Sunday, 6 January 2013

phone line and broadband changed from BT to TalkTalk

I'm not sure what happen, but since I changed one of my phone line and broadband from BT to talktalk quality of the line went down. My current line SNR around 10 (up to 11) while it was never less than 14-15 when the line was registered with BT. Attenuation is 33 now and it was not more than 25 when line was with BT.

So from SNR 15 and Atten 25, stats went down to SNR 10 and Atten 33. Broadband link with BT was from 11 to 14 mbps, and it's max 9 mbps with errors and corrections with talktalk. It's ADSL2+ annex A. Sadly talktalk D-Link modem doesn't give much stats, but definitely something is wrong here. Quality of connection is not great, when RS errors happen, packets are lost and has to be retransmitted, causing short "delays" (0.5 - 2 sec) every XX seconds, which successfully destroy any gaming experience, which was outstanding with BT, and it's poor quality with TalkTalk.

Please note that I have two lines with TalkTalk now, and the another line is pretty good and stable. I don't mind 9 mbps instead of 12 mbps (avg that I had on that line with bt), but quality of the line could be improved. I tried to raise this issues with BT and talktalk, but they both are petty much useless in such a cases. It doesn't make sense if BT provide best possible quality of the line when someone buys the line and services from them directly, and lower quality of the line when someone decide to get it from wholesale.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


The last year, when I decided to start this blog, I had absolutely no plans. Created my first blogger blog on 1st Nov 2011, did few posts in November, and forgot about it's existance for almost a year. After a year (almost a year), I checked statistics and I found that my post about "linux CentOS 6.2 - installation" is pretty popular and receiving some nice google search engine traffic. That was really amazing, because it means that someone actually read this (sometime, don't get excited, it's not a million hits per day). For a short while, I've been considering to close this blog, as per "shutdown or not to shutdown" topic, but shortly decided to do some more posts. And since then it's looks like... slowly I started to enjoy this. I have no idea why, but it's still fun to put few words sometime, black fonts on while background, that makes me happy.

All this means that linux-one blog will be up and running (at least as long as long blogger is online, but hey... what's the chance that it will go offline, after all it's a google product). The main idea and story line is Linux, and only Linux. I don't mind to consider to mention Windows system sporadicaly, and I don't mind to say how bad Apple systems are (how much time you have to spend to do so badly with BSD systems? I think it's not possible to screw up such a great unix system in one or two years, it's had to be years and years of intensive development to make BSD based system so bad).

My Windows 7 laptop keeps crashing


It is so annoying when you are doing some work or fun with your laptop, and it crash. Everything just freeze, mouse cursor doesn't move anymore. I'm not sure if the problem is with laptop hardware or my Windows 7 installation (after all, it is proffesional edition with all latest patches, so it should not be crashing...). It started slowly, from time to time, single crash per month, then once a week, then two times a week, and finally now, it crash at least two or three times a day. I need to seriously think about new laptop, Christmasssss soon, maybe Mr. Santa can buy one for me? Just english version of operating system please...

The problem is, that I need Windows on my laptop, as I have to be able to run some windows based software, which is require to do some work remotely. I don't need it all the time, but from time to time, I really need it to make my life easier. Tried to run in with wine, some soft works perfectly, some doesn't at all.

Another reason to actually use windows with my laptop is... as I mentioned already on this blog, I'm connected to internet with T-mobile broadband. It's a USB stick which I brough back in 2010, it's called "ZTE modem" (I love the modem name for USB stick btw). ZTE modem MF626, USB stick 120, that's exactly what I can see on the back on that device. I have been trying to install this on linux, spend really a lot of time, but I failed. Please note that I have been staying offline at that time (how you can use internet, when that's what you're trying is to install device that will allow you to connect to internet?). Probably now, once I'm connected, I could try to find a driver that would be working...

The good story is, that I'm still running Oracle VM on my "windows laptop", with Ubuntu linux installed inside. It's not Gnome/KDE or any X variation system, just a basic linux installation, but that's all I need here. Proper linux X is running on my desktop (Centos6, KDE if someone would ask), and another Centos 6 server on my personal micro HP server, I love that one btw, but it's definately topic for another blog post to describe what's there.

But all of this, doesn't change the fact, that my laptop, with Windows 7 proffesional installed on, crashing too often. I'm not sure if that's a Windows or Hardware problem (make your pick). I'm not very "anti windows" person, and I still think that Winds can be useful, but could be that Windows systems brings more dirt to CPU fan, causing some "hardware issues"...

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Problems with Virgin Media broadband connection...


In past year I had virgin broadband connected in two different places. Virgin cable at one place, and national broadband at another place due to no cable available in this area. I'm also a virgin mobile customer, with two pay monthly contracts. I've moved to another place recently in 06/2012 and I'm trying to get virgin cable connected here. I've put a order to get my broadband moved from E1, London to my new address SE5, London, and switch to virgin media cable, as Virgin Media have a cables here. After a short while I got a phone call from Virgin Media spot team, telling me that due to Olympic in London, Virgin can not do this because cables to my place have to go through front street door, and TFL ban any scheduled maintenance jobs on roads class A and B in London. I can understand this, so I follow suggestions and contacted Virgin... placed another order in August, when Olympic was about to end, to get my connection sorted. After I placed my second order, guy from Local Virgin Spotter’s Team contacted me, telling me that my flat can not be connected. He said it's because my windows are in the back side of the building. I have explained, that windows may be in the back of the building but cable can go through front side, but he didn't really listen. After conversation was over, I sent him response to his e-mail to explain this, but he ignores me and never respond back. I sent him another e-mail couple of days ago, asking if something changed, as I can clearly see virgin cables connecting my neighbours from front and back of the building. When I look though my back side of the building window, I can see 2 virgin media cables there,connecting 2 different flats, that's 5 meters away. On corridor in my building, I can see another flat connected with virgin media cable, and that's only 1 meter away from my door, next to my flat. So why someone who has door to his flat 1 meter away can be connected to virgin media through cable, and I can not be? I would really like to be a virgin media customer, I had 2 different connections from Virgin, I still have 2 mobile contracts with Virgin, I'm loyal customer, but Virgin "Local Spotter’s Team" is just rubbish. I think it's easy installation, if Virgin connected flat that is 1 meter away from me, why they can not connect me? Virgin can even save 1 meter of cable! Sad story, because every order for Virgin Media cable go through this crap Local Spotter's Team :(

Thursday, 18 October 2012

shutdown or not to shutdown

The true linux administrator's questions is, should I shutdown or should I not... you never know what's going to happen to the system that has 3 years of uptime. In this case, it's not a system, but this blog. I started this blog on 1st of November 2011, simply because I have been bored. During last year, I realized that sharing some personal information and typical blogging is not what I want to do really. Few new blogs came to live, this time more specific and focused on technical topics. If you're reading this post, then probably you're looking for some answers for hardcore technical linux problems, and in this case I would strongly recommend my blog Linut TnT - tips and tricks. The only reason why this blog is not closed yet, is because it still gets come traffic from search engines, especially my post "linux CentOS 6.2 - installation" seemed to be popular, and this topic had over 2000 visits in past year. Maybe it's not that huge, maybe it's not 2 million visits, but still some people can find useful information, which makes it reasonable to keep it online. CentOS 6.2 will become ancient system at some point, and then I could decide to shutdown this blog, as I doubt if I can be bother to update it. Anyway, as long as long it's online, someone may find it useful, and don't forget to  check my dedicated linux tips and tricks blog with nice bash scripts and information about linux enviroment.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sick day, Kubuntu 11.10 installation, easy as ABC

Sick! I decided not to go to work today, few paracetamols, hot tea and coffee shortly after... I stayed in bed with my laptop and eventually called sick day. Played World of Warcraft for an hour or so, boring... let's do something useful.

Quck Kubuntu download, previously-burned DVD-RW with CentOS 6 erased, shiny new Kubuntu 11.10 ready for a kick. Windows like installer, few "next" buttons clicked, and KDE is up and running out of the box. Do you remember I've complained that CentOS has "PermitRootLogin" set to "yes" by default? Looks like Ubuntu / Kubuntu has same settings, so that's probably default openssh thing. Funny story is that in Ubuntu based systems, you don't really create root user password and system force you to create user account instead, so you can use sudo to run commands with more privileges. With such a policies, why would someone allow direct root login by default through SSH? Well... maybe that's just me who's cares too much about this.

"apt-get" update and upgrade, denyhosts is inside repository, so you don't have to download and setup it manually, that's a good thing right? All this took me maybe an hour, and I had whole day, so started playing with virtualization, KVM and XEN. After a short while, fighting with different packages and configs, I found that my CPU Intel E7300 doesn't support Virtualization Technology (VT-x), this may explain why everything I tried failed, stupid me. I started installation and setup of OpenVZ, which doesn't really require VT, but I had no more patience for this, so decided to play some more World of Warcraft. This game can be really time consuming, if you didn't play it, don't start it, it's like smoking, once you going to try, you will want to do it again.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Why this happen every Sunday

Yet another boring Sunday, doing nothing but slacking around (in pain, trying to quit smoking, doing well... or maybe not, if I have to be honest), surfing the web... here's some funny stuff I've found recently.


It's more like a developer / programmer excuse, but can be used by a systems administrator as well. Imagine re-compiling some system packages or kernel (or maybe building "world" in FreeBSD). Btw, picture was shown to me by Matt, my work colegue (and yes, we both are sysadmins).

And here's something I found on Google+ today (it's not like I'm playing around this g+ a lot, I'm not really a big fan of social networks, but "what's hot" link on google+ can give you a short break and entertiment for few minutes, so it's worth to check it sometime!).


If you can read this you have a strong mind... really? Anyway, very nice idea, and it is working somehow... Credits go to Sabrina Terence, it's a shame that her website doesn't seems to be working... maybe I could find some more awesome stuff over there.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

linux CentOS 6.2 - installation

Base system has been installed from: CentOS-6.0-x86_64-minimal.iso

# uname -a
Linux xxx 2.6.32-71.el6.x86_64

sweet, but for some reason I can't use yum, even ping google.com fail...

# ifconfig | grep encap | cut -d" " -f1
lo

what the hell? where's my network!?

# ifup eth0
# dhclient eth0
# ifconfig | egrep "Link encap|inet addr"

eth0  Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr F4:6D:04:AF:AD:2F
      inet addr:192.168.1.66 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
lo    Link encap:Local Loopback
      inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0

here we go, looks much better. "yum update" done, "mc" and "nano" installed, now it's time to sort out this networking issue, what kind of server (or desktop) it is when network interface can't survive a reboot.

/etc/sysconfig/network
NETWORKING=yes
checked.

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
ONBOOT=no

ehm... shouldn't default CentOS installation set your primary network interface to "ONBOOT=yes"? Anyway, ONBOOT updated, "BOOTPROTO=dhcp" has been added, let's reboot! Machine rebooted, network interface is up and it has correct IP number (asigned on my router to this MAC address), dhclient is running. Next pretty lame thing is that root login is allowed through SSH by default and there's no sudo installed, so I had to do "yum install sudo", add user account, add record to /etc/sudoers and update /etc/ssh/sshd_config with "PermitRootLogin no", which is set to "yes" and commented out by default.

# yum install denyhosts

Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, presto
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base: mirror01.th.ifl.net
 * extras: mirror01.th.ifl.net
 * updates: mirror01.th.ifl.net
Setting up Install Process
No package denyhosts available.
Error: Nothing to do

please, be serious... I just put firewall rules on my router to allow ssh... A system which allow root login through SSH by default doesn't even have "denyhosts" in repository? If that would be something new, a new package, but... it is stable and static code since 2008, nobody even bother to touch this code anymore, it's simple and complete package. Anyway, not a problem, sourceforge is your friend...

# wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/denyhosts/denyhosts/2.6/DenyHosts-2.6.tar.gz?r=http%3A%2F%2Fsourceforge.net%2Fprojects%2Fdenyhosts%2Ffiles%2Fdenyhosts%2F2.6%2F&ts=1320260346&use_mirror=sunet
]# -bash: wget: command not found

heh, "yum install wget" solved the problem, software downloaded, ungzip, untar.

# python setup.py install
# cd /usr/share/denyhosts
# cp daemon-control-dist /etc/init.d/denyhosts
# cp denyhosts.cfg-dist denyhosts.cfg

I have no idea why, but config specify this location as WORK_DIR, but this directory is not created by setup script by default, so...

# mkdir /usr/share/denyhosts/data

this is where you can create file "allowed-hosts" to white-list your trusted IPs, from denyhosts docs: "Since it is quite possible for a user to mistype their password repeatedly it may be desirable to have DenyHosts prevent specific IP addresses from being added to /etc/hosts.deny. To address this issue, create a file named allowed-hosts in the WORK_DIR. Simply add an IP address, one per line. Any IP address that appears in this file will not be blocked."

# chkconfig --add denyhosts

okay, linux CentOS 6.2 system installed, updated, networking can survive a reboot now, ssh open to world (direct root login disabled, user account created and privileges granted for sudo), denyhosts installed. Can't really imagine anyone who allow direct root login through SSH and doesn't even use denyhosts... ehm, to be honest, can't imagine anyone who permit direct root login anyway, it's just stupid. Now, it's time to think, what I can do with my fresh system. Maybe I can move my blog to be hosted from my own "server"? Nah, why would I do it? I will let google / blogger do the job, no pain, no stress, and it's free.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

let's blog... setup time

Trying to set up a very first blog in my life. I heard it's pretty easy with blogspot (google thing... but what is not a google these days?). That what I found so far... it's not that easy! Lots of useless links, some reminders, extra shiny popups and different notifications... do I really need to read all of this?

30 minutes later, I'm up and running. Probably not everything is set in the way it should, but at least... it is working (I mean, it is visible and publicly accessible). I've shared the link to my blog on facebook, over a ten instant visits, looks like people doesn't have anything else to do, 21st century, online socializing is on the top. Stats are scary anyway, 100% visits from Windows OS... great, and the plan was to share some linux knowledge and geeky stuff. Well... you can't have everything withing 30 minutes, you need to wait at least a day, I suppose. Let's get some sleep, and find out what's going to happen tomorrow then. Good night!