It was a dark and stormy...late afternoon...yesterday, and....
I had started out almost 7 years ago with a Siemens 4100 DSL Modem, which worked the way I needed it to for my home network. And, wasn't sure how easy it would be to find another like it. I was running it in the cross between router and bridge mode...so that my router could maintain my dyndns info (though it wasn't too long after that I moved that to ddclient on box, which has been more reliable...but I was having ddclient scrape from the router, though the ddclient for the router on my Cox connection wasn't supported so that uses checkip.dyndns.org. So, now both do.
Would probably be too much work to make ddclient go out on the right IP so that ip route will send it to the DSL router, so it can query the DSL modem for what the real external IP is. Though the new cbox/dbox setup would simplify things....but the migration has stalled as I've been working on getting cacti moved from box...and it hasn't been going well. Lots of old templates and such don't work on the new, so I've been reworking what I feel I can't live without....
That includes the graphs of my DSL modem stats....
Anyways....when the Siemens 4100 started dropping the connection a lot (around the 3 year mark) and changing the filter didn't help, I had heard that these things wear out... So, I tracked down a new Siemens 4100 on eBay...and switched to that....and that got things working again.... Then a couple years ago, things go bad consistently....though I could see from my cacti graphs that SNR drops in the evening. Though I wasn't able to get local service to restore/fix things. I tried the AT&T forum on dslreports.com, and they changed me to Interleaved, which helped....
But, I had started shopping around for a new DSL modem.... somewhere in my journey's I acquired a Zoom ADSL X3 5760 Modem. But, since things were working...I put it aside as my spare for when things stop. Seems I've had it so long that its no longer available....got it July 9, 2012 according to Amazon.com
For a while now, it would drop the connection now and then during the week (between its weekly self-reboot)...at first I suspected the router, since its twin had gone away in much the same way several months earlier. Though the router do also have failsafe configured, so if it can't talk (ping) to box or the WAN gateway...it reboots. Though at some point AT&T made their gateways unpingable. So, it was pinging google.
But, on April 6 it got really bad....my IRC connection was resetting practically constantly. Though since I had swapped the router before, and swapped it again. Though maybe now I wonder if its watchdog was too aggressive. Things were usable, but the line drops would be annoying. Also the IP staying the same through drops didn't make me question the DSL modem.
But, then on April 13, things start getting really bad....and I was getting 50+ messages a day from ddclient that my IP changed. It seemed to stablize a bit on Monday....though it was still dropping regular enough that I switched to using Cox for my IRC screen session. Was going to defer to the weekend to make the swap.
Well, yesterday the weather was bad...lots of lightning, rain....and I first display I looked at when I got home said "NO INTERNET". Though it was probably a temporary outage, because it did appear to eventually come back while I was working on unboxing my 'new' DSL modem. And, try to figure out how to set it up without the Windows wizard it provides or the lack of documentation with it...there was a small CD, which didn't really provide much depth....but I found what IP it would be and that it has web interface....it also has a telnet interface and an FTP interface.
Anyways...it turned out to be pretty straight forward getting it working...the hard part was figuring out what the non-default options meant, and whether I would want them.... the main one I turned on was "fullcone NAT". And, I set my router in with a reserved IP and made it DMZ host, so I can keep all my forwards there...plus the Zoom is limited to 16, which isn't enough .... though this may change when I make use of its DMZ feature as well (doing reverse proxy on cbox/dbox to everywhere else on my home network...running firewall on these boxes already, to implement policy based routing.) And, enabling ICMP on the WAN interface (its also possible to enable http, ftp and telnet on the WAN interface as well.)
Getting it working in Cacti again, turned out to be much harder.
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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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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, 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.
I had been thinking of getting one of these units for a while, though wondering if I could use just as an AP.
Meanwhile, Cox has been improving its speed...but I wasn't seeing the improvement. Could see the upstream improvement, but not so much with the downstream. Well, its an old WRT54GS v1.1....and I guess I've hit the ceiling on it. Though turning off wondershaper (QoS) made an improvement in speed, though still not the full advertised speed of Cox Preferred. Not sure if that's the local competition or the next ceiling.
So, got to thinking that I needed a new router....after some quick searching around, it seemed too much trouble track down a modifiable router so that I could still have wondershaper... and one that offered improved WiFi (since pretty much can't get them without WiFi). When it occurred to me that maybe I'd just jump and get the Airport Extreme.
Without wondershaper on this gateway, I moved the main upstream hogs to go through the other WRT54GS and Internet connection....the DSL service, where things aren't getting me down....
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Today, I finally pulled the trigger again....and canceled my home phone service. But, I'm keeping DSL.
Originally, when I first moved to Manhattan, KS there were issues on whether or not I could get a local number from a VoIP provider. And, I was interested in the possibility of getting DSL. Plus as it turned out, I had trouble getting Cox Internet. So, I had to use expensive dialup Internet to feed my habit.
Later I went ahead and ordered DSL, after giving up on ever getting Cox. Of course, once I did that, Cox moved mountains, and got me connected. But, I kept DSL because it had been on my list of things to try....to try being dually connected. Which has been fun, so I'm going to continue to do this.
But, since I got Internet service at home...I haven't used the phone part of my home service.
So, I was sitting around this morning, because I didn't have to go into work, looking for little things to pass the time with....so I decided this was a good time as any to finally make that call.
Getting past the automated phone system to a real person was kind of a pain, but once I got a real people the process went surprisingly well.
So, this Friday my home phone service will be no more. It was kind of useless...at over $27 a month for just basic local service, when pretty much all I do are long distance calls (to Canada...to my mom)...hence the value of VoIP. I had rationalized keeping it for when nothing else is available....but having survived a couple significant power outages recently...I decided that it wasn't as essential.
Yes, I expect my DSL cost to go up....by $10....but it is still a savings....that I can apply to other crazy things.
I rated this 4 stars.
I wonder if there'll be more....
Last night I experienced another Kansas Weather Event. Starting to wonder if I had known about these things, would I have called Manhattan, Kansas home?
Last night it was rain, and lots of it. I may as well have been a solid water coming down everywhere....almost the instant it started....I could hear water pouring into my living room. I had towel handy, and the put empty trash containers along the patio door and that kept most of the water at bay.
Carpet was dry by morning.
But, then the inevitable next happened. The power flickered and then went away. I was watching TV at the time (L&O: Criminal Intent). Guess I'll have to pick up the ending later. Things were humming on the UPS. Though somethings bounced...I turned off the TV and the V880N. Seems my HDVI5 switcher isn't on a UPS. So, there was no using things while the UPSs beeped. I thought I had disabled the beeper in the UPS, but maybe it only disables if it knows there's a computer attached....there isn't so...hmmm.
The UPS handling 'lhaven' died immediately. So, no IRC. So, even though the cable modem was still working and lasted more than half an hour. And, the DSL modem never went down. I was quickly without Internet, as computers ran down. And, my wireless access points are connected to desktop UPSs. I think I should move the access point to the PowerSource 400 that was backing up my phone/VoIP/router/dsl.
I went around shutting down some other computers to help stretch the UPSs....
Seems the Lasko floor fan and the Kenmore Envirosense air purifier didn't like being on the UPS...probably the TRIAC to make low speed fan and the simulated sine wave of the UPS output not getting along. I turned these things off. And, then after pacing around for a while, and checking various light sources. And, finding it getting warm and stuffy indoors. I went out and listened on my HT to the weather spotters, and checked out the area.
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I haven't used Boxee/Hulu/AppleTV in a long time, but today I was catching up on some TV shows....and found that I didn't get all of Fringe, because Idol had run long
So, after calming down....I decided to see what the state of Hulu on my AppleTV was. Guess the Boxee/Hulu issue had gotten straightened out, and I was able to watch the episode...more or less.
It paused now and then while playing....guess DSL isn't the way to do much of anything in streaming video. Wonder if I should change the default gateway of my AppleTV to use Cox HSI?
I rated this 3 stars.
At first I was gonna watching it on my DSL connected TiVo HD, but saw that it was trying to stream in HD quality....but dropped down to not. So, I switched to my Cox HSI connected TiVo HD where I could get an HD stream.
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