Saturday, July 21, 2007

Three Swans Aflying

swans flying
I must be in "finding" mode lately. Ran across this in a second hand shop. Three swans aflying. Bisque. Flying over the waves. And they've found a home, sitting atop a bookcase here in my house.



Blogger The Tetrast said...

Þrees þrive at LðFB!.

It's so quiet at peirce-l. (I wish you'd post there.) I don't want to post there, I've become such a rerun there. Three "there"s, it's catching! Anyway, it's the longest quiet that I've seen (I've been there since 2002).

Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Yeah, I noticed there seemed to be some technical difficulties at peirce-l. Except for occasional posts about the technical problems, no regular posts since June 26, until at long last a single new post appeared a day or two ago.

As for me, I'm feeling very much as though I'm in the "dog days" of summer... things drifting, moving slowly, everything lazy, as has been reflected in my blogging lately.

Am also deterred from spending very much time online by continuing DSL problems, which have been with me now since early June: things work, but at a painfully slow pace, slower than dialup. Once my ISP learned I'm using Linux, they just sort of threw up their hands. Oh well. Over these next few days I'm going to tinker with my TCP/IP settings, see if I can't circumvent my ISP's default DNS server altogether, as that seems to be at the heart of the problem. I also have another very brief short story in the pressure cooker, we shall see.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

Can you get a satellite connection? I'm not particularly into wireless, but then again I have alternatives. Meanwhile, your presence is required on the Web. It's a matter of national uberty.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Satellite is available out here, through the local rural electric coop. It's the sole alternative to and their alleged DSL service, but the problem with satellite is (1) it costs more than twice as much per month, and (2) the setup fee, including satellite dish and all, runs into many hundreds of dollars. Plus I gather the satellite outfit is (does this sound familiar?) not very Linux-friendly.

A satellite connection would provide me (during good weather and off-peak hours) with 25% faster download speed, much slower upload speed than I would presently have were my DSL connection running normally.

I really don't know,'s DSL works fine when it works, albeit at a far slower speed than you're probably used to in NYC. Still, when working normally, it's fast enough to suit me. However it has these frequent order-of-magnitude slowdowns— the current one at six weeks and counting, back last November & December we had a slowdown that ran for nearly a month, and in between all sorts of slowdowns that run for a day or five at a time.

In what I take was their final gesture of support, the other day had one of their workers who actually understands Linux phone me. He was genuinely helpful, and he reinforced my impression that DNS resolution is at the heart of the problem. Or then again it could be that my modem and/or router is giving out. However, I very much get the impression that is not sending a worker out here, not now, not ever, unless either (1) I can reproduce the problem on a Windows computer, or (2) I find (as I did last Nov. & Dec.) that a neighbor is suffering from the same computer woes as I am.

Oh well. Actually I can circumvent the problem right now by running through Tor and Privoxy, which do their own alternative DNS resolution. At least, circumvent the problem relative to the usual "slow, but faster than dialup" speed of the Tor network.

I've been with for 8 years now, and with their DSL service for over 2 years. If the problem can't or won't be fixed, I'm very close to bailing out and going to a satellite connection. Even though that would financially be a far from ideal solution. (And no, satellite TV would not sweeten the deal for me, as I hardly ever watch TV...)

Saturday, July 21, 2007 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

Ah, well. It happens. Then again, sometimes it happens! Old lady surfing Web at 40 gigabits-per-second.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 5:47:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Heh. Out here, it's more like 384 kilobits per second. Or 'twould be, were it working correctly, which it ain't.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Well. I was talking today with a board member of our local rural electric coop. He was quoting me prices on the satellite Internet service available through them, and (I wonder if prices have been coming down?) it turns out to be considerably cheaper than I remembered from checking into it a while back.

Only $10/mo more than I'm paying for DSL right now, and that's for a 25% faster connection. Installation and satellite dish also only a fraction of what I'd thought it was. If it works decently, it sounds like a good deal.

So. Some time soon I'm going to sit down and undertake a gory technical effort to circumvent my current "technical difficulties." If that doesn't work, I'll give one last chance to fix the connection themselves. If they can't or won't, I suspect I'll be looking very seriously at switching over to satellite.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 6:43:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Well, I'll be. As of 10:30 this morning, my DSL connection is running normally again. No latency, no delays, no errors. For the first time since June 7.

I phoned to let them know. Of course they'll never admit to anything, but I strongly suspect they were tinkering with things on their end, because I hadn't yet had the time to do anything further on my end.

So it goes. And so I have a fully functional DSL connection again for the first time in 6½ weeks. Until the next time— of course, with there will always be a next time...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

...And indeed there is a next time. This morning again already.

My DSL connection was working so beautifully yesterday from 10:30 AM onward. Now I get up this morning and it's... a 7-second latency period before any site even begins loading. Then an initial burst, followed by other bursts every 5, 6, 7 seconds, until after a minute or more a simple webpage will be fully loaded.

That's better than it was for 6½ weeks there, when it was a 16 second latency period, followed by bursts every 10, 15, 20 seconds. And so far this morning I haven't seen any of those error messages, " could not be resolved," etc. (Knock on wood!) But it's quite sad enough. can't even keep its DSL service working right for 24 hours.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Now I'm confused. As of 8:40 this morning, all of a sudden my DSL connection is back to functioning beautifully, as it was for most of the day yesterday.

I wish could get it right, and then stop tinkering. And keep it right, without lapsing into slowdowns of a day or five, or a month, or 6½ weeks, every time I turn around.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:51:00 AM  

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