Tag Archives: network

Today is GPRS day

I wake up quarter past 6 in the morning. Some time later went to my desktop to check does something happened during night. Usually it means IRC highlights or new emails but today it was something other: network outage.

OK, I told — there are other things to do like buying train tickets, making few calls, breakfast etc. But I returned home 2 hours later and situation did not changed. Cable modem still blinks with “DS” led… After call to isp (UPC) I got information that there are some modernization works in progress and will be ended at the end of hour. But hour later it was still “at the end of current hour”…

As I had to be at work I took my Nokia N900 from pocket and launched X-Chat to give network outage information to my coworkers. And started to think how to fix situation…

Lack of sleeping seats in train forced me to change train so I will take my laptop with me to be in contact during trip. So I had to learn how to use N900 as modem anyway.

So how to do it? Thanks to blog post by Marius Gedminas I had easy way. As I prefer to not have cables hanging and like to have more battery power I had to limit myself to BlueTooth.

Nokia N900 side: installed “bluetooth-dun” package which starts “dund” so “Dial-Up Networking” appears in list of offered services.

Desktop side: BlueDevil detected phone but handles only OBEX and Audio profile ;( Thanks to one of comments on Marius’s blog post I installed “blueman” and used it to connect to N900/DUN service. This allowed me to use NetworkManager to connect to internet.

Laptop side: Also BlueDevil and “blueman” are installed but I did not used them. Instead I altered default routing and got crazy setup: laptop -wifi-> router -ethernet-> desktop -bluetooth-> n900 -gprs-> internet.

Setup works properly. Modem still blinks with “DS” led…

Home network speed++

Year ago I signed contract with my current ISP (UPC Poland) and got 10Mbps download with 1Mbps upload via cable modem. Few months ago they bumped download speed to 15Mbps but I would have to pay half of month price to get that speed so I refused to upgrade.

Then were vacations… During which they started with new offer — up to 120Mbps… But as this speed is available only in few cities in Poland I got 25Mbps download with 1.5Mbps upload rate. So far I got 19Mbps during my real time tests (fetching from few servers at one time).

So after 10 years I have faster network connection then when my Amiga 1200 got connected to Internet (it was 10Base-T Ethernet). Upload is still slower but I do not have big files to upload for clients so can live with that 1.5Mbps.

Hacking UI for small resolutions

One of devices which I have on desk is BUG on which we are using Connection Manager (connman) to manage Ethernet/WiFi connections. It works nice but there are problems with connman-gnome (small application which shows information from connman).

The problem is that we have QVGA resolution screen and UI for connman-gnome expects at least VGA. The result is not nice:

Original look

The main part of screen is occupied by list of network interfaces and nothing more can be seen.

I lack GTK+ skills to rewrite application to have more sane UI but decided to try anyway. Dropped most of spacings, icons were removed (there is ‘Connected/Not Connected’ text for each interface), changed width of widgets and application is more usable now:

New look

Some spacing should be added in few places but other then that it looks better then it was before.

Is it time to replace WRT54GS?

Since few months I have 10/1Mbps network connection (downlink/uplink). Recently it was downgraded to 1/1Mbps and I had no idea why. Finally it appeared that my router was the problem…

Exact reason was QoS which I enabled few days ago. It looks like DD-WRT which I use now can not handle it on WRT54GS without degrading network speed. For now I disabled this but it is not an option because I plan to use VoIP more in next months so I need warranty that it will get all bandwidth it needs never mind what else would be running.

Current plans are to make use of Alix 1.c which I have from PC Engines. Soon I will have nice case for it so the only things to buy will be miniPCI WiFi card (friends suggested getting one of Atheros based ones) and 1GbE network card. I already have 2GB CompactFlash for rootfs and spare 2.5″ hdd which will be used for storage.

This configuration should be fast enough to have more functions then just router/AP. I plan to make it also printer/scanner server and probably there will be some more to add.

Upgraded home network

Today I unpacked new Ethernet switch — D-Link DSG-1008D “green” edition. It has 8 GbE ports so I hooked my devices:

  • Linksys WRT54GS
  • desktop with on-board Realtek 8111/8168 card
  • Lenovo T61 with Intel 82566M card
  • Dell D400 with Broadcom BCM5705M card

In theory only router is 100Mbps — rest are 1GbE devices. But not quite… I was unable to get Intel adapter (which use “e1000e” driver) to switch to full speed — it used only 100Mbps speed. Tried ethtool -s eth0 speed 1000 but it refuses :(

What was a reason? Wrong cable… I tested all my Ethernet cables and it looks like I am out of real cat5e cables… This will have to wait then until I will end organizing my workplace as there will be rewiring of everything done.

And the Lenovo T61 working on 100Mbps only is not a problem as this machine soon goes back to it’s owner.

Wake on LAN

Few days ago I had to go from work to home just to turn on my desktop computer. Now when I have possibility to remote login to my router I tried to get Wake-On-LAN working.

My desktop PC has 3 network cards:

  • 3Com 3c905b-tx (my favorite one which I use since 2001)
  • SMC 9332 DST (card from 1995 year — I bought it because it has good packet driver under DOS)
  • Via-Rhine 6102 (onboard — was disabled)

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