No Net

I walked into the office this morning to find the new cubicles and partitions finally in place. It’s something overdue for about a month already. But a closer look and I saw that the cabling was not yet done, there were no plugs at the ends of the cables which were stuffed haphazardly within the cubicle panels. There was also a pile of discarded old cables on the floor. But worst of all, there were no network guys to be seen! This was at past 9AM already.

So we had to make a call to the help desk. Not straightforward as the phones rely on the same cabling so there were no working phones in the immediate area. When someone finally arrived, he went about  laying out temporary cables picked up from the pile of cables on the floor. He didn’t even check if each user has a working connection. In the end, I had to finish up my network connections myself.

I’ve worked with smaller teams with less budget and they were more proactive and could do a far better job. Sheesh!

WDS: Bridging Wireless Networks

I had my PS3 and Linkstation on a wired gigabit subnet because I wanted the PS3 to be able to stream HD content from the Linkstation. But I also needed the PS3 to have Internet access and the Linkstation to be accessible by wireless devices.

First, I tried connecting my Huawei D100 router to the switch but it couldn’t find any HSDPA signal. Sun’s signal is still spotty and weak in some areas and finicky elsewhere.  So I guess the D100 has to be in the bedroom where the signal is strongest.

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SSH Tunneling Via PuTTY

A day or two ago, I stayed at home. I have my notebook, a bunch of DVDs, a good speed Internet connection, pizza, and unlimited beer. Okay, not the beer, I’ve sworn off it. But what else do you need, right? The answer came as soon as I tried sending my first email. Connection failed. I did some sleuthing and concluded that for some bizarre reason, my ISP seems to be blocking SMTP. WTF! Anyway, rather than complaining and getting it solved by them (what’s the fun in that?) I searched for another solution.

Enter SSH tunneling. This technology allows you to forward most any network traffic through an SSH connection to your SSH server and on to the target server. You login to your SSH server, preferably one with unlimited access to the Internet. Then you can map local ports to be forwarded to your SSH server which will then act as an intermediary between you and your target server. Of course, although the communications between your computer and the SSH server will be pretty much secure, the communication between the SSH server and the target server may not be.

So how did this all work for me and my problem? I loaded up PuTTY and created a new session to my SSH server which is on an ISP who doesn’t block SMTP. Then under Connection->SSH->Tunnels, I added source port 25 and destination port mymailserver:25. I then connected and logged on to my SSH server. While connected, I reconfigured Thunderbird‘s outgoing email server to localhost and then pressed the send button. Voila! Mail sent! :)

Time to make that complaint.