Wifiroamd manages wifi connections under Linux.

Last night I rediscovered wifiroamd. I had been using OS X for so long that I had forgotten what it was like trying to configure wireless under linux; let alone have some form of functional roaming from work to home. I used to always make two scripts.

1. for connecting to my wireless network at home
2. for connecting to the wireless network at work

These scripts would always bring the wireless adapter to a usable state via ifconfig, use iwconfig to get on the right channel, essid, etc… then run dhclient, ping something, and echo “OK”. When I was at neither location I would have to get the list of available networks with iwlist then use iwconfig + wpa_supplicant (if it was a wpa enabled network) + dhclient to get a connection. Frankly thats a pain the the ass. Wifiroamd handles all of that and things are seamless. By default it connects to the first unencrypted network with the highest signal reported by iwlist. But that behavior is easily modified.

After initial configuration it “just works”. I have it set up to start on boot. It finds my home network, starts wpa_supplicant, connects to it on the 802.11x layer, gets an ip, and tries to ping the gateway to check for connectivity. If I plug in my cat5, then the two connections are automatically bonded. You read correctly, automatically bonded, not bringing one down and using the other. It comes with samples to do other things like start an openvpn tunnel on connection. I wonder if it could be extended to help with my other projects??

Truths that came to me whilst eating sushi in Mountain View.

I was enjoying some sushi when I had a sudden eureka! feeling. I’m not sure if these came from upstairs or myself but it was quick. I am going to call these universal truths, and they were all ways to improve quality of life. There may be more.

1. Assume nothing.
While you can take your past experience with you as a guide never make false assumptions based on those experiences. If you perform action over and over again you would expect the result to be the same each time right? Wrong. While this may work most of the time, don’t bet your life on it.

Say you make a machine that grabs a ball and hurls it at the wall with the exact same amount of force and in the exact same direction repeatedly. Some would expect that ball to make the same impact, in the exact same spot each time, they would be wrong and the reason why they would be wrong is because there is such a gremlin as variables. They are not taking something into account, curvature of the ball, a slight air current, ball temperature, something is going to throw the ball ever so slightly off every time. if you don’t believe me ask someone that is better at probability and statistics than you.

2. Be efficient. Spend what you need, keep what you can.
This works best if you apply it to everything. Think of every resource you have as money.

food == money
water == money
electricity == money
brainpower == money
housing == money

When you are eating a meal, eat until you are full and then take the rest home to enjoy when you are hungry again if you can. Think of this as saving money for use later. If you can apply this principle to housing, and only “spend” as much space as you need, then you will have more money/life credits when something pops up.

Save some ram with ratpoison.

I am now using ratpoison as a window manager on my mythtv frontend. I saved myself some ram managed to shave a few seconds from boot to ui. Here is my .xsession.

    ratpoison -c focus&
    #xterm &

I also added VideoModeLin = 3 to the ~/.zsnes/zsnesl.cfg of the mythtv user in order to get the image centered and stable on my tube.

Is it me or are time warners domain name servers in Rochester slow as hell?

I set up bind as a caching nameserver on my home network, + squid as a caching http proxy. The only serious editing of the squid config beyond the acl was setting cache_dir ufs /store/squid/ 100 16 256. I did it this way because /store is where md0 my raid 5 setup is mounted, thus reads and writes are much speedier there. Browsing is unnaturally fast now. I also discovered pgrep while I was reading a how to. You can use pgrep to get the process id of any running process. For instance pgrep httpd; will just return the process id’s of the apache threads with the main one being the 1st. Peace.

I finally got around to setting up printer sharing via samba today.

It was so easy that its not really worth noting, I just wanted to remember that it got done on this date. If you are looking for a how to just google “samba printer sharing cups”. The only snafu was I forgot to add guest ok = yes to the smb.conf. It was nice to have it pop up under os x as soon as I restarted samba, and even nicer to be able to print from my laptop anywhere in the house. Why didn’t I do this years ago? Live and learn.

Where in the world is Ernest Price?

04azcarmen.jpgWhere the fuck is my older brother? No one in my family has spoken to him in over a year, and I haven’t seen him since he totaled my damn car in 2002. The last thing I heard was that Oliver (AKA “Twist”) was working as a roofer in Texas just after hurricane Katrina hit. If anyone knows where the fuck he his, cough it up. He is stressing out our mother which is naturally causing shit for me. You had better not be dead because you owe me a car.

Update – he called my our grandmother the very same night this was posted. He got locked up, but is now chillin in Dallas TX.