line of sight networking....

From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 13:22:45 PST

An old story to some of you:
I think this was in 1981 or so. I was connected for while by
pointing a laser at the big Digital Mill building (clocktower logo, you may
recall). My housemate's brother had an office facing our domicile, and he
scrounged some "optical modems" that had been bought to study using them for
networking the Mill as opposed to wiring. 2400 baud, yeah! Rain wasn't bad.
Snow was a serious problem. But in CA, with modern technology, this would
probably be a reasonable way to go.

After a completely disasterous week in terms of home connectivity, I now have
both AT&T broadband and Covad DSL on this desk. Covad, requiring PPPoE, is
a joke for home networks and they are so Windows-centric that you can't even
get information on configuring DNS, etc--that's all done in a Windows
program. Even getting the dialup numbers is done by a Windows program. AT&T
requires that your MAC address of the connected device be unique.....and my
Linksys router has a twin out there on their network, so I'm using a card in
my Intellistation for the moment. The supervisor that I spoke to said she's
seeing 3Com cards with duplicate MAC addresses, in particular, these days.
The Linksys MAC duplication was the day's second MAC address problem. When
the AT&T link was installed, it turned out that the cable modem (RCA 226) was
a re-pack. It had been installed, configured into the AT&T database and then
found to be defective and returned to Circuit City, who promptly resold it
for full price to me. We didn't get as far as dealing with whatever defect
it had, because the MAC address database wouldn't let it be set up. Surely
MAC addresses only need to be unique on your local segment--not that I
exhonerate incompetant NIC vendors.

I sort of want to take out my frustrations on both carriers by routing
packets between them. :^)

Compared to this, running the new beta of Linux Mandrake is a piece of cake.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:13:58 PDT