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Jimmy James: Macro Business Donkey Wrestler

My DSL is still down. This sucks.

That is, it has been up periodically, but only for about 30 minutes to 2 hours at a time. The real work that I have been able to do this week is negligible. Arrggh!!!

Telocity is still blaming Bell South for this, and they're probably right. The packets either end up in a router loop right outside my DSL modem or make it down to Atlanta (which is only 1 step further) and then die. That seems to be consistent with having my local phone provider just sucking horribly. :-(

All in all, my internet uptime this week is probably well under 25%. :-(

I beefed up my monitoring script -- it runs via cron every minute and checks my connection to DNS, Notre Dame, and Excite (for some reason, I can usually reach Excite, but just about everything else is unreachable). I had to re-write it in Perl because it was becoming to complicated for shell script.

I've never played with Perl's CPAN modules -- they're pretty cool. I was pleased to discover that they have a Ping module and several HTTP modules. The Ping module offers all three kinds: tcp, udp, and icmp. And you can do anything you want with the HTTP modules.

So I ICMP ping the Telocity DNS servers and ND, and HTTP get / from Excite (so that they don't think I'm trying to DoS them by pinging every minute... that would have to trip some kind of alarm, I'm sure! :-).

HAH! I think we just came back on the air -- 9:20am. We'll see how long this lasts....

Since I was off the air most of yesterday, I spent a little time reinstalling my laptop again. After trying to install yet another package and realizing that some component hadn't been installed, I said "screw it" and just reinstalled the whole thing, and selected "install everything". Not that that actually installs everything on the install CDs, but it does install most things that you need (but still not pine, curiously... I guess they want you to use Evolution or KMail. <shrug>).

Anyway, I got the laptop reinstalled and only had to manually install a handful of RPMs. I got everything working, and even managed to get the WEP going on my orinoco card at 11Mbps. It seems that linux distros don't do what the PCMCIA package recommends that they do (e.g., /etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts is not where the options go), but I managed to find where 'drake puts wireless options and to get it all going.

I saved instructions on what I did, because:

  • 'drake 8.0 doesn't come with the orinoco_cs driver module compiled, although it does come with the source code (which I thought was weird). It took a bit of futzing around and some helpful suggestions from Brian to get it compiled properly.

  • The default wvlan_cs driver that comes with 'drake 8.0 doesn't seem to support WEP.

  • Others have essentially the same laptop that I do, so if you want the instructions, let me know. I have no idea if RedHat uses the same location for the wireless options, but I'll bet that if it's not, it's very similar (/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ethX).

  • Soon enough I'll have a new laptop and need to repeat the procedure again...

As an experiment, I plugged the audio out of my laptop into the AUX input of my stereo, downstairs.

Yes, indeed -- soon I was streaming MP3s from the server upstairs to my laptop downstairs, and out through my stereo. How cool is that?!? I was pumping out Fatboy Slim at very loud volumes.

Even cooler -- I had forgotten that I was still streaming MP3s to my desktop upstairs. It seems that that tiny little pentium that I have working as my router and my MP3 server does pretty well. Let's hear it for old technology -- it can still be the work horse for all those "little" jobs that you don't want to have to buy a new, hefty (and expensive!) machine for!


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 4, 2001 8:22 AM.

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