Aussie internet provisioning provisions


Icon from the Tango Desktop project Sometimes it isn't necessarily that we're not making any progress, but that the progress is proceeding at such an agonisingly slow rate that it seems like I'm not making progress even though I am making progress, it's just progressing progressively with very slow progress.

Moving is what a cow does

When we moved into our new house in Sydney we were told we'd have the phone line provisioned in 3-5 business days and DSL with Internode within another 7-10 days. My old man was horrified having got used to the Singapore way of doing things where new phone lines, internet connections and grilled cheese sandwich catapaults are automatically provisioned and installed on the same day you ask for them, but having been studying in Adelaide previously it was what I expected. Our tax dollars at work ;).

Uh oh, this cafe is full and a women wearing full gothic lolita costume has sat at the same table as me. And she has an iPhone 4! What do I do!? I'm not programmed for these situations! She has epic hair!

Turns out it wasn't that simple (surprise!) because our house and the house of our neighbour were until recently sitting on the same plot of land, which means [insert long convoluted phone line connection problems here].

It’s like an unbreakable diamond tether!

When I got my fabulous new iTelephone 4 I was also told by the guys at Optus that I could use it for tethering. They were right, I just plug into MacTheKnife and he can be downloading emails for technical support questions they could look up on Google within minutes.

Two problems. First, in this new house I have a room for the computers and the signal is so poor in there it just doesn't work. Secondly, no matter where abouts in the house I am the connections are so unreliable I can barely sustain any connection at all without timing things out. Because I'm so security paranoid I have multi factor authentication with custom Yubikeys and the like on virtually everything, but it means by the time I log into things its already given up waiting for input! Oh yeah, and try running a FreeBSD portsnap on it ;).

The style is bongly bongle dongle dengy diggy

Icon from the Tango Desktop projectThe (temporary) solution came last night when my father went to Hardley Normals and procured a Telstra NextG USB dongle broadband thingy, to lend myself the use of technical telecommunications parlance. They claimed it would take up to 24 hours to activate, but within an hour we confirmed it worked on our Macs without worries, and it even behaved itself on Fedora on my ThinkPad X40! I somehow think I'll have to work a little harder to make it operate on my Haiku box ;).

It's closed and evil and proprietary and black boxy and all that stuff, but for now it beats Optus tethering until we have proper broadband provisioned.

I had a dream a few nights ago about laying a Cat6 cable from our apartment in Singapore across the ocean floor to Sydney, then up through the Cooks River and across the street to our house. As with all dreams it made no sense, because I was able to detect a signal without any repeaters or anything, and I had a 6000 kilometre long ethernet cable.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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