Bell and OTA vs. Rogers and TekSavvy

July 1, 2013 in My Own Experience

Internet (Bell Fibe 16 + 80GB)
About four years we chose Bell Canada to provide us with good quality internet that assured stable service, specially because our phone is VOIP and because I work from home. Our service was Fibe 16 package with an 80GB insurance plan (to give us more room for downloading movies, watching videos). Despite the extra allowance that gave us in total 155GB bandwidth, here and then we paid more for going over the cap, which is not difficult if you have Netflix and a family of four. So we paid $95/month with taxes up $125.

TV (OTA)
For the TV, we decided to go OTA (Over The Air), which is the way we watched TV in the past, using the antenna on the roof top. The kids hated not having all the channels. We loved the savings, the better image quality and the fact they didn’t have access to brainwashing commercials and not really educational kids programs. We complemented the programming with NetFlix ($7.99/month) to give us more movies and documentaries options.

A few months ago I read an article about TekSavvy and started researching about their service and read dozens of reviews. So we decided it was worth it a try and we were surprised by how much less it cost. We thought, since we’re saving with the internet, why not hire Rogers as a cable provider for the TV.  The total cost of TV and internet is still lower than Bell Fibe 16 with 80 GB allowance.

The Switch

Internet http://teksavvy.com/
We chose TekSavvy cable 25 MB which give us 300GB bandwidth. If you’re still with me, you will notice that this is almost double of what Bell offered us in bandwidth. The speed is also better and in fact, if you test it is always faster than what they promised.

TV Rogers packages
We chose the Rogers basic package. It gives us a good selection of channels, way more than OTA at least and it is stable.

It’s been 2 weeks since we switched the TV and 1 week since we switched the internet. So far so good. I will update this post if something comes up.

Comparison table

Internet Type Speed Bandwidth Price (taxes included)
Bell Fibe 16 DSL 16Mbps 155GB $95.93
TekSavvy Cable 25 Cable 25Mbps 300GB $45.14

 

Name Type Equipment req’ed Channels Price (taxes included)
OTA Over the air Antenna + TV w/ ATSC tuner 19 Free
Rogers Cable Rogers box + TV Over 43 $55.14

Dictionary: 

OTA Over The Air. It’s how we watched TV before cable. In 2011, most broadcasters switched to digital and the image quality is superb, way better than cable. This deserves its own post.
VOIP Voice Over Internet Protocol. This type of phone requires an internet connection to work.

The Apple Store Experience

April 13, 2013 in My Own Experience

PART I

My initial contact with the Apple Store was in September 2009, when I purchased my first mac, a 13″ Macbook pro. Apple does a great job with both hardware and Software making them functional and beautiful.

The second time I visited the Apple Store was to attend free training, available to happy new customers. We were 4 people attending the iWeb training and the instructor showed us many resources the tool had to offer.

Late in 2010 I replaced the hard drive with a Solid State Drive, SSD for short, following this post from EveryMac.com. Four months later my Mac crashed and I took it to the Apple store. At that time, I no longer had warranty, neither had I purchased the extended Apple Care. Regardless, I received VIP treatment, and the technician from the Genius bar got my MBP working again in less than 30 minutes. Another six months later and it crashed one more time and once again an Apple Store technician was very professional and identified the issue: the SSD drive, which was confirmed to be defective by its manufacturer, Kingston.

I gave up on the Kingston and replaced it with an OCZ SSD and the laptop runs so fast, it boots up in less than 25 seconds and turns off in about 5 seconds! Everything is fast and it’s a pleasure to use.

PART II

Despite all my love I ended up giving the MBP to my daughter and replacing it with a retina display one a.k.a. MBPr 13″.

After a week using it I started growing annoyed with several pop-up messages that came and went so fast it was impossible to read what they were trying to say. The Apple Support (phone support) was quite helpful but the errors continued and I decided it was best to do a clean install. This was my most recent trip to the Apple Store at Fairview Mall.

Promptly assisted, the technician at the genius bar agreed that a clean install was the best approach and started the process for me. At the end, something went wrong and although the OS was installed, it kept prompting to install it again. A few more attempts were made without success.

Without further delay, he reached out to his superior who offered me to replace the laptop with a brand new one.

Once again, Apple and Apple Store didn’t let me down and I highly recommend their products.

 

 

 

 

Tethering: From Samsung Galaxy Nexus to Macbook pro

April 13, 2013 in How to

IMPORTANT: Please note that you'll be using data from your mobile service and charges may apply. 
This solution is best if you have unlimited data plan from your phone provider.

OBJECTIVE: Share the internet connection from your phone with your Mac.

ON YOUR SAMSUNG GALAXY NEXUS

  1. Tap Applications
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Tap More…
  4. Tap Tethering & portable hotspot
  5. Tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot
  6. Put a check mark on Show password
  7. Tap Save

SCREENSHOTS

step1step2step3step4

 

step5step6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON YOUR MAC

  1. Click on the Wireless on top of your screen and choose Join other Network…
  2. Type the Network SSID into Network Name
  3. In Security, choose WPA2 Personal
  4. Type the Password from your Samsung Galaxy Nexus (see step 6 above)
  5. Click Join

SCREENSHOTS

Tethering_Mac1

 

 

Tethering_Mac

Macbook Pro Retina 13″ missing parts

April 7, 2013 in My Own Experience

Four years after I purchased my first Mac, my daughter convinced me it was time for her to inherit it. So it was time to visit the Apple store for another Macbook Pro 13″. This time with Retina display, a.k.a. MBPr.

The new Macbook Pro 13″ launched in 2013 is lighter and smaller than its 2009 version.

The reason it’s lighter and smaller is because it no longer comes with, the following:

↓ CD/DVD drive

↓ Front light indicating the computer is on

↓ Mini display port

↓ No Ethernet port

↓ Kensington lock slot

On the other hand, the new MBPr does come with:

↑ A G-O-U-R-G-E-O-U-S Retina display. It is great specially for reading.

↑ 2 Thunderbolt ports (you can use it to connect your external monitor, that you used to connect to a mini-display port)

 Final Review:

Apple found new ways to cut costs. I haven’t missed the Ethernet, but had to find alternatives to read CDs/DVDs. The workaround for the lack of a Kensington lock slot is to use a cable that attaches to your USB port.

Some Winter pictures from North York 2012-2013

February 18, 2013 in Photography

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