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Friday, September 17, 2010

SMS Texting - mobile equipment status failed

I got a new BlackBerry. It’s better than my old Black Berry Curve 8330. This current BlackBerry is a curve 5830. Currently my cell provider here in Canada is Telus. Telus sucks, I get dropped calls and no signal all the time. They are a little better then Bell but not much. My work gave me this phone and surprised me with a locked in contract with this terrible carrier. I used to have no problems. I love my old phone stupidly and had to get this new one.

Now when I’m sitting at work and get a text from my girlfriend, buddy, mom, who ever it’ll send some times. Now of course when I have a problem I don’t call tech support, I Google. I have found a bunch of forums and websites that say you want to pull your battery out.

Sometimes the simple things work the best and remember. Holding down the power button/hang up button just forces your Black Berry into sleep mode. Pulling the battery will fully reboot the device.

If you’re an Iphone nerd it’s like holding down the power button and the circle button at the same time!

Friday, September 10, 2010

DDWRT WDS/Connection Watchdog

I love DDWRT. I have been using it for ever. I had a Linksys WRT54G that was running for YEARS! Years, like 5 years. Hell, maybe even more. I got it years ago and it cost me $400. I for some reason the other day had a bit of a meltdown (bad day) and smashed my it because of it’s DHCP still being turned on inside my home/corporate LAN. I was setting up a print server and it wasn’t getting an ip, found out later it was that little guy. I got a little too angry, but things are fine now. I really don’t like it when my stuff doesn’t work. Anyways, I had to replace my WRT54G and I got one of the newer WRT160N's from TigerDirect for $30 bucks. I know. Bad Idea, every time I have gotten a refurbished electrical anything it has been terrible, or full of hassle, or I have to baby the hell out of it. I was a little broke and thought if there were problems I would replace it in the future. Well here I am, still kind of broke but now I’m thinking. The girlfriend told me that the wireless was having problems a few days ago. I have her tell me every time anything happens so I can formulate a plan and fix whatever happens. After a few times the wireless stopped for me. My internet stopped on my old IBM T42 running windows 7 (not so good, but not so bad really). It looks like my wireless is dropping. I have checked the web portal of DDWRT and found no sort of logging. It might be there I just can’t find it. I have also checked the uptime thinking it could be power related. I checked it’s uptime and it was about three days. I checked my administration and found the “keep alive” section. I then found WDS/Connection Watchdog. This will let you ping an ip, if it can’t ping an ip the router will reboot. That’s right. If the router can’t ping an ip it reboots. Normaly, I would never want an option like this. If something fails I want it to stop so I can look at it. Think about it this way, when troubleshooting a wireless router (that I have done millions of times at my old job. Residential fee based support) you unplug it. This is the same thing automatically.

I know pretty sweet. Now think about this, when you are troubleshooting any sort of internet issue what is the one site you ping the most? If you’re like me it’s, start, run, cmd, ipconfig, ping myroutersdnsname, ping That’s how I troubleshoot. So, if the router will ping Google ever 5 minutes (or 600 seconds) and if it can’t ping Google it will reboot? Awesome! My only concern is that if someone hits the pole outside my house and takes out my cable modem my router will reboot ever five minutes for the length of the outage. This does something bad, but I’m not sure. Here’s a pic of the settings and I put Google’s ip in there too.

So, to recap this router will ping Google every 5 minutes and if it finds a problem it will reboot. Sick, I’m happy with that. Let’s see if it fixes the problem, saves me from buying another router (because I flashed it). If not I’ll get a new one.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wi-Fi is not a godsend.

Most people I talk to or deal with love wireless. I love wireless too. I however understand that wireless is slow. Keep in mind that I am currently only using wireless G. Being a paranoid nerd I don’t really like to be bleeding edge. Wireless N is still kinda new. I use wireless for web surfing and other simple tasks on my laptop. If I have a printer I would set it up hardwired. Who in the hell would setup a printer or god forbid a NAS box or storage system on wireless. I also don’t ever by smaller any name hardware manufacturers. I never use anything other than Cisco and Linksys.

I find that D-link is very moody. I have had routers that will work then stop work. I also replace them fast. I understand that if a $60 starts giving me problems you should replace. I keep all my services on wired connections. I find that gigabit LANS slay wireless connections time and time again. If you want speed and reliability stick with a cable.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Calling new users is so much fun. I am usually one of the first people in the office that the new hires get to meet. I usually meet them over the phone. I have to explain the rules and show them how to use our systems. This is Outlook; your emails are this and this. I also have to explain how the network drives work. Everyone is up to par and can understand their personal drive (will call it X: [it’s not x but I’m not going to give out all my secretes]). They understand what the public drive is. I also have to tell them to not keep things on their desktop as it is not backed up. You have a personal drive, please use it.

I also have to tell them the rules. No surfing on sites that could get you in trouble i.e. porn, hacking, hate, etc. I have to tell them that everything they do is being logged. I have to show them how to use the terminal server. I usually have to explain that there passwords for everything is the same. Yes, we run a network that is not a bastard. We don’t force you to change your password monthly, because all that will do is create passwords with a rolling number i.e. Summer2000 then Summer2001. Think about it. Every time you are in a network with this type of password schema you end up just using a rolling number in your normal password. Yes, we know this. I do it too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Learn Cisco the Hardway.

I have to learn Cisco. This is a bastard to me. I understand most things. Cisco hurts my brain. I have to work on them after the memory has been cleared. That’s right, everyone who is a Cisco person who is in my age range or technical ability gets to use the fun web interface. Due to my family’s setup of Cisco’s I have to wipe the memory then Grunt my way through the command line.

Now don’t get this understood. I am no stranger to the command line. I love Linux command line. I love bash, I love windows batch (I’m new to the power shell. I’ve heard good things but have yet to use it directly).

I just don’t understand how in the hell I am going to learn Cisco with no one holding my hand. Well, ok I know I will be able to do it. I just don’t want to. My first project is to fix the vpn tunnels for roaming clients. I love the Cisco vpn client but have never set it up. I guess I should just suck it up and do it. .

I’ll let you know.