Some time before I bought one, I had often wished I had a Travel Router during my travels. And, I know I looked at whether it would be possible to use my Linux laptop as such.
But, then on November 25th, 2011, Black Friday....meaning I was at Chicago TARDIS at the time....I had on the spur of the moment ordered the ZuniConnect ZTRP150 WiFi Travel Router with USB Charging by ZuniDigital from NewEgg.com.
As I recall, it then sat around for months until I finally set it up, in preparation for possible use on my next trip....Gallifrey One in 2012.
The turn hotel ethernet into WiFi for all my gadgets was really nice, since most hotels only allow one device per room to register for its free or pay wireless. (though I heard some allow pay per device....) But, my reasoning at the time was the large number of Eye-Fi cards that I have in my collection, which are unable to connect to such WiFi, even when its free and its just an EULA page that needs to be accepted.
Otherwise, I wasn't too WiFi dependent gadget heavy then....I could use 3G on my smartphone, and my Kindles all did 3G or something (either exclusively or later with WiFi...I had started carrying the Kindle Fire, original, on trips....so it was the first that would benefit from a travel router.)
It was November 23, 2012 that I started my journey into the world of Chromebook (I had preordered it, and that's when it shipped....at first I was traveling with both my Linux laptop and the Chromebook, but for some time now...I've been going with just the Chromebook. Which has been challenging, like now I can't add SSIDs to my eye-fi cards on the road. So, I have to hope that I got the right ones pre-added to the cards. Along with some of the ones I know what will work, like the SSID for my MiFi2200 or later tethering off of my HTC One (I got the 5GB tethering plan, because lower tiers weren't eligible for employee discount and I had been looking to upgrade from MiFi....but hadn't found a reasonable pay as I go, but can't be activated because I don't live in an area that's covered by it.
Though I did consider exiting the Smartphone crowd and getting a contract Mobile Hotspot, but there isn't anything in an Android 4.3/4.4+ equivalent to iPod Touch....or WiFi only smart phone ???
Now, I guess I've been lucky with the ZuniConnect, which has two modes, Router or WISP. It has both a WAN and LAN port, so there's lots of different ways it could be used.
Long before this, I already had a RoadWarrior travel Ethernet cable in my carry on....so I wasn't stuck if the room only had a jack. And, the router mode was all I needed. It was pretty much plug it in and go everywhere that I stayed.
That was until my previous trip....the one to visit my brother and parents for Christmas. The hotel I stayed at didn't have Ethernet in the room. I had never looked at WISP, but knew it was something I was going to need to use eventually.
Well, it was a bust, because WISP is largely a different configuration in the router, because I would see ZuniConnect or something as an SSID sometimes, but not be able to connect to it. Not sure I know how to connect Chromebook to WPS, or if its possible. etc. But, in the end found that the only way to configure WISP is through ethernet. And, none of my devices had ethernet ports. (I'd still be screwed if I had a MacBook Air along....)
So, I made a note to investigate alternative Travel Routers and to acquire a USB Ethernet adapter for my Chromebook, etc. I eventually got both as part of a larger order from Amazon.com on Jan 22, 2014. I got a "Plugable" USB Ethernet adapter, because it was specifically listed as an adapter from Chromebook. And, I got a TP-Link TL-WR702N, Which sounded like it also did all I wanted, had been favorably reviewed and I've been pretty happy with the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND router that handles my Cox connection to the world....doesn't do all the stuff I liked doing with DD-WRT (though I could DD-WRT it)...but its been rock solid, and since I've moved to running nginx reverse proxy on a DMZ host, the 16 port forwarding limitation isn't an issue. QoS might start to become a concern though. But, I still primarily do that through DD-WRT on AT&T connection to the world. Some day I think I want to try pfSense....
But, that hotel stay wasn't a problem since they're WiFi access was controlled by a password that is given out at check-in....so I could connect all my devices to the WiFi without problems.
Anyways....these items sat around in their packages, until the night before I was to depart for Gallifrey One 2014.
The USB Ethernet adapter just worked and wasn't a problem (though I haven't registered its MAC with my network, which only does reserved DHCP ... its on my list to create a guest network, which can be helpful for discovering MAC address of devices that don't have them printed anywhere on them. But, it hasn't been an issue with wireless devices, since those failed attempts show up in my radius log. Which probably also shows up in the dhcp log (I suppose I should set those logs to forward to zen, so I can see them and add them to the appropriate files in CFEngine 3 repository....still haven't gotten cf-runagent working though.)
The TP-Link TL-WR702N was another story. Again it looks like it needs to be configured manual for WIFi Bridging through its ethernet port, but the ethernet port being dual mode LAN or WAN, its out of scope for its built-in DHCP (which is also disabled by default...) Also of annoyance was that its SSID was fixed, couldn't tailor it to my convention, but rather its own convention ending with the last 3 octets of its MAC. Where the default password is the last 4 octets. It does allow you to change the password, along with other encryption settings, or go open. It has a dropdown list for channel, which had defaulted to AUTO. But, it won't allow you leave the page until its been changed to be the same channel as the selected WiFi. Seems its a flaw with all WISP, that they attach to BSSID.... I have two APs at home, both with the same SSID, but different BSSID (of course) and different channels. Yet, my bedroom is still in a hole....
Could be interesting in a hotel environment where there's going to to be many different BSSID/Channels, which might change throughout the stay.
But, I ran into a problem. I couldn't not get my Chromebook to connect to the Ethernet port. It didn't do DHCP, but Chromebook has options to set things manually, but Chromebook still wouldn't connect. I suspect there's something Chromebook expects to get answers for to determine that the connection makes sense, and the TP-Link doesn't do it. At first I thought the Chromebook was expecting a fully usable Internet connection....which doesn't make sense, since its able to use captive portals, though often the captive portals only block http/https initially, or provide/leak enough to satisfy my Chromebook.... That was until this Gallifrey One trip....
Well, it's been just a touch over 72 hours since I got my Amazon Kindle Fire.
I pre-ordered it shortly after it was announced, with an ETA for November 17th with free 2-day Amazon Prime shipping. I knew there was a chance that they should ship early, because they did that the last time I pre-ordered something (The Kindle 2 and the Nintendo 3DS). But, its been a busy week...and I tried my best to keep my calendar open to receive it....I had an appointment pre-Kindle Fire announcement on the 14th, and I was keeping the 15th open for something that was later scheduled in conflict to the 14th....and ended up having an appointment on the 16th. If I had some notice from Amazon just before they shipped to adjust its timing...I might've...since the 15th being open now...I could've gotten it then. Instead I had to wait for UPS to make a redelivery attempt and bring it to me on the originally scheduled day... November 17th.
I didn't open it immediately when UPS gave it to me, in fact I put it down first and then had to find it before I could open it. It was easy to open...no info with it, but I eventually found the power button and it eventually booted and walked me through setup...though complicated by the fact that I needed to know its MAC address to add it to my radius and dhcp server configs. Plus I hadn't decided on an IP for it yet. Fortunately with radius access controls, its easier to find the MAC address of new devices than before.
It came pre-activated, in fact I had seen it in my kindle account before they shipped it (but no serial number was associated with the registration yet)...but I changed its name to follow the naming scheme I had gone with (if you can call only one previous device the basis of a scheme)...though I am tempted to get a Kindle Touch 3G to succeed my Kindle 2....though wonder if they're going to come out with a DX version? What I liked was that my Kindle Fire's email address was my first Kindle's address with '42' added to the username. Though there's a bunch of Kindle apps associated with my account that I don't recognize....wish the automatic naming was more descriptive. Suspect some are devices where I had to reinstall the system or have since be retired.
Though I wasn't crazy enough to buy content for it before receiving it...though I was tempted.
Anyways...what I was getting to, was once I got it working on my WiFi network, the next step would've been registration...and it flashed it briefly before telling me that it was registered and had the name I have given it earlier. And, then it was to update itself. So I found somewhere to plug it in and left it.
Big problem that is getting worse in my home now...so many things that need to get plugged in, and all the convenient outlets are already full and now I'm running out of inconvenient ones too. The Kindle Fire is using one of those inconvenient ones. I've been meaning to build myself some kind of charging center, similar to the kind of thing Cali Lewis was presented doing in a GeekBrief. Perhaps I'll have to step up plans to get around to 'building' it. Just haven't found that piece of furniture to buy to modify yet... Probably just a matter of time that I come across something reasonable on Amazon.com with Prime and get it though....
Well, Orac was being somewhat unresponsive this morning.... Looks like early this morning the system stopped answering to Cacti, with the temperature of the GPU rising to a new high. Don't know what the high would've been, because there was no snmp data for a while. GPU temp did recover, but the display did not.
Ended up rebooting, needed the excuse to see external journal work....
Once backup, I switched back to internal journal...but one of maximum size rather than default size. And, then shutdown the system to extract the PCI Compact Flash card. During the reboot to see external journal work...I realized that I wasn't likely to see much performance gain from getting faster compact flash since the card itself was only UDMA/66. So the 133x CF is already faster than the card?
Probably should've fsck'd manually after the switch back....some discussion thread suggested doing this after fiddling with journal settings. But, its fsck'ng now after the boot back up. Apparently superblock had invalid external journal superblock hint? And, auto fsck failed, requiring manual fsck.
Downside of internal journal is that it can only be a max of 400MB (an improvement from the 128MB default I had before)...but that's only like 0.01% of my total space. And, there was a discussion thread that seemed to suggest a journal size of 0.2% would yield better improvement....I didn't do the whole 16GB CF card...though wonder how much that would've helped.... But 0.2% would call for a journal of ~10.9GB. Suppose I could turn off data journaling, especially since there are files that backuppc puts down that are bigger than the 400MB journal. Though I think the ordered/writeback modes usually just do metadata journaling, while I had switched it to data journaling when I was playing with external journals...but I didn't switch it back.
Wonder which of writeback or ordered would be more optimal for this FS?
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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Wonder if the people at Xantrex or Amazon.com are wondering what's with all the PowerSource 400s I've been buying?
The latest acquisition brings the total to 5. With the latest being the 3rd unit in one room.
Somewhere in a past shuffle/outage...I had lost a UPS (CPS700AVR), and lost a computer (box). I had rebuilt box, and as interim....put it on the PowerSource 400 that was backing up 'lhaven'. I also put the 8-port [end] switch and my wireless access point onto this PowerSource 400.
This cuts into the available runtime, and its important to me that 'lhaven' never go down. Though its also important from the operation of my home network that 'box' never goes down. And, of course, the switch...and maybe the wireless access point. Though other parts of my home network are on different PowerSource 400's. The stack of equipment at the DSL point is on one, and the stack of equipment at the Cablemodem point on another (though it also includes extra things like 2 TiVo HD's and Expanders and other HT equipment)
So, I have moved 'box' and the network equipment here to the new PowerSource 400....leaving 'lhaven' on its own.
Now the question is whether or not there'll be another 1 in the future....for 'orac'.
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Yeah...I've done it....
using firestarter and dhcp3-server.
Last trip I went on, I found myself wondering if there was some way to re-share my hotel internet connection to my various devices (namely my Eee PC [w/eeebuntu] and my iPhone 3G). The problem was the hotel Internet was pay $9.99 per 24 hours, and it was per MAC. For that trip, I confined my usage to the EeePC...and used 3G service to satisfy my iPhone needs. Which would probably be fine in most cases....
Though I'm sure someday I'll run into a situation where I'm in a non-3G area and want more speed, or in an area with no service.
I remember hunting around for how to do it then, but eventually forgot about it. But, recently a friend brought the question up, and I got to thinking about the problem again. Since then, I had acquired a 'real' laptop...and had ubuntu 9.04 on it....
So, I started researching for an easy way to accomplish this. After much turmoil and some miserable attempts...I concluded that the WiFi <-> WiFi was definitely a no go. Though it would've been the most desirable.
Leaving my laptop to connect by WiFi...and the resharing on another WiFi to my other personal devices.
Figuring that I might arm myself at some future date with a travel WiFi router to solve the WiFi <-> WiFi scenario...I tried the Wired <-> WiFi situation.
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I went to another Penguicon, at Penguicon 6 I had earned whuffies which I used to get a shirt for that con and registration to the next one. At Penguicon 7.0, I earned just enough whuffies to get registration to Penguicon 2010 (I had purchased a shirt). At first I hadn't decided if I would go for Penguicon again...but once I started earning whuffies, I needed to find some reason that I was earning them...and eventually settled on getting registration to come again next year.
Anyways....Penguicon 7.0 was also my first trip anywhere since I started CPAP. I survived, in fact I miss it. Since I slept better in the hotel room than I do at home. I always thought I did in previous travels, now even more so with CPAP. I would wake feeling refreshed (and not needing coffee), and I could make it most of the day before getting tired. Now that I'm back...the not totally awake and needing coffee in the morning is back.
I decided to leave the 'do not disturb' sign out all the time, and not have housekeeping poking around. It also took the pressure off in using my hotel room for more than just sleeping at night and during the con. So, no more going out for breakfast and then coming back to use the bathroom, and worrying that housekeeping is going to come barging in or skip me...or be in my room and prevent me from using the bathroom.
I was worried about running out of shampoo, but turned out to have ample for the 4 nights.
For some reason I swear my machine was quieter in the hotel room, perhaps its because the night stand was open in the bottom from just the front, and I put the machine in there. So the machine's noise was shielded much better. The IKEA night stand I have at home is open front and back....and not as low. Don't know if this is something I'll look at addressing should I ever get around to rearranging my bedroom.
There were other improvements....like I didn't fall asleep on the 3+ hour shuttle ride to the airport....though I found it really boring, and I was kind of all annoyed about the fact that I reserved the trip on April 4th...but RoadRunner lost my reservation and then the driver seemed annoyed that I was holding up his departure. But, the shuttle arrived ahead of schedule at the airport.
Then the RoadRunner trip coming home came in slow....because before the scheduled pickup, it dumped a couple quarts of oil and was continuing to leak. Before we left Kansas City it had to stop and have 3 quarts added to it. There was no stop in Lawrence, so then stopped in Topeka at the RoadRunner office there, so that the engine could be shut off some some more poking around under the hood.... Then one of the passengers (a backup driver for RoadRunner), as we were coming up to the Manhattan, KS turn off from I70, had the nerve to suggest that since I was the only passenger going there...that the driver should skip going to Manhattan so that he could make sure that he gets to Junction City.
Things also got really noisy, took on a guy in Topeka who was blasting tunes on his PSP (the passenger/backup driver pretended to poke at the PSP from behind, I just had to put up with it)....and then there were 3 small children in the back, who now awake (having slept through everything else) were adding to the noise level in the shuttle.
Wonder when I'll be able to plan American Eagle flights out of Manhattan?
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