Monday, May 26, 2008

Comcast Broadband is Fast (despite other issues) + Gmail Login gets Optimized


cc credit flickr: peasap

Comcast seems to be be a popular, well, piñata, lately.

We have had our service (analog cable/broadband) for a number of years now and have always been very pleased with their service in our East-o-H-Town suburbs.  The very few times I've had to call them regarding outages, I have always gotten fast service and response.  Might have something to do with the fact that I can talk the network-lingo talk with the techies (Can you ping down to my cable modem? What response rates are you getting? Etc.)

Speeds have always been awesome.

I found a new broadband speed test site the other day: Internet Speed Test by

Here's my best from that site:


And from

And from


Rates vary and I got tired of running/re-running the tests then trying to do captures.  Needless to say, it's still been quite fast and sufficient for all our download needs.

Anyway, Internet Speed Test is a pretty interesting site. It offers a number of "unusual" tests so you can really pick and choose different situations:

Gmail Upgrade?

Will Gmail Get Themes?  I don't know but it would be cool if they released themes for Gmail.  If you use Firefox you can use Lifehacker's great Better Gmail 2 which now has more features, skins and Firefox 3 support.

I've also noticed the following Gmail loading bar this week logging into one of my Gmail accounts via web browser:


I hadn't seen that before so I was wondering what's up?

Turns out Google has been doing some performance tuning on the load-routines for Gmail.

A need for speed: the path to a faster loading sequence - Gmail Blog

The Gmail gang has been doing network traces using some cool tools (Httpwatch, WireShark, and Fiddler -- all free) along with their own in-house stuff.  I haven't seen Httpwatch before so I might be downloading this plug-in for IE soon.

Anyway, when done they found they were using about 14-24 HTTP requests required to load a Gmail inbox and then display it.  Not bad but they felt they could do better.

Once out of the Google-blender they got it down to as few as four request from punching the "sign-in" button to display of your inbox.



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