Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Non-Mac Stuff

And now for everything else… 😉

  • I’ve made a couple of minor changes to the Atom 1.0 feed – like on the RSS feed it now makes it clear if an entry has been extended, and I’m serving up XHTML instead of HTML. This means that the whole thing is one long XML document instead of an XML document with bits of escaped HTML in it.
  • Still no internet. I’m going to cancel Bulldog, since they’ve done almost nothing in the 4 weeks since we signed up, and properly cancel Tiscali, just in case they’re lingering about. I’ll then go back to PlusNet since they were never any problem last year.
  • NTL are now offering 10Mbps connections. Which is good news but I do hope this is combined with an improvement in their quality of service – Which? did a survey of broadband ISPs recently and NTL were bottom by a long way with only 19% of those interviewed ‘very satisfied’ with the service. Zen did very well, as did PlusNet, with Bulldog, Tiscali and Telewest coming mid-table. Still, hopefully my parents will be upgraded to the 10MB package sometime soon.
  • Or they could move to Chorleywood in Hertfordshire where NTL are trialling 20Mbps broadband. Lucky sods.
  • Textpattern is due to hit version 1.0 very soon, as is the final version of Movable Type 3.2 which I’ll upgrade to eventually.


  1. I don’t like NTL. It’s slow and the customer service staff are just morons. 45 minutes on hold at premium rate – and they then ‘forward’ your on – 45 minutes later the same happens etc…

  2. I use Telewest at home (which I thought would be pretty similar to NTL), the customer service staff are likely to be morons there too and no doubt it will cost £too much/min but then I have never had a complaint or any reason to talk to customer service about anything so I don’t really know. I know that Telewest doesn’t have a particularly good reputation but they seem pretty good (cheap too, compared to a lot of the ADSL services) from my experience .
    I’m trying to find good ISP in Manchester (Telewest isn’t available), one that just works- like any other utility.

  3. BT have never let me down Duncan!

  4. Telewest are trialling their 10MB service and I think it’ll appear sometime in the next couple of months. Presently they are at the expensive end but online at first glance.
    My £25 a month gets me a 1MB with no cap, and the latency is half the stated ADSL rates (taken from usage figures). PLUS my cable connection can be instantly upgraded, ADSL needs to wait on the exchange… I hear BT are moving to 8MB lines soon though.

  5. I was originally with Zen but moved to Plusnet for purely financial reasons. Zen is a very good company but I couldn’t justify staying with them when I could get unlimited 2mb connection for £14.99 plus vat when their is £29.78 ex vat. I was quite sad to leave but there you go.

  6. I’ve heard a whisper that NTL and Telewest are merging.

  7. The XHTML-part in atom is a bit tricky, since Bloglines are having trouble to parse the code correctly. For some reason the whitespace before and after a phrase that has some kind of markup (a, strong, acronym and whatever) gets deleted. Otherwise Bloglines seems to handle the Atom 1.0 ok.
    The behaviour with whitespace is afaik not present in sharpreader or any of the other Atom 1.0 ready readers.

  8. I’ve heard about the NTL/Telewest merger too 🙂
    As for Bloglines, yeah I noticed that too. Hmmm.

  9. I use and have done for the last few years. For 25+vat per month, I get a static IP address (very handy for server administration work – you can “poke” holes through firewalls), up to 2Mbps (my exchange only support 512kbps at the moment though), NO usage cap (BitTorrent and Linux ISOs are my friends!) and you also get your own “node/hostname” with reverse DNS, unlimited email addresses, no restrictions on servers running/tunneling etc (so if you want to run your own public webserver you can), USENET news feed, NTP time feed, Outgoing SMTP server, webmail, alright anti-spam solution, “dialup backup” for when you are on the move and “local rate” 24/7 technical support (with free phone service status line and online – via Web and Finger – status updates).
    Plus you can call yourself a Demonite which sounds a lot more fun than an “NTLweed” or an “AOLer” 🙂