Archive for May, 2013

Throttle upload bandwidth in Windows (QoS)

Friday, May 24th, 2013

I have digital cable service from Time Warner. It is not the great but still decent. Currently my upload speeds are limited by Time Warner at 1Mbps. The highest I can get in my area is 5Mbps but it is costly. My point is I have an upstream problem. If I want to share files of  any sort of size, it takes forever and slows everything else down as you need both up and down to do anything on the internet.

Recently I have found a solution and it has been in Windows since Vista. Also in Win7, Win8, Server 2008 and 2008R2. Windows ships with Bandwidth throttling specifically for uploads. The following is how to set it up.

Start off by opening up the group policy editor. To do this open the start menu, type “gpedit.msc” , and hit enter. The edit should open, just navigate to “Policy-based QoS” which is found in Computer Configurations -> Windows Settings. This can also be for the user configuration too.

gpedit

Right Click on “Policy-based QoS” and select “Create New Policy…” This will start the wizard.

In the following windows you can setup how and what the policy will throttle. In step 1, the policy is named and this is where the maximum outbound (upload) speed is set.

step1

In step 2, an specific application or url can be setup to be throttled.

Step2

In step 3 the source or destination IP can be set.

Step3

And lastly in step 4, the source and/or destination port can be setup to be throttled.

Step4

For me, I can typically set limits on an application or just the computer as a whole as I have such little bandwidth to go around. This has become really useful for applications like Google Drive Sync that does not have native support for throttling bandwidth.

A side note, more and more consumer routers are able to do QoS and bandwidth management but that is a different post altogether.

EDIT: In some cases, a registry key may need to be changed in order for this to work. More info can be found at the following link. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2733528

Short overview of living with Dyslexia.

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

I have 3 learning Disabilities: Dyslexia, Dysnomia, and Dysgraphia. What follows is what it has been like for me over the course of my life.

During the first years of my schooling, I mirror wrote perfectly. My teachers claimed this was a phase and I would grow out of it. To some extent this is true but it is also a sign of a learning disability. At this time, I was not reading at a the level I should have been. My teachers told my parents they needed to read with me more. So they did. For 1st and 2nd grade, things followed the same path. My parents and I were frustrated.

Then I got lucky. My 3rd grade teacher, at the risk of her job, told my parents that I should be tested for Dyslexia. Her husband has it and I showed many of the signs. My parents had me tested by independent testing center and I was diagnosed with severe Dyslexia. I was lucky because I was on the path of falling through the cracks. To this day, after meetings and being tested many times, the school district I attended does not admit to me having any learning disability. I don’t know why but point is I was lucky. Many others are not as fortunate.

Since then, I was tutored outside of school. Since the district has never acknowledged my Dyslexia they did not help. Yes we tried. At a very early age, I knew what college I was going to. UW-Oshkosh. Why? Because they have one of the best programs for learning disabled students. I graduated with honors, a fair amount of student loan dept, and a Job. Fast forward to present day, I am working as a Software Engineer doing product development for a small IT shop.

During the years before college, there was a distinct difference between how teachers acted and how administration staff acted. To this day, I don’t know why the school district worked so hard to keep me from being labeled as LD. Even with that, all the teachers I had were more than willing to accommodate my disability. It was refreshing. It was the little things that made a big difference. Like most of them let me type papers instead of hand write them. Remember this was the days before computers were in every house.

In college, things got even better. Attending a school with a high percentage of learning disabled students was great. There was already a process in place set by the school to help LD students and the entire staff knew about it. On top of that, for the first time I was among other students who were like me. Since I was never in any special ed classes until college, I rarely met people like me. This was awesome. I had peers. I was not alone.

I have always been comfortable with telling people of my disabilities and have never tried to hide it. This continued as I entered my professional life. I don’t hide and in fact I am upfront with any potential employers. I explain to them what I have, how it affects me, and how it likely be show up in my day to day activities. Again, I have found that being up front is a lot less stressful than worrying about being “caught”.

Generally speaking, I have found that that being open and honest about being Dyslexic is the best course of action. People will generally do the right thing. It also helps that I don’t use my disabilities to take advantage of people kindness. Just because I have Dyslexia doesn’t mean I want to be treated differently. What I want is to do tasks I am good at and can do well.

Not everything is unicorns and rainbows. I still read and write at a very low grade level. It has been a while since I have been tested but I would guess I am still below a High School level. Not being able to speak a simple word in front of a customer is always fun. Then there is the issue of when people try to sympathise.

I know people mean well when they say things like “I read slow too” or “My spelling sucks too” but they have no idea what it is like. Worse than that is when people try to marginalize what it is like. For example: I dislike doing software documentation, well any documentation. I know it needs to get done and it is part of my job. It gets done but I hate it. Really hate. When I explain this to people, some will tell me they hate it too or everyone hates it. What they don’t understand is I don’t hate because it is documentation, I hate it because writing for me is terribly difficult for me. I would much rather being doing stuff I am good at. Unfortunately trying to explain this to people comes off as whining or excuses. Someday I will figure it out.

All in all, these are small gripes in the grand scheme of life.

This was very brief and could easily go in great detail. I know. This is the start of a topic I hope to cover as I write more. Comments or questions always welcome.

For more infomation on the learning disabilities that I and many others live with check out the followng links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyslexia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysnomia_(disorder)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgraphia

http://www.interdys.org/