Archives for: June 2009, 17


  08:56:24 pm, by The Dreamer   , 630 words  
Categories: Networking

The GigE upgrade

On Monday before the rain, I had placed an order on The large part of the order were the pieces to complete the upgrade to GigE.

The GigE project started when I replaced a 5-port switch that had a bad port. Which was causing me issues because it was either between wireless access point or wired connection for work laptop. Sure I could connect by wireless with the work laptop, but for transferring big files...wired is faster.

That upgrade made no improvement in speed (at least none that I'm aware of...I never did have cause to connect work laptop since that I don't know if the work laptop does GigE...but its a MacBook Pro, so it should, right?)

So, to complete things, I got a 2 more 5 port switches and an 8 port switch. Two of the switch hops are Linksys WRT54GS routers, and the far end is an 8-port 10/100 switch.

As I was plotting how to make the upgrade, it occurred to me that the 5 port switches aren't replacing the I'm going to need some patch cables. And, the other day I was thinking I needed to stock up on some, because I couldn't find any. Though I'm sure I had some pre-move that I probably haven't unpacked yet. As I was going around looking for cables...I came across some 7ft and 14ft cables, that I must've picked up the last time I was ordering parts ( be time to stock up again.

So I started the upgrade....first the living room router. I put the 5-port in place. Moved the cable that links router to the 16-port 10/100 switch up. Then ran cable from GigE switch to router. Moved other cable in router to GigE switch (the overhead Cat5 to where my main desktop is...and the first GigE switch.) Success, one port showing GigE link. The other two ports on the router go to TiVo's....they can stay....

I then moved on to moving stuff around at the other router. I first moved the one room cable that wasn't active to the GigE switch and connected GigE switch to that port. And, moved the other two room cables over. I also moved the wireless access point in this room onto the GigE switch (could've gone on the router...doesn't really matter). It was mainly so that it would be on the same UPS as my networking some chance things would work in an extended outage. It would mainly be things that were already working before the outage, since DHCP server isn't on a long running UPS (yet). I checked for green light (to show GigE)....there weren't any....sad.... :`( Seems to mean that building wiring can't support the speed?

Oh wait...I think I was short one cable move at the living room router. Sure that its...the room jack is connected to 16-port switch. Get a longer cable (14')...and connect it up. Presto now two green lights (at switch in living room).

Last but not least....upgrade the 8-port switch. First moved wall jack to it and connection from 'lhaven'. Trying not to lose my IRC sessions. And, then move the rest. 2 Green lights. 'orac' is now 1000BaseT full duplex.

Before I was able to get about ~99Mbps with iperf between 'orac' and 'tardis'. Now with iperf...I'm finding I can get ~190Mbps going 'tardis'->'orac'. And, ~300Mbps going 'orac'->'tardis'. Part is likely that Windows isn't tuned for the speed. I did do the tweaking to maximum broadband speed.... Linux is probably just better by default. There might also be the hardware differences. 'tardis' is a P4-3.2GHz w/HT box and 'orac' is a Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz. 'tardis' is Windows XP and a pretty busy machine....while 'orac' spends most of its time just running boinc WUs on all 4 cores. Etc.

Now what am I going to do?

  06:50:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 804 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Hardware, Computer, Wireless/iPhone, Networking, Ubuntu, Other Linux

What about box?

The linux server known as 'box' died from the rain storm on Monday....well, the powersupply had been iffy for a while, and guess it toasted when things came back.

Sounds familiar....since its predecessor died in a similar manner....transformer blew....but that was fine, I was protected. And, then its UPS ran down...and all was quiet. It was also like 100 degrees that it was pretty miserable. But, when power came resumed like a good server, but the fans in it didn't. So it burned up.

Something like that probably happened to 'box'. Actually the predecessor was before 'lhaven'. The problem was I later learned that the replacement's BIOS had no disposition on what to do when power is cycled (no stay off, turn on or last state option). It always stayed off. The old 'lhaven' was a PC-AT system, while the new 'lhaven' is ATX. (post icepocalyse this problem was fixed).

So, after losing core services due to a power outage leaving 'lhaven' off....I decided I needed a new server to run these services on (DNS, DHCP, NTP). I didn't have to be much, so my then employer was having an auction of old computers....and I picked up a Pentium 75.

Wow, that's slower than the first PC I ever owned (before PC I was a Commodore person). I had acquired it with the plan to run ShareTheNet or some other Linux router thing...this was before Sveasoft and the other options became available for the WRT54GS....which is what I do now.

But, I installed SuSE on this P75 and was in business. Over the years, the hardware has changed. Actually it might have initially been RedHat, I did have a harddrive fail (they were 40G drives from ReplayTV upgrades). But, the current incarnation is SuSE 9.3 based.

Along the way there was a newer off-lease Dell that I acquired from eBay....move drive, let it rediscover hardware and make it go. Then that computer failed. So, I got an off-lease IBM NetVista from TigerDirect. Drive transplant, make it go.

By this time I was getting fancy with the stuff I was doing on it. At first it was be an internal router for my ReplayTVs, so I can sniff the progress of IVS transfers. Later it was run pulsed so that my Sprint 8703e could be bluetooth tethered. (something that I had taken for granted with my T-Mobile 7200....used tethering a lot during the first month I moved to Manhattan, KS...because I was having trouble getting Cox....missing the a few feet of coax between the pole and the box outside).

There are/were other things on here...aside the obvious of BOINC, there was ddclient and it was also the Linux box with a CD burner (for when I don't want to walk to my Windows computer and use the CD or DVD burner in there). 'orac' has a DVD burner, but I haven't used it yet.

Anyways...the question is will I get 'box' working again (either by fixing its hardware, or move the harddisk to a new machine and make it go again)....or make a new 'box' and recreate the core services. I no longer need pulsed (even though I don't have tethering ability with my iPhone, and I don't plan to pay for it....tethering is something I only do in a pinch, so I don't want to pay for something I hope to never need. At least with voice minutes those rollover, even though I hardly use them still.)

There's a certain temptation to load ubuntu and run these services, and then be able to keep the box current (more easily, it was fun building bind a couple of times....) Or hacking the system to support the new Daylight Saving Time.

OTOH, I kind of liked that the machine rather changed for something that was supposed to just be like an appliance.

Hmmm.... There is Ubuntu 8.04LTS, this is what 'orac' is running....ya, that's what I might do. Doesn't matter about the other versions of Ubuntu that I also run here and there. Having them all the same isn't an issue.

I guess it largely depends on whether I go with a different computer or fix the old computer. Both options are on the table now...since I have another IBM off lease computer on order (a ThinkCenter S51, IIRC and a powersupply [pull, untested] from eBay.) I think the 'new' computer will arrive first though. Though it'll probably be sometime before I get a new system up to the same level that 'box' was.

Oh yeah, 'box' was also an SMTP server....had moved that from 'lhaven' during its downtime following the icepocalyse. That reminds me....need to see which mail server 'tardis' and 'lunatic' are pointed at....'orac' was pointed at 'lhaven'....had found this morning that 'gumby' was stuck trying to send mail. (wallwatcher output to DShield)

Hmmm..... :hmm:

  11:30:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 168 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi

I got another Xantrex PowerSource 400

That brings the number of units in my condo to 3. :cool:

I go this one to replace the UPS (a CyberPowerSystems 1500AVR-HO) that was backing up 'lhaven' and the 8 port switch.

After getting it set up, I moved my wireless access point (Belkin F5D7130) over to this. It had gotten left behind when I moved my DSL modem and router. So it was in a place that didn't really make sense anymore. Though originally it wasn't my wireless access point, it was one of a pair for NDS bridging. But, now that I strung a cable to the remote point...I did it to solve the apparent heavy shielding of the walls in the condo.

If I do a WiFi scan around this computer, I can only hear like 4 other APs. Move to the other end of the condo...and there are dozens of APs.

The UPS plan calls for at least one more UPS....still leaning towards another SmartUPS for that one...though who knows, might go with another PowerSource 400.... :hmm:

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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