Sometime around mid-May, I think, I had gotten a plain business size envelope with just the Cox logo in the top left corner and my address on it. No other indication as to what the content was, so basically resembling similar letters pitching new services or such. Though those will probably start appearing again when the students return....
Not sure why, I opened it for some reason...and eventually found it to be a letter informing me that Cox is about to go SDV and that I would need to obtain some 'free' tuning adapters (where the only 'free' part is no new monthly charge to my cable card service -- where I only needed 4 tuning adapters to go with the 6 cablecards I'm renting.....the two older TiVo HDs having 2 S-Cards each...had thought about switching both to single M-Cards, but given my experience with previous 'self-install M-Card, turning into a full-service install charge because the M-Card was defective....so a tech had to come out to make that determination and give me a non-defective one.)
The letter said that I could visit a Cox Home Solutions store or call to have them delivered. After some thought, I decide that I will call and have them deliver 4 tuning adapters versus no idea how big or when I would make it out that way. Memorial day weekend was out, as was the first weekend of June for sure. And, the switch over was to be like June 25th.
So, I call and delivery is offered to me, which I confirm that is what I want. Where the agent checks to make sure they do shipments to Manhattan, but then later on its apparently not possible to deliver. But, after some further investigation by the agent, it seems like it might be possible and eventually I get a call back saying that they have been shipped and I should get them around Friday (June 7th).
From past experience, items are shipped FedEx Home Delivery, so I had expected to find them sitting there waiting for me when I got home from work...but there wasn't anything. Perhaps Saturday instead....while I didn't intend to wait all the way to when they did show up.... cacti consumed more time than I had intended that Saturday...
The delivery was kind of annoying...in that the delivery person dropped the boxes loudly on my door step with a big whomp...and then it was like he tried to kick in my door before running off.... mainly because it set off my burglar alarm....
Anyways what I found were 4 huge boxes....big enough to contain DVRs or like components. Perhaps its the only size package they have for deliveries. But, after a quick unpack....the still packaged 4 tuning adapters would fit into one of the boxes, minus the ineffective foam insert...because the insert was sized to protect something bigger than the small boxes that had come instead.
At first it looked like I wasn't getting the complete self-install kit...but later I found that the self-install box contained one coax, splitter and filter...while the tuning adapter box contained the other coax along with usb cable and power wart.
Though I had decided before getting this that I was going to go with a splitter closer to wall and run new longer run to tuning adapter by each TiVo.... And, it was my intent for June 8th to be a Target run. It didn't pan out, and its not something that is sold by the union computer store or the union bookstore...so I ended up ordering cables from Amazon.com.
And, then it was a matter of figuring out when I would get around to setting them up. A number of times where I could've done it went by, but it didn't occur to me that I should do it then. Since the operation would be disruptive to my cable hookup, needed to avoid primetime. And, needed to be sufficiently awake and steady too.
And, then I notice there's a $10 self-install charge on my Cox bill.
...and I've been eyeballing the WZR-HP-G300NH (not only 300Mbps N instead of 150MBps N, but also gigabit ports...also 64MB of RAM and 32MB of Flash ... up from 32MB & 4MB. Not clear on performance difference between Atheros 7240 and 9130...hopefully something).
Because while the current WHR-HP-GN is a step up from my WRT54GS...the QoS still impacts my throughput by a significant amount. Though not enough to turn off QoS in the meantime.
There have bunch a new builds of dd-wrt last month, but no 2012 releases yet. Big thing seems to be 3.x kernels. But, I tried one of the releases...and it was significantly slower with QOS than the last summer release (Build 17201), which has been doing adequate for me. Seems to get laggy over time, so back to rebooting my routers weekly...which can be annoying, because it takes a long time to become responsive again...and connections get dropped sometimes, especially if its long enough to trigger a new IP. So, I reverted back to 17201, which many other people seem to feel is the current best release. Not sure what functionality future builds are shooting to acquire. I think what I have does almost everything I want. I just want it to be less of a bottle neck when doing QoS.
IE: with the WRT54GS, ~5.5MBps down was the best I could get. And, when I started, I only had 6Mbps down service. But, Cox has been upping the speed on upstream and downstream over time. And, its supposed to be like 20MBps and up to 2Mbps up now. But with QoS on....~5.5Mbps was all I continued see, so I dismissed such claims from Cox.
I'm sure all the college students in the area are don't much to things. At least my DSL is more consistent. Though its only 6Mbps/768kbps, the maximum service tier for DSL here. Apparently, certain units in unit B can get U-Verse...but not all of them and I'm in unit A, so no go. Probably means they're on the box next to Chase Manhattan apartments to the south..rather than the box near CAUMC across the intersection.
I had made my own customization to QoS rules on the WRT54GS, and I had largely developed updated equivalents for the WHR-HP-GN's....the only thing missing is 'connbytes' feature in iptables. The kernel supports connbytes, but the provided iptables command does not. The behavior had changes since Iast used requiring the '--connbytes-dir' and '--connbytes-mode' paramers, but soon figured out that the iptables command had been built standalone, and without the feature.
For quite some time, I've been running WRT54GS routers....that I had hacked to run Sveasoft Alchemy...eventually reaching 1.0 release and then pretty much doing very little to.
Originally, I had gotten a WRT54GS v1.1 that I upgraded, and used with my Roadrunner Cablemodem service. Later word came out that newer WRT54GS had less memory than before, and were switching to non-replaceable OSs. So, I started keeping an eye out for older WRT54GS routers...to get as a spare. One day in a Wal-Mart, I was going through the WRT54GS's on a shelf...when way at the back behind the newer v5 stock, was a v2.0. Well, I had to buy it right then and there.
Later when I moved to Manhattan, KS...I was presented with the opportunity to go dual WAN. Well, wasn't my intent, but I was forced into it. So, not wanting to mess up my 'cable' configs. I set up the backup WRT54GS for DSL use.
And, things have been humming along pretty well, with the two WRT54GS routers and the running of both Cox and AT&T broadband.
That was until last September....I was trying transparent proxy and ended up bricking the WRT54GS for DSL. So, I started looking online for a new router to replace the WRT54GS that would be better than what I had now. One of the key features of Sveasoft is the better QoS...which was important since I was doing a lot of VoIP (having at the time both Lingo and Vonage, since neither had Manhattan, KS numbers...they have since gone away...and its just Broadvoice now. But, I've been thinking of getting another....) But, I had turned of QoS on the cable one, because I found that it was affecting my ability to see the speed improvements that Cox had been making to it. So, I had already started looking at what next after WRT54GS....but now with a bricked router, things were more urgent.
So, what I did was order a pair of Buffalo WHR-HP-GN (with dd-wrt) routers from Amazon, using Amazon Prime...on September 9, 2010.
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This afternoon's tale starts on Tuesday, November 8th.
At about 9:30am, I get an email from Cox about Wednesday's EAS test for 2pm EST....shouldn't be a problem, won't be home and nothing should be recording then...
Then at about 11:30am, I start getting pages that my Cox connection (among other things) has gone away. Well, the other things were because without Cox...there's no DNS or NTP...so things that tested or depend on that also failed. Though monitoring from work just showed Cox down.... At least I still have DSL....tweak some stuff back to being DSL centric, and bounce my cable modem a few times.... I had switched away from being DSL centric after a recent significant DSL outage.
Eventually cable service comes back, and I think all is good. Though I don't notice that not everything in nagios has cleared. And, when I come home...I find that I still have no Cox internet service.
I turn on the TV to see if I'm at least getting a signal....but I only checked the channel that was default...didn't check further. I then get on with Cox to find out why my service is down.
Strange that I often have trouble right around bill due time. But, I use EasyPay, so they automatically get paid. And, this month the auto-pay date is November 9th. New bill came out around October 27th (in fact later when I got confirmation that they had processed the payment, that's what it said). Always interesting that they allow so little time between sending the bill to when it needs to get paid. Its probably to keep us from dropping services between getting the bill and paying it. Like dropping Movie Pak....a while back they moved BBC America to the Movie Pak, so I had to add that to my service quickly....but sometime later they moved it back to the Variety Pak...so I should probably drop the Movie Pak...but I never seem to get around to it. I don't watch anything else in the Movie Pak (but at least I do from the Variety Pak.)
But, I check and account is current. I also got alert from bank of the pending charge too.
So, I get on with Cox support to find out what's up or not....and after they get my account information, come back saying a technician call is needed and say the earliest is Thursday between 1-3pm. Ok...then I'm asked if there's anything else, and I'm disconnected.
Seems like that's one way to avoid the National EAS test....
I had turned the cable modem on and off a few times, with longer off times, and checked connections and such...to no luck, but couldn't recall if I left it on or off overnight. When I get up...there's still no Cox Internet service. I restart the cable modem, and presto...I have service.
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....another day that justifies also having DSL service.
Of course, on top of much more downstream and upstream, Cox also has lower latency. However, the thing that would benefit most...I have using DSL, my home telephone service...because I need the availability.
And they keep trying to sell Digital Phone....they do claim that I can keep my Broadvoice number, which would be a requirement. And, the current bundling savings me a ton of money....at least for the promo period. Hmmm, though its only the Essential bundle of digital phone...which is less services than I get now, including services I want...and normally for much more than what I pay Broadvoice. Though with bundling, it would only only cause my current service plan to go up by a couple of dollars. And, long distance would cost me more....
Wonder when U-Verse is going to get here. Annoying that some units in some buildings can get U-Verse, other units in some buildings have U-Verse. But, it says my unit in my building doesn't exist....yet I have DSL and they send me bills for it, so I surely exist somewhere....
Not sure if I'd go Internet only, or Internet + Phone. Phone seems to be missing one feature.... simul-ring.
In the morning, I will open like 50 tabs in firefox...for the sites I check out every morning. And, going through my caching proxy helps. But, there are things that I can't get to using the proxy, so I will toggle off the use of proxy in firefox.
But, then I don't remember to switch it back on later....
Additionally, there are devices on my home network that I think could benefit from going through squid, but they don't offer easy ways to make that go.
So, the answer was to investigate transparent proxy. Which I finally got around to doing this weekend.
I added two new ports to my squid.conf
http_port coxtport transparent
http_port dsltport transparent
went with new ports for transparent separate from the existing ones, and two so that one squid cache handling either gateway....
I did a lot of googling around to figure out the iptables to add to my Sveasoft Alchemy running WRT54GS routers.
This is what I've settled on (for cox gateway):
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i br0 -s ! box.lhaven.homeip.net -p tcp --dport 80 -j DNAT \ --to box.lhaven.homeip.net:coxtport iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o br0 -s lhaven.homeip.net/24 -d box.lhaven.homeip.net -j SNAT \ --to coxgateway iptables -A FORWARD -s lhaven.homeip.net/24 -d box.lhaven.homeip.net -i br0 -o br0 -m state \ --state NEW,ESTABLISHED,RELATED -p tcp --dport coxtport -j ACCEPT iptables -A FORWARD -d lhaven.homeip.net/24 -s box.lhaven.homeip.net -i br0 -o br0 -m state \ --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -p tcp --sport coxtport -j ACCEPT
In the aftermath of the summer storm of August 13th, (hmmm, totally missed that it was a Friday the 13th), I made a tweak to my ddclient config for updating dyndns for my DSL line. Because I found that it wasn't able to update the IP change while Cox was down.
Couldn't find a way to make ddclient to bind to the local IP that routes out by DSL (or use non-default gateway). But, since I have squid proxy on the same box...and depending on what port I come in on, it can use either of my connections.
I set proxy=box.lhaven.homeip.net:3128
Couldn't use localhost, because ddclient does some kind of validation to require an fqdn+port, and localhost isn't an fqdn. And, yes, I use my dyndns domain as my home domain. So I can have bookmarks that'll work whether I'm at home or on the road
But, this change wasn't tested...as it has been less than 28 days for a refresh, and no IP change.
That was until this morning, when my IP did change.
The updates weren't working....seems that ddclient wants to do SSL all the way or not at all. No using an http proxy to connect out on SSL. But, I didn't feel like sending my dyndns password out non-SSL.... So, after some thought, I decided I would figure out how to set up SSL on squid.
I made the necessary configuration change, but no go. Seems that ubuntu doesn't distribute squid with SSL, because squid and openssl have incompatible open source licenses. So, I did a quick search to find the ubuntu way of rebuilding it from source.
apt-get source squid apt-get build-dep squid apt-get install devscripts build-essential fakeroot cd squid-2.7.STABLE7 vi debian/rules Add --enable-ssl \ to “# Configure the package” section debuild -us -uc -b cd .. dpkg -i squid??? squid-common???
Change to proxy=box.lhaven.homeip.net:3218, and it worked.
So, I purchased the episode that I missed last night due to the storm taking out Cox from Amazon Video On Demand on my TiVo Premiere.
And, later I noticed this big download spike for my router. At first I thought it was a 'bug' (overflow/wraparound/reset), but it was more than just a spike. And, after some thought, it fell within what powerboost could give me.
So here's the picture for prosperity....
Meanwhile, I wonder when 'regular' Video on Demand is coming to my TiVo Premiere, seeing as I'm on Cox.
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So, yesterday afternoon...there was quite the thunderstorm.
I could see that the power was flickering at home, VNC'd to 'gumby'. After a while...it was steady on battery. I went over to 'tardis', and watched the UPS run down and cause it to hibernate. Didn't stay to watch 'gumby', headed in to the hallway to visit with evacuees and then go up to watch the storm....and then see about going home.
As I was leaving I saw that my connection to home had gone away. I couldn't remember if I was going into my home network via DSL or Cox. Though based on available data, looks like it was DSL. Will confirm on Monday.
Well, this is interesting....
The best I was getting after the latest Cox speed upgrade was:
But, with Wondershaper(QoS) turned off, I'm now getting speeds like these:
It might be acceptable to stay with my current set up, rather that seek out a new router and learn dd-wrt.
I did add a Hawking Broadband Booster (HBB1) that I got off of eBay to at least try to do some QoS.
Latest Poopli Updaters -- http://lkc.me/poop
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