Mediacom Approved DOCSIS 3 Cable Modems

Cable Modems

As of 11 Dec 2017, the following DOCSIS 3 cable modems have been approved for use with Mediacom internet service.

Downstream and Upstream Capacity

The above modems have 8×4, 16×4, and 24×8 ratings. This refers to the downstream and upstream channel capabilities. The chart below indicates speed capabilities for various systems.

Channels Down Channels Up Speed Down Speed Up
4 4 171.52 (152) Mbit/s 122.88 (108) Mbit/s
8 4 343.04 (304) Mbit/s 122.88 (108) Mbit/s
16 4 686.08 (608) Mbit/s 122.88 (108) Mbit/s
24 8 1029.12 (912) Mbit/s 245.76 (216) Mbit/s
32 8 1372.16 (1216) Mbit/s 245.76 (216) Mbit/s

Tech Q&A: What kind of external hard drive should I get?

Q: What kind of external hard drive should I get?

A: The best drive to purchase depends on how much storage you need and how you plan to use it. This page offers a few suggestions. Any of these drives would be a good choice, but selecting one based on your needs will be better.

Solid State External USB3 Hard Drive

For most uses, the best external drive to use is the Samsung T1 solid state hard drive (SSD) with USB3 capability. It’s fast, small, light weight, requires no power cord, and has no moving parts. The 250GB model is $120. The 500GB model is $200. The size is about the same dimensions of a small stack of business cards with the thickness of a USB cable. For other drive considerations, keep reading further down this page. [Buy]


Passport Size External Hard Drive

If you need more than 250GB or 500GB of storage, you might consider a passport size external hard drive. These use traditional hard drive technology which has spinning metal platers inside. They are slower, bigger, heavier, and use more electricity than solid state drives. However, they are much less expensive and generally store more data. So, they are usually a good choice for photographers and videographers. A good drive to choose is the Western Digital My Passport Ultra drive with USB3 capability and 2TB of storage (2 terabytes = 2,048 gigabytes). The reason to select the 2TB model is because it’s only slightly more money than the 1TB model but has twice the storage. It’s the best value when considering the cost per terabyte. A big advantage of this drive over other drives is that it is powered over the USB cable and needs no power cord. [Buy]


Book Size External Powered Hard Drive

External powered hard drives generally offer the best value in external storage. They have the advantages and disadvantages of the passport size drive described above. However, the require a power cord and come in larger capacities. A good choice is the Western Digital My Book 4 TB USB 3.0 drive shown below for $127. For people who have large collections of files that they don’t want spread over multiple drives, these are a good choice. [Buy]


HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer Setup and Support


This page has general reference information for the setup and support of the HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer. The retail price of this printer is about $400. It occasionally goes on sale at Staples for $300. It’s available on Amazon for $239. [Amazon]

Documentation & Manuals

Hardware Setup

Follow these instructions for setting up the printer.

  1. Unbox. Unbox and remove all blue tape that secures the various components of the printer.
  2. Remove Plastic Film. There is thin plastic film over some surfaces of the printer. It’s a good idea to remove this plastic film. You’ll likely overlook some of it since it’s very clear. Important: There is think plastic film on the adjustable paper guide for the document feeder. it’s important to remove these because if you don’t, the film may get stuck in the document feeder input and wheels, causing it to jam.
  3. Power. Connect the power cord.
  4. Internet. Ideally you’ll want to have the printer connected to the Internet using an Ethernet cable instead of wireless. This requires that you have a router with an available data port. The reason you’ll want to connect through your local network instead of using USB is because the printer features are enhanced by accessing the web. Updates to the printer’s firmware are possible with an Internet connection. The printer is referred to as a ‘wireless’ printer and there may not be any mention on the box of Ethernet network cable connection capabilities. You’ll find a yellow ‘plug’ covering and protecting the Ethernet jack on the back of the printer. This is to ensure that people don’t put the fax telephone line into the Ethernet jack/port.
  5. Paper. Install some paper in both paper trays.
  6. Configure. Follow the on-screen configuration steps choosing language, region, and time.
  7. Ink. You’ll be prompted to put in the ink. The ink goes inside a door on the front left of the printer. There is a set of four ink cartridges and another set of three ink cartridges (color only). The set of four ink cartridges includes the three color ‘setup’ cartridges. Use these when initially setting up the printer. On the box in the store, it may not indicate that there are a total of seven ink cartridges total.
  8. Calibrate. After the ink cartridges are installed, close the door and follow the on-screen instructions for printer calibration.
  9. Adjust Display. The printer display screen is adjustable from flat to about 50 degrees. When it’s adjusted properly it’s clearer and easier to see.

Continue below when prompted to connect and install the software.

Software Installation

  1. Download Software. You’ll be prompted to go to the following website to connect the printer and install the software: That link will automatically forward you to this page When you click on the Download button, you may be told that the download isn’t working. You may need to try again. Alternatively, you can go to the printer product page on the HP website. Click on Software and Downloads, then click the Go button. As of 25 July 2015, the software was at the 12.32 version released on Oct 17, 2014.
  2. Install Software. Once the software is downloaded, double-click the installation file to begin the installation process and follow the instructions. For Apple computers, the download will be a DMG file. Open that file. Within it will be a puzzle piece icon named HP Officejet Pro 8630.
  3. ReadIRIS Software. You’ll also find another icon named Readiris Pro 14 for HP on the . The Readiris software is for OCR (optical character recognition). This allows you to save PDF files that are searchable. When you click the icon, you’ll be taken to a page that has an ftp download link for the Apple Mac software or you can also get the Windows version of the software.
  4. Printer Connection. When you’re installing the printer, at some point you’ll be given a choice to select an IP connection or a Bonjour connection. The Bonjour connection may be more reliable if the printer IP address changes. When you’re at the point of adding the printer, from the Use: dropdown menu, choose HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One. AirPrint may have been selected by default.
  5. Register. Register the printer when asked to do so.
  6. Create an HP Account. Setup an account with HP.
  7. Automatic Ink Delivery. The final step of the installation will be to signup for automatic ink replacement from HP. This service offers printing fees at costs from 3 cents per page up to about 6 cents per page. With the service you don’t need to purchase ink. Instead, HP will ship ink to you when the printer needs it. The advertising indicates that you’ll save hundreds of dollars per year. However, if you look up the cost of the high capacity black ink cartridge, it’s about $37 for a yield of about 2,300 pages. That’s about 1.5 cents per page if you choose black only printing. Color XL cartridges are about $30 each ($90 total) and yield about 1,500 pages (6 cents per page). The cost per month for the automatic ink delivery subscription remains the same whether you print or not. There is the option to have ‘rollover’ pages, but that’s limited to your subscription level.

Remote Printing with

During the setup of your printer, a page will be printed with instructions on setting up your printer with an account. You can go to and choose Devices > Add a Device to add your printer to the account. Then you’ll be able to share the printer with anyone, and print from anywhere.

Most Economical Ink Consumables Purchasing

The most economical solution for purchasing ink is to buy the four pack of high capacity (XL) ink cartridges for $117 from Amazon. These are estimated to yield 1,500 pages of mostly color, or 2,300 pages of black ink printing. Using the economical configuration suggestion shown below, your yield may be higher.

Economical Black Ink Draft Printing

For most printing, color ink isn’t needed. To save money and increase print speed, choose to print in draft mode with grayscale using black ink only. You may need to click the triangle next to Color Options to have additional options shown. You can save these settings as a printing preset (see the dropdown menu next to Presets). Below is an example from the Apple printing dialog. For Windows you’d look for this under print settings. Click the image below for a larger view.


Product Photos

Below are some product photos.

Portable Digital Linear PCM Stereo Audio Recorders: Tascam, Sony, Zoom

This is a short list of high quality portable digital stereo audio recorders. These would be suitable for music, voice, or other audio sources, and would be useful for recording audio to accompany video recordings. Not all shown below are linear PCM recorders. Click view to see details for each recorder.

  • Sony PCM-D100 Portable High-Resolution Recorder, 3.9 stars / 13 reviews, retail $1,000 / sale $800 [view]
  • Sony PCM-M10 Portable Linear PCM Voice Recorder, 4.6 stars / 69 reviews, retail $400 / sale $250 [view]
  • TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder, 4.3 stars / 619 reviews, retail $180 / sale $80, [view]
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder, 4.4 stars / 116 reviews, retail $600 / sale $300 [view]
  • TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder, 4.4 stars / 376 reviews, retail $137 [view]
  • Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder, 4.3 stars / 591 reviews, retail $160 / sale $100 [view]
  • Zoom H2n Handy Recorder, 4.4 stars / 229 reviews, retail $225 / sale $260 [view]
  • Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder, 4.5 stars / 641 reviews, retail $250 / sale $200 [view]
  • Zoom H5 Four-Track Portable Recorder, 4.7 stars / 79 reviews, retail $340 / sale $266, [view]

Product Images

Some product images are below.

SAFCO Wire Mobile File or Equipment Cart

As our world is moving more to digital storage rather than paper storage, old method of filing are less in demand. However, one product that can be quite useful is the SAFCO Wire Mobile File cart. It’s designed to hold hanging files, but if you put the metal wire shelf on the top instead, it works great as a printer stand or moveable surface for other office equipment and supplies.

Product Details

Here are the product details.

  • Wire steel construction
  • Accommodate letter or legal-size hanging folders
  • Four swivel casters (2 locking)
Brand Name Safco
Item Weight 12 pounds
Product Dimensions 24 x 14 x 20.5 inches
Item model number 5201BL
Color Black
Material Type Metal
Number of Items 1
Manufacturer Part Number 5201BL

Product Images

Click either image below for a larger gallery view.

iPhone Won’t See and Can’t Setup or Recognize FitBit One Bluetooth

If your iPhone mysteriously can’t find your FitBit One activity tracker, you may think it’s your phone, and you might try restarting the phone, resetting the phone entirely, removing the software, or some other method of fixing the problem.

However, there’s an easier and quicker solution worth trying first.

You simply need to restart the activity tracker device, and you’ll very likely discover that everything starts working again and the phone will recognize the device again.

The restart instructions are found here:

There are unique steps for each device, but generally you’ll want to plug it in, and then press and hold a reset button or action button for about 3 to 10 seconds (depending on the device). Follow the instructions linked above for your particular unit.

Setting your device to synchronize throughout the day can help you ensure that your steps and activity will be uploaded regularly. Then, if the unit fails at some point, you won’t loose an entire day’s worth of data. You’ll just be without the data from the time that it failed.

Here are the reset instructions for the FitBit One:

  1. Plug your charging cable into your computer.
  2. Plug your One tracker into the charging cable, making sure that the gold contacts on your tracker align with the gold contacts in the inside of the charger.
  3. Hold down your tracker’s button for 10-12 seconds.
  4. Remove your tracker from the charging cable and press its button until the screen turns on.

Important Travel Planning: Mobile Phone Voice and Data Service Coverage Areas

Problem Summary

Something to keep in mind when traveling with a non-Verizon phone is that there may be times when you have only voice services or no signal at all — meaning, you’ll be without even the ability to make an emergency phone call. With no signal, if you misplace your phone, you can’t call it to hear it ringing, and it can no longer be located using the ‘find my phone’ features available from most companies. With voice services only, the GPS mapping images won’t download and update. Even if you have data services available on your non-Verizon device, the slower remote service typically can’t keep up with map reloads. Most people don’t discover these things until they are already traveling

So, if you’re traveling to someplace other than a big city, and aren’t a Verizon customer, plan on being without Internet during your travels and when you get where you’re going.

Hotel Wireless Isn’t Reliable

Don’t expect to rely on your hotel’s WiFi service because it will probably be very slow or inaccessible (as shown below).


Need to meet a deadline or catch up on important emails? Sorry. Better luck next time.

Best Verizon Mobile Hotspot

Your best option is to travel with a Verizon MiFi 6620L Jetpack 4G LTE mobile WiFi hotspot (shown below). This will allow you to get data services such as GPS mapping updates and look up important information on the internet. You’ll also be able to make phone calls using Skype, Hangouts, or a similar VOiP (voice over IP) service.


Here’s Why Verizon Costs More

Companies like AT&T and Sprint offer lots of shared data and typically lower monthly prices, with relatively good signal coverage in most cities, but they don’t cover rural or remote areas well. This is because they’ve not invested in the additional tower placements (therefore the lower monthly bills). Verizon costs more because they provide service in bigger cities as well as in rural and remote areas. They’ve invested in more tower locations nation-wide.

Hybrid Service Model

A hybrid service model will save money while giving you the services you need when you need them. In other words, rather than paying higher monthly fees for Verizon’s amazing national coverage year-round, pay for it only when traveling (unless you travel all the time or live in a rural area). Then, for your year-round phone service, get a lower priced local service provider.

Cost of a Mobile WiFi Hotspot

The cost of a mobile hotspot is a $200 one-time purchase price (with no contract) and then $50 for 5GB data during any month you’re planning to travel. Other data plans are also available. When you’re not traveling, you can set your Verizon service to dormant and not pay anything until your next trip. There are other lower cost mobile hotspot devices, but they work only with 4G and won’t provide service in 3G areas. Also, they don’t have the large color screen with buttons for navigation and system configuration.

Limitations and Problems

Even if you use a Verizon mobile WiFi hotspot as described above, you’ll still have some limitations with your non-Verizon phone. For example, although the data will work, and you can make outbound calls with Skype, any inbound phone calls or SMS text messages won’t come through (although, Apple iMessage still works).

Click here to learn more or purchase
a Verizon Mobile WiFi Hotspot.

Economical Standing Workstation Computer Desk Solution

The website lists many proven clinical health benefits of standing more at work.

The cost of an adjustable standing workstation can be hundreds of dollars, and many companies are spending thousands of dollars to purchase adjustable standing workstation conversion kits for all of their employees.

An option that may be more practical and cost-effective would be to consider all-in-one touchscreen computers like the one shown here that can accommodate working while standing up or sitting down. The model shown here is a Dell All-In-One 9010. The current version of this computer is the 9030 model for $900 (there’s currently a $385 discount off the $1285 price).

No other expensive equipment or office furniture is required. These work well with existing office furniture. With the screen tilted up it is possible to use the onscreen keyboard and the touchscreen replaces the need for a mouse. When sitting it is possible to switch back to the traditional keyboard and mouse interaction. This approach could save hundreds of dollars per person, and the health benefits would be significant.

Another health benefit of this workstation configuration is that by using the touchscreen display the left and right hands are engaged in the touchscreen activity rather than having a very narrowly defined mouse clicking action performed solely by one hand — which can lead to repetitive stress injuries.


Laptop Computer 2.5″ Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) Options

SSD Drives as of 2017

As of 7 Mar 2017, the latest technology for SSD drives is the Crucial MX300. Click the size offerings below for the product page. Click here for the latest solid state drive offerings.

The information below was current as of 2015 and remains here for reference purposes.

SSD Drives as of 2015

There are many 2.5″ solid state hard drives available. Crucial offers an excellent selection of solid state drives that offer speed, value, and reliability.

The MX200 model is the newest model as of January 2016. It is faster, uses less power, and has a longer lifespan. Prices shown below are as of 8 January 2016. [Buy Now]

  • 250GB ($89)
  • 500GB ($165)
  • 1TB ($351)

The MX200 also has many other reliability and security features included.

The BX100 is an older model that is slower, uses less power, and has a shorter lifespan. Prices shown here are as of 23 Feb 2015. [Buy Now]

  • 128GB ($68)
  • 250GB ($99)
  • 500GB ($184)
  • 1TB ($379)

Product Photos

The images below are for the BX100 but are similar to the MX200.


Document History

  • 7 Mar 2017 at 8:54 AM CST. The models and pricing were updated on 7 Mar 2017.
  • 23 Feb 2015 at 8:59 PM CST. This document was first published on 23 Feb 2015.

Choosing a Cable Modem or DSL Modem with Wifi


Most Internet service providers offer customers the option to purchase their own modem or rent one for a monthly fee. Renting for a year is sometimes the same cost as purchasing a unit. This article describes cable modem and DSL modem options.

Renting or Purchasing

Renting can be more economical if you have several service calls per year, because your service provider is able to perform remote diagnostics or even come on-site to resolve any hardware issues with the equipment. Otherwise, you’ll be paying someone to come and diagnose problems with equipment. If you feel a purchased unit will be easy to setup and keep working, without any hardware failures, then purchasing a unit should be fine.

Hybrid Rental Solution

One option is to rent a modem, but purchase your own wireless router. This gives you the ability to purchase a very high quality wireless router independent from the modem. A dedicated wireless router may have more features, speed, and range than a combination modem/router. There’s a wide range of price from as low as about $40 to as much as $300 or more for a high-end wireless router.

Combination Unit Considerations

Having a combined modem/router is nice because you can interact with a single interface to setup the unit and not worry about compatibility between the units. If you’re renting the equipment, your service provider can remotely diagnose problems more easily and they will be more familiar with a unit they are providing.

Support Concerns

It’s possible that you’ll have trouble with the setup and ongoing use of your device without the support of your service provider. Here’s a product feedback comment from one person on Amazon:

“Centurylink (because they apparently only want you to rent/buy modem/routers from then instead of buying them elsewhere cheaper and with faster delivery) will NOT give you the info needed to set up unless you buy some monthly “help with non-Centurylink modems” plan, or buy one of their modem/routers!!!”

It’s understandable that companies want to and need to recuperate the cost of providing customer service and support. If a product is being rented, part of the rental fee is for providing the support needed when customers have questions about setup or use of their device. No company can hire employees to provide free phone support all day for products they haven’t sold or profited from. Those wanting free and unlimited support for their hardware should rent it from the support provider.

Cable Modems with Wireless Router

Here are a few cable modems with wireless routers built-in.

DSL Modems with Wireless Router

Here are a few cable modems with wireless routers built-in.