Only Connect

Thursday, December 27th
Over the weekend I posted another query on the Ubuntu Forums, and this time got an answer. Not on what might be wrong, but what might be a useful diagnostic. As a result I downloaded wireshark, a packet sniffer program, and got some captures of failures. Things run fine, then suddenly there’s a whole bunch of bad packets. It’s definitely logon associated, since I don’t see many bad packets when just surfing.

Also brought a new (refurb) computer online — Win7 with IE9. Funnily enough, it doesn’t have a problem.

Thursday still another CenLink guy came, stayed about three hours. He’d also been working from the central office side, changing ports and such. Got things to work on his XP laptop. Went back to office. He called later and said his techs thought it might be an ‘ethernet port config’ issue. I doubt this because it’s on so many different machines.

So, that’s my status. For blogging and banking I’m reduced to using Windows. For email, I can still receive on Evolution, and sometimes send. Fallback is gMail.

MJ is in somewhat worse shape, because she’s got a lot of groups and stuff she mails to. Right now, she still gets mail through Thunderbird, plus she’s got CenturyLink Webmail open on the U12 PC to handle replies, and she’s been getting the old Apple laptop re-synched for her trip next week.

I’ve looked into alternative ISP’s, and have been told they’re worse than CenturyLink. At least CenturyLink was willing to try.

1. It’s OS associated. Win7 works. Two flavors of Ubuntu, and one Fedora, don’t. My Nexus 7 has problems.
2. It’s not just an OS issue. I can’t believe I’m the only Linux user in this college town, but they haven’t had any other complaints. So it’s local to me, or CenLink’s configuration for me.
3. It’s not browser associated. Four different browsers have failed.
4. It’s not the DSL modem. We swapped it out and the problems continued, so we swapped it back.
5. It’s not something mundane like distance to the Central Office. I couldn’t hit it with a baseball from my back yard, but Willie Mays probably could.

My guess is that it has something to do with how the secure links handshake. Windows and Google are evidently more relaxed about how they do things.

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4 Responses to “Only Connect”

  1. Kurt Kremer Says:

    Do you have a router inbetween your computers and the DSL modem? If not, I’m wondering if adding one might help. Something that might “normalize” (for lack of a better word in my seelp-depraved brain) communications to the DSL modem.

    • FoundOnWeb Says:

      I’ve got an eight port Cisco dumb switch (what I’d call a hub).

      DSL—switch–< PCs.

      I am thinking of asking CenLink for a new modem (the old one's only two years old), just in case, and replacing the five year old switch with something newer. Enough stuff changed between testing the DSL and them giving up that it might be worth a shot.

      • Kurt Kremer Says:

        Is there any relationship to https/secure socket connections?

      • FoundOnWeb Says:

        Almost inverse. The school and Google DO use https and I’ve had zero problems. WordPress and FlashcardDB DON”T, and I can’t even get the login screen on WordPress* and have trouble with FCDB. On the other hand, my bank, credit card company, etc DO use https, and I can’t successfully log in any more.

        I think the email is trying to tell us something. It doesn’t like long messages, i.e. lots of packets. Most of my foundonweb messages will hang for a while. One msg that had a file attachment (html,not big) hung at the 75% point.

        *I’m replying to this on Win7. This WP login has stayed up for a couple of days now.

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