’t hinder my browsing experience. Not sure how that is possible but with all my previous connections I always had to limit my torrents download speed so I could still have some bandwidth left to browse with. With WiMD on the other hand I’ve got my torrents set to download at full speed and I browse with no slowdown.

Below are speedtest results. This isn’t very accurate because for example you have various speedtest servers in London and when testing one would give me a very low ping rate of under a 100 but the download rate would be around 4Mbps while another would give me a higher ping rate in the 300’s but with a higher download speed. Thats why I decided I would perform the test on all the servers and post the ones with the highest download speeds.

I really hope the connection doesn’t suffer in the long run once more and more users sign up. That’s actually my only concern but I’ll post an update 6 months down the line and let you guys now how things turned out. If you want to get a second opinion Marzouq over at zDistrict just signed up to a 20Mbps connection and posted about it [Here]

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First Impression: WiMD Internet

Post by Mark

Last week I posted about a new internet provider that I found out about. Turns out they aren’t really new and have been in business for some time now but they were catering mostly to companies and certain individuals until they decided to expand their presence and showed up at InfoConnect for the first time this year. I was looking for a new internet provider myself so I got in touch with them and they came over yesterday to install it.

The internet provider is called WiMD which stands for Wireless Mobile Data. They provide you (obviously) with wireless internet to your home using the 5 GHz wavelength which is kinda similar to a wifi connection except it can transmit a lot further (in theory around 70km I think). To setup their connection you require the installation of a small white box that needs to be pointed to one of their towers. This is probably the most difficult and complicated part since the box needs a direct line of sight to their towers. If you’re living in an area like Salwa, Mishref or Bayan where all the buildings are low then you won’t have a problem. But, if like me you live in an area where you’re surrounded by tall apartment buildings and in my case Salmiya, then you’ll most likely NOT be able to get a direct line of sight. But I got lucky.

When they came over they tried installing the box on one of my balconies but it wouldn’t work. One balcony had tall buildings blocking my line of sight to their Hawalli tower while the other balcony wasn’t pointing towards their Ras Salmiya tower. Since the box is tiny I managed to get permission from my building to install it on the roof specially since we were just going to connect it to an existing pipe. Once we got onto the roof we were able to see their Salmiya tower (which is the communications/post office building near Salmiya Coop) and get a strong connection.

The white box is small and light and can be connected to any existing post on top of your building. You then need to run an Ethernet cable from the box down to your apartment and to your router or directly to your computer. There are two different connection speeds you need to know about. The first is the actual connection speed from your apartment to their tower. In my case the connection speed was around 15Mbps. The second connection speed is the one you subscribe to. So say you have a 15Mbps connection to their tower but you subscribe to their 1Mbps internet connection then you get just a 1Mbps internet connection. WiMD uses internet providers like Fasttelco, Zajil etc.. to provide their customers with internet. That is a good thing because it means if one internet provider is congested or having problems their system is smart enough to shift the balance over to the rest of their providers.

Right now I think they have my connection speed unlimited, so I’m getting internet as fast as my connection to their tower can handle. I’ve provided some speed test results below but really they do not do justice to the connection. Ignore the numbers below because in real world use the connection is super fast. Regular browsing which is what I do 90% of the time is very quick with instant page loads and no sort of lag whatsoever. Downloading files varies, I was downloading the 1.3GB Lion update from Apple at around 300kbps but that’s because I had one session open and it’s probably a limit by Apple. By using the software SpeedDownload I opened up a number of sessions and hit 1.2MB/s. I downloaded torrents as well and the accumulated speed of all my torrents was around 2.85MB/s! That’s by far the fastest I’ve ever downloaded torrents. Whats even better is the fact that while my torrents were downloading at that speed I was still browsing as usually not noticing any slowness. Their upload speed is also faster then anything I’ve ever had before.

I had my brother who lives next door and connected to my network try out gaming online and this is what he emailed me back:

The connection is f****** amazing. I always had trouble playing Halo but with this new connection there’s zero lag at all. Literally, no lag. I would have trouble connecting to games, no trouble here. Pretty cool

and later

I just tried FIFA, another game I had issues with, worked really well.

So first impressions, this connection kicks ass. Now I just need to figure out what speed to subscribe to. Originally I was thinking 6Mbps, then moved up to 10 and now really want to go even faster but once you go higher their connection isn’t exactly cheap. Below are their yearly prices again in case you missed my previous post:

1Mb KD130
1.5Mb KD150
2Mb KD180
3Mb KD225
4Mb KD270
5Mb KD320
6Mb KD325
7Mb KD355
8Mb KD390
9Mb KD473
10Mb KD523
11Mb KD590
12Mb KD660
13Mb KD730
14Mb KD800
15Mb KD870
16Mb KD940
17Mb KD1,010
18Mb KD1,080
19Mb KD1,150
20Mb KD1,220

If you’re interested in a connection you can call them on 22475841 and 22475842 or visit their website [Here]

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The Windows Phone

Post by Mark

I finally met someone who has a Windows Phone and I have to ask this but why would anyone choose Android over Windows? I’m a huge iPhone and iOS fan but if I was gonna change to another system it wouldn’t be Android (which to me looks like a cheap Apple clone) it would be to Windows Phone. Instead of trying to make their operating system look like an iPhone they’ve done something completely different and I love it.

I got to play around with the phone briefly but visually I found the system appealing with smooth and cool animations. From what my friend demonstrated to me it’s also a very social networks friendly phone allowing you to stay connected with close ones in a similar way you would on Facebook.

If you have an iPhone or Android phone you can actually try a demo of Windows Phone by visiting the following url from your phone:

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Review: Digumz Video Game Rental

Post by Mark

Digumz is a local video game rental website which I posted about back in March. Three weeks ago I decided to sign up and try them out and I’m really loving them so far.

Registration was a pretty simple procedure and I had two options for payment, K-net but I would have to leave a deposit or credit card and no deposit. I opted for the credit card payment and once the account was setup proceeded to order my first game. I went with Gears of War 3 and they managed to deliver it the same evening. They drop off the games and pick them up when you’re done and there are no delivery charges which is fantastic.

Their website is really easy to use and practical. Ordering a game is pretty simple and quick. You flip through their site, find a game you want and then click on the “Rent Now” button and it will be added to the queue list. If you don’t have anything on that list the game will be dispatched to you immediately. You could then continue to add games to your queue list and arrange them according to your priorities.

When you want to swap a game you go to your “Games I have” list and click on the “request game exchange” button and the next game on your list gets dispatched. In case your first choice isn’t available they will dispatch your second, if the second isn’t available the third and on and on.

Now there really aren’t any negatives, at least not for me since when I signed up their prices started at KD7 a month. For that price I can rent as many games as I want per month but only 1 game at a time. A couple of weeks back though they increased their prices and now the most affordable package starts at KD15. Lucky for me and everyone who signed up before the price increase, our memberships will continue to be renewed at KD7 a month which is great. At KD15 a month I don’t think I would have signed up since I am probably going to be renting only 1 game a month. For KD15 a month I might as well buy a game a month instead of renting. If you are planning to rent at least two games then KD15 a month would make more financial sense. They also have other packages in which you could rent more than a game a month but of course those packages also cost more.

Here is the link to the Digumz website [Link]
They also have another website where they sell games, here is the link to that website [Link]

At KD7 a month I’m really loving Digumz.

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How to get Siri to learn your home or work address if you live outside the US

Post by Mark

A friend of mine figured out a way to get Siri to learn your home and work address as well as other addresses. Just follow the steps below:

1) Open the Maps App
2) Find your home, office or other location
3) Place a pin on the street in front of your location. Street not building or land etc…
4) Click the blue arrow that appeared over the pin
5) Click on Add to Contacts
6) If it’s your office address add it to your contact info
7) Go to your contact info, click on edit, then go down to the address you just added and make sure the label for that address is work (or if it’s your home address then home)

And that’s it. You can now tell Siri to remind you when you get home or to your office and she will do it. You could also add locations like super markets for example so you could tell teach Siri where Sultan Center is and then tell her to remind you to pick up milk once you get to Sultan Center and she’ll do that.

Thanks Saleh!

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My iPhone 4S is shipping!

Post by Mark

For those of you who aren’t aware, you can order the new iPhone 4S from the UK Apple Store online. I didn’t post about this earlier since I wanted to make sure it would actually work but I just checked the status of my order and it’s getting ready to ship so it’s working. That’s how I ordered my iPhone last year as well, the cost is decent around KD227 for the 16GB and you just have it ship to your Aramex Shop and Ship UK address. The phone is also factory unlocked so you can use it as soon as it gets here. [UK Apple Store]

Note: If you want a UK forwarding mailbox you can get one by signing up with Aramex [Here]

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Don Draper Pitches Facebook Timeline

Post by Mark

If you don’t watch Mad Men you won’t get this. [YouTube]

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Spotify in the car

Post by Mark

Last month I signed up to the Spotify music service and since then I’ve been using it non-stop. Imagine iTunes with an unlimited supply of music and you have Spotify. Just search for whatever artist or album you want and you can start listening to it right away and it’s free. If you don’t want to sign up to any of their paid subscriptions you can listen to music but every now and then you get interrupted by ads. If you do subscribe to a package then there are many advantages including the ability to use their iPhone app.

If you sign up to the Premium Spotify account you will automatically be granted access to their iPhone app which is a downsized version of their desktop software yet with all the same capabilities. If you’re lucky like me and have a car stereo that allows you to stream music to it using bluetooth then you’re in for a nice surprise because Spotify works flawlessly with 3G. So far in the two days I’ve been using it I haven’t had any streaming problems. In fact, it’s been very responsive and fast when searching for artists and playing or forwarding songs. You really forget the fact that the music is actually being streamed and even the sound quality is pretty darn good. Spotify in the car is just incredible.

So if you haven’t signed up to Spotify you can do so by visiting their website [Here]

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Kuwait team at Imagine Cup finals 2011

Post by Mark

I can’t believe I forgot to post about this ahead of time but the Worldwide Finals of Imagine Cup 2011 were held yesterday in New York and a team from Kuwait where there competing in the software category. They came up with this idea which they wanted to present to the Ministry of Interior in hopes of having it implemented so we could get a lot of day to day problems solved. I previously posted about them and their idea [Here] if you want to read more on it.

I was just checking the results page and it doesn’t seem they won. Even though I think they must have gained a lot of experience competing at an international level and I’m sure they’re going to be coming back with even more motivation. I really hope the Ministry of Information will still help them bring their idea to life, since it’s an idea that will help make Kuwait a better place. Here is a page from the Imagine Cup 2011 yearbook which has details about the Kuwait team, their project and their intentions. [Yearbook Page]

Picture by @ahamshay

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Forum now works with Tapatalk

Post by Mark

The 248AM Forum now works with the mobile application Tapatalk. The application allows you to browse and participate in the forum using your phone but it makes it really easy since it uses the Tapatalk interface. What’s also cool about Tapatalk is the fact you can add all your favorite forums to it which makes things very convenient. The application is currently available for the iPhone, Android devices and BlackBerry and you can find out more information [Here]

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