When his cable modem service seemed to slow almost to a crawl last spring, Matthew Hallacy did like most people and complained to technical support at his Internet service provider, AT&T Broadband.
But after the sluggish performance persisted for weeks, Hallacy, a Minnesota-based software engineer and networking expert, decided to take matters into his own hands: he hacked his cable modem.
It wasn't long before Hallacy, 21, devised a trick for modifying an obscure configuration file used by the service to control the settings in his 3Com cable modem.
A few tweaks later, Hallacy's $50-per-month service, which had been downloading data at a poky 75 kilobits per second (Kbps), was sweetly humming along at much brisker speeds in both directions.
According to Hallacy, he hacked the modem just to prove that AT&T's network management, and not his modem, was the performance bottleneck, and he immediately changed the settings back.
Click the "..Read more" link for more details on this interesting, possibly old method of trying to persuade your cable modem to allow you to pump more bandwidth that you actually get!