I’ve just upgraded to the 30 MB/s internet plan at Charter cable (and added HBO so we can watch Game of Thrones), so here’s the obligatory speedtest results.

1 GB refers to a gigabyte (10^9 bytes) in this context, since we are talking about file sizes and network speeds. If we were talking about RAM, a GB would actually refer to a gibibyte. However, 1 Mb is a megabit (10^6 bits), not a megabyte (10^6 bytes), because of the small-case b. So 1 Mb is actually 1/8 MB (since there are 8 bits per byte).

(size) / (speed) = (time)

(18.3 x 10^9 bytes) / ( (30 x 10^6 bits / sec) x (1 byte / 8 bits) = 18.3 x 10^9 * 8 / 30 x 10^6 = 4880 seconds = 81.3 minutes

Wolfram Alpha gets the answer right, too (and I like teh natural language query – very intuitive).

Now, suppose I’m rocking 300 KB/s according to a certain beta software download client. How am I really doing? The capital B means it is kilobytes, so that’s actually 300 x 10^3 x 8 = 2400 x 10^3 = 2400000 = 2.4 Mbps. Wait, what??

This is why it’s important to do the math. Of course, the download speed may be limited by a lot of other factors, most notably how fast the server at the other end can deliver the data. I clocked almost 40 Mbps doing a speedtest with some local, low-ping server somewhere, but for downloading this big file I’m probably going a lot further and their server has a lot more to do than humor my ping requests. I guess I should be satisfied.

(But, I’m not. grrr….)

## screwed again by Charter Cable?

ARGH.

I renewed my service with Charter last fall, drawn in by the promise of \$400 rebate if I renewed the “triple play” service of voice, data, and cable TV. Its been months without my rebate arriving so I sent in a query to the helpful (until now) email contact, having learned the utter futility of having phone conversations with Charter’s customer service.

Here is my email to Charter customer service:

Hello,

I am writing to inquire about the status of my \$400 rebate for renewing my Charter service last year. I had signed up for a triple-play package with voice, internet, and television with a two-year contract, and was supposed to have received \$400 credit. Kindly advise on the status of my rebate. Thank you.

name on account – XXXX
service phone – XXX

Regards
Aziz Poonawalla

Aziz

Thank you for contacting us with your question, weâ€™ll be happy to look into the status of your gift card. For future reference, and for a faster reply please send your inquiry to Umatter2Charter@chartercom.com.

After reviewing the order history on the account we donâ€™t see a qualifying service order placed within the timeframe of the current gift card promotion period.

Unfortunately you do not qualify for the offer and will not receive a gift card.