Thursday, July 19, 2007

OpenWRT notes

Kamikaze issues :

ntpclient package has one minor fatal flaw in /etc/hotplug.d/iface/10-ntpclient :

find the following line :
/usr/sbin/ntpclient -h $hostname -p${port:-123} 2>&- >&-

change to :
/usr/sbin/ntpclient -s -h $hostname -p${port:-123} 2>&- >&-

Otherwise time won't set.

OpenWRT speed tests, TW Cable speeds

Linksys WRT54GS version 1.0

SCP from my laptop (TC4200, WinXP SP2) to two different test servers (Gentoo, 2.6.x kernel);
Transfer size (single file) : ~250 MB
Measured Speed: 2850 KB/sec = 2.78 MB/sec

SCP from server to server :
Transfer size (single file) : 175,088,811
11.1 MB/sec (~15 secs)

Obviously my laptop could use a better network stack somewhere...

Two cable connections, one to HD DVR box (DCT 6416), one to Cable Modem:
low 4.2 Mbps, high 5 Mbps (640.5 KBps), average 4.6 (599 KBps)
One cable connections, to Cable Modem :

Transfer speed on my Time Warner cable : low 5.9 Mbps, high 6.3 Mbps (803.1 KBps), average 6.1 (770 KBps)

3 way splitter 3V-G , cable modem only (3.5 db):
low 3.0
avg 5.0 (638 KB)
high 6.2 (790.7 KB)

3 way splitter Monster, cable modem only (-5.7 db)
low 4.0
avg 5.9 (750 KB)
high 6.2 (794 KB)

Added HD DVR:
avg 5.8 (740 KB)

Cable on :
avg 5.8(738 KB)

Added ReplayTV :
avg 4.2 (535.1 KB)
hi : 5.0
spuradic speeds now

Removed HD DVR :
avg 4.5 (574)

Unplugged ReplayTV cable :
avg 4.5

Disconnected AR cable : back to 6.1
Reconnect AR cable : still at 6.1

Connect AR cable to Cable Modem : 6.1 Mbps

Connect ReplayTV : drop to avg 5.6 (716 KB) - hi 6.0 - 6.4
Connect HD DVR : drop to avg 6.0 (768 KB) - hi 6.4 (813 KB)

ReplayTV record, HD DVR playing : avg 4.8 (611 KB), lo 4.1 (520 KB)

Changed AR Cable to Cable Modem to old standard white cable : avg 4.7 Mbps (598), low 4.5

3 ft AR to RPTV, 1.5 ft to Modem, 4 ft to DVR : 4491 / 465

New 3 splitter (3.5, 7, 7) : 4.5 Mbps
Monster 3 splitter (5.7, 5.7, 5.7) : 4.9

2 way splitter (3.5, 3.5), one to modem, one to 3 way splitter : 4.8, hi 5.0


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

WLTRAY.exe not playing nice..

So, in my infinite wisdom I recently upgraded the Broadcom Wireless Utility to v.6.10A , the latest listed on HP.COM for my TC4200. This little puppy is now a memory hungry beast... at least if you don't reboot frequently. It starts out benign, but gradually eats more and more memory, both "Mem Usage" and "VM Size" increase in 4K increments, for no apparent reason. The reason I noticed even though was Windows popped up a nice little error this afternoon about running short on Virtual Memory, which led me to notice the 196 MB VM usage that this process was using. Restarting the Broadcom Wireless service doesn't help either, as this particular process isn't tied to "stop", only to "start", so in the end I had to kill the process.

I wonder why no one else sees this problem. Why is it always my laptop to have the bizarre issues, such as Windows occasionally returning from Hibernation without the system remaining locked (so much for security!), or Internet Explorer forcing eventual lack of resources (seriously easy for me to repeat VERY quickly). Oh well.

Picture of absurd memory usage to come...

Why does texting cost so much?!?

On my latest bill:
Effective 7/22/07, AT&T will charge $0.25 for text messages sent
from the US to international mobile numbers. With AT&T's NEW
International Text Messaging Package, you can text for as low as
$0.10 per message. Sign up now & save at

Currently it costs me $0.20 to text my international friends. I guess I'm getting too cheap, but this is getting out of hand.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tokyo for Expats

Roppongi :

Hobgoblin (British pub, Formula One shown)
Legends Sports Bar (next to Hobgoblin)
Roppongi 3-16-33, Aoba Roppongi Bldg. 1F. Open 4pm-late (from noon weekends) daily

Belg Aube (Belgian Beer pub)
Roppongi 7-9-2. Open 6pm-2:30am (LO); 6pm-4:30am weekends. Closed Sundays.

Ex (German)

OpenWRT to the rescue

So I've moved to my new apartment in a cooler part of Los Angeles (no more 100+ in the summer), and Time Warner wasn't able to install cable yet due to bad wiring. In the meantime a very helpful neighbor has allowed me to leach off their wifi for some general net access. That's fine for my laptop, but posed a problem for my MythTV boxes which need to pull program guides for the OTA HD recording. The answer to this problem was to convert my Linksys WRT45GS from running the standard firmware to OpenWRT. Next, I wanted to keep my current wireless settings and use my Linksys as the entire entry point for my apartment. The solution can be found here :

OpenWRT seems great so far, I should have done this a long time ago.

Other useful links: