25/09/2016

Well, our Internet problems are not yet a thing of the past. Oh, we have Internet access all right. And for once it’s not Orange with the problem. Apart from speed, of course – the Orange line is currently running at 500kps instead of their promised 2Mbps. Satellite speed on the other hand is over 20Mbps. The technology is working fine.

No, the problem lies with the satellite service provider, Europasat. The service was up and running on the 4th of July. Now bear in mind we’re limited to a total of 20Gb in traffic – that’s both uploading and downloading. For reasons best known to themselves, Europasat have decided the limit is 17Gb for download, and 3Gb for upload. Here’s the technical bit. When you access a web page, your browser sends a request to the server. This request is considered an “upload”. And the server sending the web page to your browser is the “download”. Clear? Right. Now for the following paragraph I think you need at least a master’s degree in Advanced Mathematics.

Having happily used the satellite for a week, I thought I’d check our usage statistics. Shock! Europasat’s web page reported that we’d used 13.73Gb of our 17Gb download allowance. Not a chance. For ordinary web surfing and emails? No way. And the 3Gb upload allowance? Er, that didn’t make sense. Apparently we’d used negative 0.27Gb, so out of the 3Gb allocated, we still had 3.27Gb left to use.
Add the two together: 13.73+3.27=17.00.
20Gb allowance – 17Gb = 3Gb unaccounted for.
Fast forward two months. Our usage is still showing the same figures. In other words, their system is not updating itself.

Anyway, that’s not the problem. Although we’re supposed to pay €39.95 per month for this service, it took them three weeks to take the connection fee and first payment. That was for July’s service. Since then, nothing. We basically owe them for two month’s service, but they’re just not taking the money. I even called them up at the end of August and spoke to their accounts department, explaining that we had agreed to a monthly payment. What we didn’t want was to pay nothing for ages, and then have say ten months’ worth of subscriptions suddenly taken from our bank account in one go. This sort of thing plays havoc with the budget.
“Oh yes, I see. There’s a problem. Well I’m not going to be able to resolve it on the phone now, we’ll look into it.”
As of today, they still haven’t taken August or September’s payments.
I don’t know how they’re surviving as a company with this sort of attitude to cash-flow.
So although we’re happy with the technology, Europasat’s customer service and accounting leave much to be desired. In all honesty, if you’re considering satellite internet, don’t use Europasat.

In other news, the limecrete floor for the barn has progressed; there’s less than a quarter left to do. However, we’ve run out of gravel, so we’ll need to take a trip to the quarry next week. As long as the weather holds out and temperatures do not drop too much, we may even have the floor base finished this year. Here’s one of the latest photos:

Limecrete
Limecrete

Oh yes, I’d forgotten. You haven’t seen the finished bathroom yet. It’s a bit difficult to photograph, but here’s what it looks like now:

Finished bathroom
Finished bathroom

As far as husbandry is concerned, this year has been an “annus horribilis” for the bunnies. Mrs. Bunny did not have a litter after all, so she is now in the freezer. Neighbour J gave us a replacement Mrs Bunny. Unfortunately two weeks later we lost one of the last batch to myxomatosis. And it looks very much like the three remaining animals have it as well.

Chirpy is still doing fine and has the run of the garden. She particularly likes it when LSS digs up potatoes, because there are Things To Eat (like mole cricket larvae and various other beetles and grubs).
Speaking of hens, the other nineteen have become Houdinis, and escape from their enclosure on a regular basis. We’ve discovered that the reason for this is that the plastic netting has become perished. They stick their heads through the mesh to get to a particularly juicy blade of grass, the mesh tears, and off they go. So as mentioned previously, I’m constructing replacement fencing panels out of chicken wire. I estimate some 50 panels are needed. I’ve made and installed 15 so far.

The gravel road on the property is now fully repaired; all the potholes have been filled. And I’ve also thinned a couple of oaks alongside the repaired road, bringing back the wood to be processed and stored in the wood-shed. Next I need to tackle some leaning birch and aspens in the field we call Soggy Bottom. We gave it that name because it’s at the bottom of the property, the ground is normally very wet for most of the year, and if you sat down that’s what you’d get.

2 thoughts on “25/09/2016”

  1. Keep ’em coming Rob. I love reading about your trials and tribulations. I started following you from your ST1100 site. I have a 1990 L model – love it!

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