The Holiday Season is now behind us and the New Year is waiting to unfold itself to our wondering eyes. I thought, at this junction, I would pause for a look back at my blogs from 2012 and see what kind it year it has been. I may even update a few things along the way.
The First Quarter of 2012:
From January through March 2012 we brought we created and added pages to our website giving instructions on how to configure email on many of your mobile devices. The big three were covered in these blogs – Blackberry, Apple iOS and Android. I am happy to report that so far the instructions we have provided have been helpful to our clients. For those of you who would like the links to these sites repeated…
Blog post links:
January (Setting up email on Apple iOS): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/01/setting-up-an-email-account-on-iphone-or-ipad/
February (Setting up email on a Blackberry): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/02/setting-up-an-email-account-on-a-blackberry/
May (Setting up email on an Android device): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/05/setting-up-an-email-account-on-an-android-mobile-device/
The Second Quarter:
In April I covered ways to minimize outgoing messages being tagged as Spam by our mail server. In that blog I suggested that making your email look less Spammy by making your email look more like plain text and less like a web page will decrease the likelihood of getting tagged as Spam. As well, using our secure mail settings will reduce to chance of getting tagged as Spam to zero. The added benefit of using our secure mail settings is that you can send email from anywhere (you can always receive email from anywhere regardless of what settings you use). Here is the URL to review our secure settings page:
Skyway secure email settings: http://www.skywaywest.com/support/email-client-setup.php#secure
Blog post (April: How to prevent Outgoing Mail being Tagged as Spam): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/04/how-to-prevent-outgoing-email-getting-tagged-as-spam/
May’s post dealt with one of my customer experience blogs. In this case we had a client that was experiencing a slow-down in their service. Tracking down the problem was hard. We had sent techs to site, tried swapping out equipment and even involved the Telco. The issue ended up being wiring related. Once the cable pair had been changed the service began working correctly again. I am happy to report there have been no further problems reported since the change.
Blog post (May: Solving an Unusual Bonded ADSL problem): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/05/internet-support-solving-an-unusual-bonded-adsl-problem/
To end the year’s second quarter I started a three-part blog on causes of a slow Network. The first part of this trilogy dealt with the issue of saturation. In this segment I looked at network congestion. That is, looking across your internal network for bottlenecks (spots in your network that can be slowing you down). In this blog I give you some instructions on using tools already available to you to identify this problem. I also try and provide some help to resolve the situation.
Blog post (June: Using an Internet Speed Test to Fix Network Saturation): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/06/use-internet-speed-test-to-fix-network-congestion-and-saturation/
The Third Quarter:
Continuing along on my congestion theme the next two months covered packet loss and congestion on the Internet. In truth I found these two sections very interesting to write and I ultimately ended up learning a few new things myself. As with the first part of this three-part series I attempt to explain a little about saturation, try to help detect where the problems exist and provide ideas on how to fix the problems if at all possible.
July post (Network congestion and packet loss): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/07/network-congestion-part-2-use-internet-traceroute-tracert-to-find-congestion-and-saturation/
August post: (more on Internet saturation): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/08/network-congestion-part-3-packet-loss-and-the-impact-on-network-performance/
September was a big blog month with the announcement that Telus had given us some new ADSL tools to use. These new tools consisting of one that allows us to see what a given circuit looks like from Telus’ perspective, once that allows us to reset a Telus port remotely and one to reconfigure the ADSL ports on the fly. The feeling of these tools was that we would be able to save a lot of time by doing some of this work ourselves thereby minimizing downtime for clients. I can happily announce that these tools have lived up to our expectations. There are still some regions that we do not have access to yet but they should eventually become available. Until then Telus is still able to assist us they always have.
Blog (Sept: New Diagnostic Tools from telus): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/09/new-telus-diagnostic-tools-improve-skyway-adsl-service-and-support/
The Fourth Quarter:
The October blog started off the quarter by announcing a big breakthrough – higher speed bonding services. Our first bonding services were limited to a max speed of 30 Mb. A change in equipment now has allowed our clients to hit 100 Mb or more. Where this really helps is upstream traffic. You can bond 5 and 10 Mb up services and get all of it (less a small bit used by the system for overhead traffic). The best part is the pricing is still better than fiber. Clients using the service tare reporting a very high level of satisfaction.
October post: New Higher speed Bonding Service: https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/10/bonded-high-speed-cable-internet-service-scores-a-touchdown-for-cfl-team/
The last two blogs of the year I devoted to the latest version of Microsoft Windows. That, of course, would be Windows 8. This new operating system (OS), touts itself as a revolutionary rethinking of the product. It has been rewritten to take advantage of touch screens so it can be ported onto laptops, tablets and cellular phones very easily. The extra benefit is if you are familiar with one version you will find it easy to adapt to other versions on different devices. There are some drawbacks with the new version especially for anyone using a mouse with the new version. Still, there is enough similarity between this version and Windows 7 (less the standard Start menu that has been a Windows staple since 1995) that it shouldn’t take a user too long to get the hang of it. I can say that I have not removed Windows 8 from my PC since the writing of my blog. So far it works acceptably. I really like Internet Explorer 10, though I do miss the Start menu. I may still install Start8 (a third party program that restores the start menu like in Windows 7). We’ll see…
Blog post, Nov: Should you Upgrade to Windows 8?: https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/11/should-you-upgrade-to-windows-8/
Blog post, Dec: Windows 8 First Impressions): https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/12/first-impressions-of-windows-8-a-review/
Configure your Internet using Windows 8: https://www.blog.skywaywest.com/2012/12/configuring-windows-8-pc-to-use-skyway-west-ip-and-dns-settings/
Whew, 2012 brought some big changes. So many interesting new and exciting things have come to light. It has been a year of challenges but we’ve met those challenges and come out on top. We have a well seasoned team here at Skyway West! I am both proud and honoured to be a part that. To the rest of the team I want to say thanks for being there to be MY support when needed. You are all very much appreciated.
And now, as we move into 2013 we’ll be facing even more exciting changes. Alright, I’ll give you one right now. We’ve already begun to sell this product in a limited fashion so you may have hear already but Skyway West is now reselling Cable Internet services through Shaw. If you are interested in pricing and other details please refer to the web page URL below and/or contact Skyway Sales at 604-482-1225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a question or an idea for a topic you would like to see covered in one of my upcoming blogs? Write to email@example.com and sound off. I’ll do what I can to address your questions or concerns either personally in a reply email or on the blog. Until next month, take care.