February 15, 2005

DaVinci Code & Broadband

The POTS line to my home has been thrown out and I am now connected to the web from there on a 64 Kbps SpectraSmart connection. As it is the case with every almost every so-called broadband connection in India, the only thing broad about it are the claims of being such a service. The good thing is that it offers me about 10 Kbps consistently and my data transfer has already topped 1.5 GB in just over two days and the sweetest spot is that I don't pay a dime over Rs. 600 for the service. So far it has been pretty okay, but I will wait a month at least before I give it any kind of a response.

The most obvious negative to the service is the fact that the connection does not come directly from Spectranet - the ISP who is providing the service. It reaches your home via the local service provider, who might be the MSO or a pure play cable Internet service provider. From what I could gather, the connections are made directly to a switch at the provider's headend, which is sitting on Spectranet's citywide fibre backbone. If you end up with a bad local service provider, which most of them are anyway, you would end up with horrible cabling, constant outages and blissfully ignorant tech support.

Ideally, this connection is meant to be used by people who spend a lot of hours online while not requiring a public IP address. The connection you are given is on a NAT enabled LAN and the accounting and session management framework is provided by Inventum Technologies. As far as I have tested it, most of the applications one would require - IM, email, gaming, browsing - works well out of the box and since the sessions are started and ended using just the web browser, there should be no OS-related issues.

Leaving the nightmares of the broadband kind behind, I can now not-so-gleefully inform you that I am one of the millions who have read the famous DaVinci Code and I just cannot help but wonder why the world+dog is going to town about the book. It is horribly written, the characters resemble clueless teenagers and if it was not for the mildly interesting plot, the only saving grace, the book would have been a total waste of time. Time and again, while reading the book, I was reminded how badly I missed the almost-obsessive detailing and masterful narration that was present in Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. This one can defiantly be given a miss.