THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 160 July 2 - 8, 2001
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This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 4,000 - 7,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this place is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE.
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July 1, 2001
It's column week on top of PCEXPO plus there is fiction to do. At least things are not dull. Column will have reflections on wireless, the Microsoft lawsuit, and other such matters.
And I've got a sea of mail, surface and electronic, to deal with...
I am convinced that I have a problem with my connections. FTP should not periodically stop in the middle of transmitting a file, and hang up for long periods of time. I could believe it was Pair for a while, but not when it happens this often. SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE, probably Ricochet or the security stuff in my Linux box. I am getting weary of the technology getting in the way of getting my job done. I can't think when I am always worrying about the silly stuff. If it is pair.com or the internet and it will fix itself later I need to know that.
But for the moment I can't even post this.
I think I will turn off Ricochet entirely and see what happens.
I am now connected through my old NetWinder and 56K modem, and FTP works perfectly. I'll try a few iterations but it's pretty clear the problem is in the Ricochet system either delays after it leaves here and before it hits the Internet or trying to get out of here. Since outlook mail and even everquest works nicely and it is ftp that gets in trouble, my guess is in firewall settings.
It gives me something to write about, but I am really getting weary of fighting the alligators. I want to build a building not fight alligators.
I have turned the Ricochet box back on but of course the system probably still believes that the way out is through the NetWinder. Almost certainly ftp is still connected that way, and it is working just fine now. I will shortly close it and try connecting again.
And immediately I have problems. Ftp does NOT want to connect properly. It doesn't close the program right, I am always getting error messages, and in general it is not working. The firewalls have made me so secure I cannot ftp files...
Interestingly enough SOMETIMES it works. I have no patterns observed though. As for instance, I closed the program and started it again, and NOW it seems to work fine.
No it doesn't. I can't change directories. I could, now I can't. And I am getting error messages again. To send this I will have to turn off the Ricochet antenna. What is happening is that the Ricochet firewall is not letting confirming signals through and I get receive errors. Or something. Sigh. Fighting the alligators again.
And now it works again. Something random, but I did not have to turn off the Ricochet. Sigh. Now it's working fine. And now it's hanging. Clearly there is some kind of signal from ftp that it can't cope with. Now it works again. Feh.
You can see my PCEXP stuff at www.byte.com and in particular there is a photoessay at
that may be amusing.
And ftp is working perfectly again. I sure d0n't understand this stuff very well.
And Ricochet just filed for bankruptcy. It's still running, but how long does that go on? Well, we knew it was a bit shaky, and the concept is sound. Someone will take over the assets. As to the glitches, I am not the only one.
|This week:||Tuesday, July
Getting into the column. Ricochet system cuts out sometimes and required rebooting the Linux box that drives it, but then all was well, and I am back to high speed connectivity. What the bankruptcy does isn't clear, but Ricochet works so well that I think it unlikely that it will simply go away. I can recommend it highly if you are in the right areas. I wish they were in Las Vegas, though.
On LV I will probably be in a hotel with direct Internet through Ethernet so I won't have to worry to begin with. My wonderful New Yorker in NYC does NOT have that and I sure wish I had brought a Ricochet unit. As it was I paid about $75 in phone bills for local calls to Internet. I could darned near have bought a Ricochet antenna for that.
Heavy into column. Microsoft dilemma, the bandwidth revolution, and a lot of products...
THERE IS A BAD BUG in my current version of XP. Has to do with TCP/IP properties when you want a system to automatically fail over to another Internet connection. In XP it does not work right. I have reported it to Microsoft.
Happy Birthday America
Of course my system won't do ftp properly. Since I am in a hurry, of course.
Fifth time is a charm...
But why does it EVER work? Or why doesn't it usually? Oh well.
On the other hand when it does work it really works well.
July 5, 2001
Time to do serious column work.
Yesterday was odd. Ricochet dropped me a couple of times, once when one of my characters in Everquest was solo in a monster field and actually in a fight. It took a few minutes to get it restored and get back on. All was well: apparently I had in fact kilt the monster before the connection went.
When Ricochet works it works well. It also restores pretty well. I get angry when it doesn't work and the real answer is I should learn some patience. Right Now.
Niven can take his brace off sometimes to do knee bending (no weight on it) so it looks like his recovery is on or ahead of schedule. Hallelujah!
Now for some serious work...
Which I didn't get done. Now trying again/
July 6, 2001
Column due and Niven and I will actually take a short walk out near his house...
My Linux box that controls the Ricochet system is off to be reprogrammed. Alas. And I sure notice the difference now that I am back to 56K...
Basically the ftp system didn't work. Linux is wonderful, but it does take gurus to do a lot of the stuff. Once it is up and running it's very stable, so I need to learn patience. RIGHT NOW.
Much mail about Gibson and the column.
Apparently the BYTE site is hosed just now. Keep trying.
The THOUGHTCRIME post has been put over in mail.
I am still having problems reading my column on BYTE. East coast reports no problems. I don't understand.
July 7, 2001
My BYTE page problem is definitely local and goes in the column. We have a suspicion as to what is happening.
The Ricochet should be back up with new and improved everything in a couple of hours.
There is more Gibson Mail.
Hallelujah! If you see this the Ricochet is working, ftp works, and the world is a good place to be in...
AAARGH. Ftp is not working. Work on it some more. Actually I am worse off than I was an hour ago.
Moral: do not sing the paean until the enemy is completely driven from the field.
But now that works
Other things don't. Ye gods, what a week.
The above and the picture below are tests. FrontPage 2002 is seriously broken. It has caused a train wreck with my site. I am trying to fix it.
And it looks as if that trainwreck has been fixed. It will be in the column. Ye gods! DO NOT CONVERT TO FRONTPAGE 2002 unless you know precisely why you are doing it, and you really know FrontPage and web design. Of course if you really know web design you probably will not be using FrontPage at all.
And we are back on line with Ricochet, and it all looks very secure, and there's a lot to be put in the column. So all is well again at Chaos Manor...
However, the web site got very nearly rebuilt, and there may be link problems. If you find dead INTERNAL links please let me know on what page (precisely) you found the dead link, and what link it was. For broken external links there's not much point in telling me...
July 8, 2001
Column deadline. Ricochet working fine, really working, no problems at all. See column. Roberta took me to a chorale party this afternoon in one of the most interesting places I have been in months. This place is beyond packrat.
But mostly I need to work on the column.