Hotel Review: Studio 6 Hotel in Toronto

4 Sep

The Studio 6 Hotel in downtown Toronto is within 2 km of just about everything in Toronto. It’s a fantastic location located close to the intersection of Queen Street West and Augusta Ave.

The Trip

The reason for my trip to Toronto was to meet up with some friends and to take part in Toronto Fan Expo. If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend you attend at least once in your life. It’s a fantastic convention and they seem to have worked out all of the kinks from previous years aside from navigating between the two buildings at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

I was taking the train into town so I wanted a hotel that was relatively close to the train station and the Metro Toronto Convention Center. This weekend is a long weekend, so a lot of the hotels have jacked up their rates to profit as much as possible.

How I booked it

I booked this hotel using Hotels.com which secured me a rate of $156 a night taxes and fees included. Most other hotels this weekend were sitting around $250 per night or more not including taxes.

The Outside

When I rolled up on the hotel, it was late at night (about 11:00 PM) and this was the best photo I could get at the time.

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From the outside this hotel didn’t look like much. It looked a little beat down and even the inside hallways and whatnot show that this was a converted apartment complex.

It was at this point I was starting to worry about the kind of room I booked, but before we look at the room, lets talk amenities.

Amenities

The room I booked came with two twin beds as I was expecting to have a friend stay with me for the weekend, however he had other plans. So for my last night, I asked if I could swap to a queen room, and the staff happily moved me. Which was nice of them as I booked through a service and not through them directly.

The room also has a kitchenette type set up with a fridge, a sink, pots and pans, plates and cutlery and everything you could need to cook up your own meals! There is also a Loblaw’s grocery store within walking distance of the hotel that is open until 11PM most nights.

The hotel also has on site laundry on each floor, however I’m not sure of the cost or anything as I didn’t use it. I would assume it is coin operated as the hotel is a converted apartment building.

Room Photos

Here’s a few photos I snapped of the room. Pardon the mess.

As you can see from the photos, the room looked quite nice and was fairly clean.

The paint in the bathroom was starting to peel off the wall, but I can look past that. The bed was pretty comfortable, and the kitchenette made this room even better because you could prep your own meals.

Each room also had a Keurig coffee machine which I thought was pretty nice too. It was a single cup machine, and I was easily able to obtain some coffee pods from the nearby Loblaw’s.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a hotel on a budget and want to be close to downtown Toronto without paying insane downtown rates, this is a great budget choice.

That being said, if you are driving in, there is no on site parking. The closest outdoor lot is about a block away.

All things considered, this was perfect for my purposes but may not be for yours.

Pure Pwnage Trip Part 3: Transport

20 Jan
Toronto Skyline at Night

I was originally planning on making the 4 hour drive to Toronto all by my lonesome however with the cost of gas and overnight parking in a lot that I can’t even be sure there will be parking, I opted to take a greyhound bus.

The reasons for opting to take the bus?

  • $96 Bus Fare for a return trip.
  • I don’t have to pay attention to the road and can do other things.
  • Don’t have to pay $20-$25 per day to store my car somewhere.
  • The bus lets me off 2 minutes from my hotel.

Considering all of the above factors, I went with Greyhound. Free Wi-Fi and power on the bus. Perfect! I can get some browsing done or maybe even some sleep! The only downside is the additional hour it will take to get to Toronto but hey! No problem at all. I should be arriving in Toronto around 4:30 PM which should allow enough time for a catnap before heading out to meet everyone and party Friday night!

Review: Hudson Valley Host E3-1240 Dedicated Server

5 Jan
Hudson Valley Host Logo

Hudson Valley Host is a Dedicated server provider that offers services in several data centers across the United States at a fraction of the price of some of the bigger competitors around. The owner Ernie is a fantastic person to do business with and is always willing to work out a deal. Enough with the pleasantries, on with the review!

Config and Benchmark

 

System Info
-----------
Processor       : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E31240 @ 3.30GHz
CPU Cores       : 8
Frequency       : 3292.665 MHz
Memory          : 16034 MB
Swap            : 15359 MB
Uptime          : 19 days, 22:18,

OS              : Debian GNU/Linux 7
Arch            : x86_64 (64 Bit)
Kernel          : 2.6.32-39-pve
Hostname        : web


Speedtest (IPv4 only)
---------------------
Your public IPv4 is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

Location                Provider        Speed
CDN                     Cachefly        109MB/s

Atlanta, GA, US         Coloat          71.2MB/s
Dallas, TX, US          Softlayer       44.3MB/s
Seattle, WA, US         Softlayer       30.7MB/s
San Jose, CA, US        Softlayer       26.4MB/s
Washington, DC, US      Softlayer       23.0MB/s

Tokyo, Japan            Linode          8.28MB/s
Singapore               Softlayer       6.78MB/s

Rotterdam, Netherlands  id3.net         14.1MB/s
Haarlem, Netherlands    Leaseweb        43.4MB/s


Disk Speed
----------
I/O (1st run)   : 100 MB/s
I/O (2nd run)   : 105 MB/s
I/O (3rd run)   : 100 MB/s
Average I/O     : 101.667 MB/s

This server is located in the Dupont Fabros Facility in Toronto. The network is rock solid and blazingly fast as demonstrated by the benchmark above.

Pricing and Availability

The configuration of this server is as follows:

  • Xeon E3-1240 @ 3.3 GHz
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 1TB HDD
  • 10TB of Bandwidth
  • 13 IP addresses (/28 Subnet)

The price of the above configuration is $75 USD per month and is worth every penny as far as I’m concerned.

Generally availability of these machines in the Chicago facility is rare, because the network is rock solid and people very seldom cancel services in this particular data center. So if Hudson Valley Host tells you they have one available, you better snatch it up.

Customer Service

This is where Hudson Valley Host leaves everyone in the dust. Their staff are incredible, friendly, and are always willing to help. They are led by owner Ernie who is a terrific salesman and is always willing to work out a deal. I seldom have had to wait any longer than an hour for a support response and have had zero downtime in over a year of working with Hudson Valley Host.

Overall Experience

My experiences with Hudson Valley Host have always been positive and I am glad to have found a provider who has bent over backwards to help myself and my business out of certain situations that have come up in the last year. They’ve handled my account professionally and expediently any time I’ve had a need.

Hudson Valley Host offers tremendous value for the money you spend with them, and you’d be unwise to not give them a try.

Check out their services here, and do leave a comment if you have any questions or specific requests in terms of benchmarks.

VolumeDrive X5650 Dedicated Server Benchmark

6 Nov

Not too bad for a $60 a month server eh?

CPU model :  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X5650  @ 2.67GHz
Number of cores : 24
CPU frequency :  2666.867 MHz
Total amount of ram : 64416 MB
Total amount of swap : 63487 MB
System uptime :   1 min,       
Download speed from CacheFly: 50.5MB/s 
Download speed from Coloat, Atlanta GA: 22.3MB/s 
Download speed from Softlayer, Dallas, TX: 38.2MB/s 
Download speed from Linode, Tokyo, JP: 3.00MB/s 
Download speed from i3d.net, Rotterdam, NL: 5.07MB/s
Download speed from Leaseweb, Haarlem, NL: 21.8MB/s 
Download speed from Softlayer, Singapore: 7.49MB/s 
Download speed from Softlayer, Seattle, WA: 25.3MB/s 
Download speed from Softlayer, San Jose, CA: 21.4MB/s 
Download speed from Softlayer, Washington, DC: 63.4MB/s 
I/O speed :  113 MB/s