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Unofficial Road Runner FAQ

Rev .8 5/19/97

FAQ Outline

1.0 Introduction

1.1 What's New

Just about everything! keep reading.

 


1.2 Why This FAQ?

This FAQ was originally created because I had been observing the roadrunner.help usegroup and had seen very similar questions being asked and answered. This FAQ was recently updated due to a recent surge in it's popularity from both domestic and foreign sources. As Time Warner continues to expand their service, I had hoped they would increase their customer relations, but I keep seeing the same questions being sent to me time and again from new RR users. This FAQ is an attempt to help reduce the number of problems with Road Runner (henseforth simply called RR) and make it easier to use. Hopefully it will become both a place of help both those new to RR, as well as a place for those more experienced with RR to contribute. This will hopefully place all the information needed, directly at a persons fingertips.


1.3 Why Is It "Unofficial"?

Time Warner Cable, the company that provides the RR service had planned to release their own FAQ. They created a usenet usegroup called roadrunner.faq, however they are the only ones able to post to that newsgroup. Since the usegroup has remained empty since the beginning of the RR project, I created the Unofficial RR FAQ. Time Warner Cable approaced me to make the FAQ official and place it on their server, but this was never properly accomplished. It is also unoffical because some of the answers to the questions about the actual RR hardware will be answered only to our best knowledge, and may be incorrect. Only Time Warner Cable knows the true answer to these questions, and they have unfortunately have decided not to share them with us. We rarely hear from Time Warner Cable as it's customers and when we do, we are never given any specific details as to how the service is run. I also can not consider it "official" because this FAQ is not on a RR web server because we don't have personal web pages with the RR program. I also enjoy having it unofficial because it lets me be as truthful as possible in my opinions and lets me share the facts in my own slightly sarcastic flair that has developed in my 7 months of dealing with Road Runner. Let me just say this about the service. Overall I think the Road Runner service is pretty good. For the speed it is hard to beat. However there are some problems with the service, at least as I see it, and I will in this FAQ bring them out. The reason to bring these problems out is so that Time Warner Cable realizes how big of problems they are and takes the appropriate action to fix them. If any of the pieces of information I have in this FAQ are incorrect, I encourage Time Warner Cable to correct me.


1.4 Who Helped With This FAQ?

First of all this FAQ was constructed by me, Tom Larrow. The majority of the questions and answers are here though because of the articles posted in the roadrunner.help users group, so everone who has posted there has helped in some way with this FAQ. I would especially like to thank Jeff DeLong for allowing me to incorperate his Win NT FAQ into this one. There have been many others who have contrubuted suggestions and facts, and as I go back in my mail to get these and update I will add your names.


1.5 How Can I Help With This FAQ?

Suggestions on new topics to appear here are always welcome. You can also send any of your own anwers to these questions as well as any corrections to this page to me via e-mail at tlarrow@neo.lrun.com. I am specifically looking for help in the Win3.1, Win NT, and Mac areas so if you see any areas with (help) in them please do what you can to help. The better this page is made by all of us, the more benefit we all get out of it. All submissions will be acknowledged in the above paragraph.


1.6 Where Can I Find The Latest Version Of The FAQ?

First and foremost the FAQ will appear here on the internet. Eventually I hope to move it to a RR server once we get personal web space. However since we have been promised "Personal Web Space soon" since Febuary I am not holding my breath. If anyone has a larger server with several megs of space so I can add graphics to help illustrate the answers, please contact me. Once all the questions are answered, and periodically afterwards as updates are made, I will post the entire FAQ in text format to the roadrunner.help usegroup.


1.7 Why does the FAQ page have that stupid picture of that bird on the front page?

Well for those of you who don't get out away from your computers (or your TV sets) much that is what a real Road Runner looks like. I would put silly Warner Brothers cartoon pictures on my page but it has been done before and Time Warner shut the page down untill they were removed because of copyrights. This page is here to serve their customers in a way which they are not serving them which Supprisingly also was the case with the other page which was shut down. I feel the information on this page is too valuable to take any chances on getting it shut down.

2.0 What Is Road Runner?

Road Runner is a new Internet Service that is provided in the Akron-Canton, Ohio area that is brought to us by the Time Warner Cable company. It was launched in late September of 96 and has been serving it's customers on a fairly regular basis since.


2.1 What Makes Road Runner So Different From Any Other ISP?

The biggest differemce between RR and a standard ISP is that RR uses a cable modem which uses fiber optic and coaxial cable that the television uses, instead of the phone lines. Because it is a digital line, more information can be sent over it at a time resulting in higher overall sppeds for the users. The RR system is also incorperates a firewall, which is something that most ISP's have abandoned. This firewall prevents the users from using a few software packages that people using a normal isp can use and it prevents us from setting up our own web server using the standard wep page port of :80.


2.2 Exactly How Fast Is The Cable Modem?

The Motorola Cable modems that the North East Ohio area uses seem capable of downloading information from the internet at between 100 and 300 kilobytes per second. Both Motorola and Time Warner claim the modem is capable of higher, and it just might be, but the end user doesn't see speeds that high. As far as upload speeds go, again both Time Warner Cable and Motorola claim up to 700kps is possible, but I have rarely seen much over 12-15kps or not much faster than a 28.8.


2.3 How Big Is The Bandwidth Behind RR?

A RR technician, Andrew Baumhauer stated on Dec 4,1996 that the RR system had 6 T-1's connecting RR to the internet. Since then serveral RR users have been told by other technicians that RR has a T-3 connection to the internet (T-3 is somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 T-1's) Whatever the case may be reguarding the bandwith, it is safe to assume that it is being pushed to it's limits, as the service noticeably slows down durring peak hours.


2.4 How Many Users Does RR have?

Shortly after christmas Time Warner Cable announced that it had reached 2,000 RR customers. Since we haven't heard from Time Warner Cable since reguarding this topic, one can only guess.


2.41 Does RR Have A Users Group?

Yes the RR users have formed their own users group. The group normally meets once a month to discuss issues pertaining to the RR system and it's users. More information can be found in the usenet usegroup roadrunner.users-group. The current status of the group is unknown as no new meeting dates have been posted in quite some time.


2.5 Where Can I Find More Information About RR?

Time Warner Cable has their own information sheet about the RR service at http://local-server/RoadRunner/about_tech.html, however this information is more than 7 months old, and most of it is no longer applicable to the RR service as it appears today. A much more up to date article appears at http://pathfinder.com/@@ZndKuwQAWG9uRDXM/rdrun/rr/welcome.html which is the online manual. In the technichlogy section of this manual is especially well written, although unfortunately it applies to all of the places testing RR and is missing most of the important issues that affect us here in the Akron-Canton area. The most updated page is at http://pathfinder.com/rdrun/ it is the general information site from Time Warner Cable. For real input from the many Road Runner users, check out our message board at http://www.math.uakron.edu/RoadRunner/ which is called RoadRunner Coast to Coast. Currently though the site might be down as I have been unable to connect to it.


2.6 Where Can I Find More Information About Cable Modems?

More information about the Motorola Cable Modem can be found at http://www.mot.com/MIMS/Multimedia/prod/specs/modem.html. The most comprehensive site that deals with the topic of Cable Modems is maintained by David Gingold, his site can be found at http://rpcp.mit.edu/~gingold/cable/. Another good source of information has been found in the many publications by Ziff-Davis Publishing. Visiting their site at http://www.zdnet.com and using the search tool to search for cable modems will make the most up to date information about the subject available.


Last Updated 5/23/97


Comments, additions, or contributions to this FAQ??
Please E-Mail Tom Larrow tlarrow@neo.lrun.com