Hurricane Electric IPv6 tunnel MTU

I’ve been running an IPv6 tunnel for a long time, but occasionally I’ve been seeing traffic hang on it. It looks like it was the MTU, defaulting at 1500 bytes, causing issues when large amounts of data were being shuffled OUT from my Linux box, back to the ‘net’.

The fix is easy: /etc/network/interfaces should have an “up” line for the interface definition saying: up ip link set mtu 1280 dev henet, where henet is the name of your tunnel interface.

Easy enough to skip this line if your tunnel appears to be working OK, but interesting to track down.

New a new PC. Time for a desktop?

My 2 year old Dell Studio 1558 is doing it again: slowing to a snails pace, heating to an inferno, and then spontaneously powering off (which I think is a saftety set at CPU temperature reaching 100*C).

I had Dell come and replace parts on this laptop about 9 months ago when similar symptoms developped. I originally purchased this unit while I was in the UK, around January 2010 I think it was. I was hoping to get 3 years out of it. Sadly, at around 20 months old, I’m getting too frustrated to put up with it. I’m now living in Australia, and having any PC multi-national company honour their warranty internationally is a challenge. Heck, worse offender in this scenario is Sony, who want £20 to answer the phone!

Now that I’m no longer living in a flat with a very transient lifestyle (lots of travel having gone, and replaced by a 1 year old boy), I’m much more rooted to my home office desk. So, in light of this, I’m thinking of getting a desktop with a reasonable screen. I saw Russell Coker’s post about a 27″ whopper from Dell for AU$899 or so, and was wondering what to pair that with, or if to go for a slightly smaller screen. Then comes the questions of the all-in-ones, and the touchscreens that are around.

What I’d like is something thats got a few (2?) USB 3 ports for the next few years of my accessory usage, SATA 3 so I can throw in a fast SSD. I’d potentially run Debian on this, so possibly don’t want a Windows license.4 GB RAM minimum, possibly 8.

So looking around its a quagmire of detaisl that 15 years ago I used to thrive on. Do I care about UEFI instead of a traditional BIOS. DO I really need SATA 3 instead of 2? What about legacy (!) 1394? HDMI connector – yes please – do I still want a VGA port? What about a second HDMI? Hm. That 27″ screen’s native res is more than most on-board graphics can drive… perhaps drop to a 24″ screen. What size should this be: ATX, mini ITX, smaller?

Then comes the pre-built or custom built. Dell, pretty I’m upset about your product quality right now. HP, you’ve (a) killed my DreamScreen recently, and (b) put your entire business in up the creek with indications that the PC business is going away/sold off. Lenovo? Acer?

So I’m at a computing crossroads. I can’t be bothered to build my own PC again – I’ve been living on laptops for almost a decade now. But they are expensive, and when something goes wrong, the there’s very little to salvage. Laptops suck, but do desktops suck less. Vendors suck, but then so does the time waste on building your own? I think Tablets suck for doing lots of data input (programming). All in ones – not sure. Touchscreens – probably a gimmick.

Skype Premium pricing – international rip off?

I’ve been looking at Skype Premium (for group video calling). I know there are other solutions around, but convenience is key. Here are here prices listed today on Skype’s site in US dollars, UK Pounds, and Australian Dollars for a 12 month subscription, with a 25% discount applied all up as the total shown, plus the rate that skype is claiming for now to Australian dollars, and the equivalent Australian price:

  • USD$80.88, 1 USD = 0.99 AUD = AUD$80.07
  • GBP£44.88, 1 GBP = 1.63 AUD = AUD$73.15
  • AUD$89.88

So If I purchase this in Australian dollars I am paying an extra $16.72 than if I buy in Sterling. Hey, USA, looks like you’re paying more as well – an extra $9.81 than the UK!

Now, USA, that may seem a bit wrong, but the rest of the world has had this for years. Australia’s been paying a surcharge on iTunes content for years; there’s been a hot trade in US iTunes Store gift cards to Australia to help avoid the Australian price.

Gingerbread fixed my WiFi

Its been a few weeks now since Android 2.3, a.k.a. Gingerbread, was delivered to my Google Nexus One mobile phone. I had been experiencing terrible problems with the WiFi reconnecting to known networks, and randomly dropping off networks it was connected to. This was most frustrating; dropping back to 3G data is expensive, slow, and sometimes becuase of this, I disabled it which meant no data. All while sitting within 10 foot of my WiFi AP.

It appears that this is no longer a problem, ever since the Gingerbread update was installed. Yay! Thanks for the fix, Google Mobile team.

Optus thinks Perth is in East Timor

Today my smart phone (Google Nexus One, Android 2.3 Gigerbread), which uses the mobile network for reciving its time information, suddenly went an hour ahead. I looked at the TZ settings, and it reported I was at +0900, East Timor. Perth is normally in AWST +0800. I confirmed it several times by switching off “Automatic” (Use network-provided values), setting my TZ to Perth, and then turning Automatic back on; each time the phone would report it had gone to “+0900, East Timor”.

I can only imagine that the local cell tower is handing out the wrong time zone information (Melville, 6153 area). This was fine yesterday. Let’s see how long this takes for Optus, the carrier I am with,  to realise. Either that, or ther’s been a strong cell site thats just done nearly 3000 kilometres, or we’ve had some major techtonic plate movement.