KPTree - About

About this Site

This website content is under constant development

This Web site has been primarily set up for my personal use, it also allows me to tinker with these IT features and provides the associated learning. At this stage it is hosted on a virtual machine on my Linux home server.

For the home web and cloud server upload Internet connect speed is important, probably more so than download speed.

I appreciate that this website will not win any awards, in fact many would say it is ugly. However it is sufficiently functional to meet my needs. It also works reasonably well across different media player types. I possibly in the future would consider a Wiki style interface to make searching for information easier.

Internet Connection at Home

The home broadband connection has recently improved to VDSL2 from ADSL2+ and does seem to allow improved performance (circa maximum 25/14 versus 6.1/0.7mbps), hopefully sufficient for my personal use. Upload connection speed shows consistent 6.4mbps and download speed varies from 21.0-25.9mbps. The download speed seems limited by the VDSL connection whereas the upload speed connection seems to have about 14mbps capacity, so my VDSL connection speed currently seems limited to about 25/6.4mbps, as I am currently on the 25/5mbps package from my service provider. My Internet supplier recently offered the 50/20mbps plan for an additional $10/month, based upon available performance the only benefit would be improved upload, as the download speed is already at maximum available. The 25/10mbps NBN plan that would best match my needs and current VDSL maximum speed capacity is generally not available for sale. At this time I will stay on the 25/5mbps plan.

The maximum down speed over the past months has varied between 20-27mbps the upload speed maximum 13-14mbps. NBN only promise on FTTN a minimum 12/1mbps for 18 months after area upgrade and thereafter 25/5mbps. Furthermore, I am still happy with the 3x better upspeed and only marginal x1.5 down speed the 25/5 plan currently gives over the 12/1 plan. Just checked again, no change to the upload, but download maximum is back to >26mbps and capped to 25.9mbps. I will be interested to see performance over the next 24 months or so.

Systems and Loyalty

These preferences a based upon history and personal biases. There is no real right or wrong. Feel free to disagree. I you feel there is a real error OK, clarify. If you just want to force your opinion or state your opinion: take it elsewhere.

Computers and laptops (real tablets):

I have used many different computer systems in the past 35 years. I built the first ones myself from individual components and programed then in mnemonic codes. I had a BBC model B, and Amiga 1000 and then various MSDOS/Windows desktop computers and laptops since. I first tried Linux in 1998, but being in a remote location with no Internet access did not pursue at this time and tried again in 2011, setting up my first home server. I do not particularly like Apple computers, in large part from earlier experience and barriers due to relatively high cost and earlier impressions (right or wrong) of snobs using the dumbed down interface, coupled with the fanboy mentality associated with so many Apple users (then and now). I now use MS Windows for general use (2 Desk top machines at home, both with Intel Core i7 cpu with Nvidia graphics cards) and Linux (Ubuntu) for the home server. (1 home built server based upon Supermicro motherboard with Intel Atom C2750, 32gb RAM and 4x gigabit NICs.)

Tablets(Toys) and smart phones:

My first smart phone was a company MS Windows Mobile Phone. I thought that these phones were very good, in fact many of the features were better 10-15 years earlier than the current crop of smart phone. The MSLit app for reading books was simply there 10 years earlier and was better. There were perhaps most limited by their difficulty to use by the ordinary person and the limitations of the technology of the time, small screens that had to be effectively used with styles. In 2011 my HTC Windows mobile phone failed after 3+ years of use and I had to choose between the current options. Blackberry was never a real option, it always seemed to limited as a real smart phone. The choice was either Apple or Android. At that time I went with the Apple option, even though I do not like the Apple walled garden environment, it was the most polished option. Further my wife had been using the Apple phone the past 2 years and we already had a lot of good apps and familiarity. The Apple phone is arguably still the most polished option, and moving away from it now would not be easy. As to the tablets iOS or Android, I had a number of iPads and my kids still primarily use them, however when I got the MSSurface Pro 3 these devices looked like toys. For simple web browsing, reading online books, and playing games the toy tables a great and better, due to their lighter weight and ease of use, but the Surface Pro does all this and is a real computer, that is it does everything else...... It is even better using the remote Linux terminals (CLI or GUI) on the Surface Pro. I still have strong reservations about the Apple product, the dumbed down software, lack of user friendly filesystem system access, and the horrible propriety cables, and of course the absolute garbage bloated and clunky interface iTunes. (I find the lightning connector unreliable and Apple seems to play the propriety game that exacerbates this.) I now use an Apple iPhone 7 as my smart phone and MSSurface 3 Pro as tablet (and computer too).

Game Consoles:

I never had much time for game consoles, I preferred to use real computers. This is still my preferences. My sons have a PS4/3 and XBoxOne. The one boy is a PS fanboy, most annoying. Sadly my sons play far too much one these devices, to their detriment. I prefer the XBox to the Sony, the controllers charge from any USB charger, you can plug in any USB3 external harddisk to expand and the games work more transparently with the Windows Computer as do the controllers. The PSVita is sad, not only does it need to be exclusively charged from an appropriate Sony device, it also uses propriety Sony memory cards that are limited in size and availability, by also 4 - 10 time more expensive. I do not personally use a console. I have a desktop computer that I put together myself that I also use to occasionally play various games. I tend to play games only intermittently or with the kids.

Localisations

I am an Australian. Australian English is unique. (The greatest similarity is with New Zealand English, however there are also differences here too, minor differences, although some would say otherwise.) In comparison to the "main stream" English versions; British and American English, Australian English generally is generally closer to the British English, however popular culture and the large influx of American media in the past 50 or so years means it is reasonably flexible.

  • Australia is basically metric, following the ISO metric system (AS ISO 1000), although the archaic units are still commonly used, particularly (strangely) for baby weights. Some people still talk about weights using the Stone unit (British). Inch, feet, pound, etc. units are still used, but this seems to be slowly fading away with time. Australia officially and effectively went metric in the 1970's.
  • Australian's are generally taught to spell using British English, but are flexible with American English: colour/color, systemise/systemize, etc., but tend to use the British version formally.
  • Australians generally use the standard US keyboard, we have AU$, and do not use £, so the British keyboard is not normally used or preferred. (The British keyboard mapping is generally a pain in the arse for us, when it is somehow default mapped!) (The Australian dollar replace the Australian pound in 1966.)
  • Australia (see AS1612, ISO216 and ISO217) uses the ISO A paper sizes, mostly A4(210x297mm) and A3(297x420mm). We like most of the rest of the world, outside the North America, use ISO A sizes. The American(US) software that tends to hard default to LETTER size is a pain in the arse. (Microsoft). Sadly many neophytes (idiots) in Australia do not know (or care) about this issue and use the default American software setting, so documents are often in LETTER size or perhaps worse, a mish-mash or LETTER and A4! Modern printers often auto scale between A4 and LETTER size, shrinking the page contents about 8%.
  • Australia follows the general English speaking convention for use of Decimal marks in numbers, that is, decimal points not decimal commas.
  • Date and time formats. Australia tends to culturally follow the British (and Europeans) in this, day/month/year and hours:minutes:seconds(AM/PM). The Australian Standard AS ISO 8601, "Data elements and interchange formats - Information interchange - Representation of dates and times" and is identical to ISO 8601:2004. (The ISO 8601 date format is the most logical and follows the standard number format of most to least significant. The pervasive US date format using Month/Day/Year, is the least logical, mixing number significance!) (I prefer the ISO version of date and time YY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.)
  • Time zones, Australia is mainly spread across 3 time zones, which is further complicated by daylight savings in the southern eastern states. The east coast is nominally +10UTC and the west coast is +8UTC. I do not like daylight savings and am fortunate to live in a place that does not use it (Western Australia). Daylight savings makes no sense in localities that are close to the equator (close to and within the tropics), as the variation of day lengths throughout the year is minimal.