Speed comparison: Optimum Boost vs Verizon FiOS

Optimum Boost advertises 30 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up. Here’s a speed test I just ran at Ookla’s SpeedTest.net:

(My desktop is plugged into the router, the router is plugged into the Arris cablemodem.)

Here’s one of the last speed tests I did with Verizon, on 2/15. I had the 25/15 internet package:

(Desktop was plugged into 8-port Linksys 100 Mbit switch, the switch was plugged into the FiOS/ActionTec router.)

Continue reading Speed comparison: Optimum Boost vs Verizon FiOS

How I fixed my Wii’s noisy disc drive & read errors.

I got my Wii in late 2006 and around 2009 I noticed it was starting to sound like a circular saw when the disc drive was spinning. This was annoying but it didn’t affect the games so I never thought much about it.

About two weeks ago, however, New Super Mario Bros. Wii stopped working:

The Wii basically worked except for the disc drive. As soon as I put a disc in, I’d get the error above – even if I didn’t start start the game. I tried blowing in the disc slot (the only thing I could think of… worked for my old NES!) but the problem continued. I figured I had two choices: buy another Wii or attempt to fix mine. Since mine was already essentially useless I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to try fixing it.

After some searching I quickly learned that to do any work inside a Wii requires a Tri-Wing screwdriver just to open the case. I went to the hardware store and got a Tri-Wing bit but it was too big to be of any use on the Wii. I found this Silverwing Tri-Wing screwdriver on Amazon for under $5 that did the trick.

With trusty screwdriver in hand, I opened the Wii thusly:

With it now open I followed this guy’s advice:

Bending these small triangles down created a gap that stopped the vibration & the noise and made the Wii playable again.

Bend these small pieces down to stop the Wii disc drive's loud noise.
Bend these small pieces down to stop the Wii disc drive's loud noise.

It has some new weird sounds when the disc first spins up and when it spins it down (I assume the braking mechanism) but it’s practically silent during gameplay. Yay!

How I fixed my Wii's noisy disc drive & read errors.

I got my Wii in late 2006 and around 2009 I noticed it was starting to sound like a circular saw when the disc drive was spinning. This was annoying but it didn’t affect the games so I never thought much about it.

About two weeks ago, however, New Super Mario Bros. Wii stopped working:

The Wii basically worked except for the disc drive. As soon as I put a disc in, I’d get the error above – even if I didn’t start start the game. I tried blowing in the disc slot (the only thing I could think of… worked for my old NES!) but the problem continued. I figured I had two choices: buy another Wii or attempt to fix mine. Since mine was already essentially useless I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to try fixing it.

After some searching I quickly learned that to do any work inside a Wii requires a Tri-Wing screwdriver just to open the case. I went to the hardware store and got a Tri-Wing bit but it was too big to be of any use on the Wii. I found this Silverwing Tri-Wing screwdriver on Amazon for under $5 that did the trick.

With trusty screwdriver in hand, I opened the Wii thusly:

With it now open I followed this guy’s advice:

Bending these small triangles down created a gap that stopped the vibration & the noise and made the Wii playable again.

Bend these small pieces down to stop the Wii disc drive's loud noise.
Bend these small pieces down to stop the Wii disc drive's loud noise.

It has some new weird sounds when the disc first spins up and when it spins it down (I assume the braking mechanism) but it’s practically silent during gameplay. Yay!

After switching back to Cablevision, FiOS users can’t call us.

So we switched back to Cablevision and it went pretty well, but apparently Verizon users can’t call our house number (ported from Verizon to Cablevision). Verizon users have to call from their mobiles in order to complete the call. I’m guessing that Verizon hasn’t updated their systems to indicate that they no longer “own” our number and is trying to route the call inside their network. Sucks because I can’t imagine Verizon jumping to help fix this since I’m not their customer anymore.

After switching back to Cablevision, FiOS users can't call us.

So we switched back to Cablevision and it went pretty well, but apparently Verizon users can’t call our house number (ported from Verizon to Cablevision). Verizon users have to call from their mobiles in order to complete the call. I’m guessing that Verizon hasn’t updated their systems to indicate that they no longer “own” our number and is trying to route the call inside their network. Sucks because I can’t imagine Verizon jumping to help fix this since I’m not their customer anymore.

VMware Workstation 7 – virtual ethernet fails to start after changing vmnet8 subnet

After my recent wipe of my laptop, I reinstalled VMware Workstation and my Win XP VM was working fine. The one wrinkle I faced was that the subnet for the vmnet8 (NAT) vnic had changed from 192.168.250.0/24 to 173.16.132.0/24. The host machine had been 192.168.250.1 so rather than reconfiguring everything on the guest to point to a new IP for the host I figured it would be easier to change the subnet for vmnet8. I went into the Virtual Network Editor and just changed the subnet. Seemed to work correctly, but after doing a release/renew in Win XP I couldn’t get an IP.

I tried disconnecting the vnic and reconnecting it; the guest recognized that the “cable was unplugged,” but still couldn’t get an IP. I rebooted the guest – same thing. Restarted the vmware service and saw this:

[root@ehoffman ~]# /etc/init.d/vmware restart
Stopping VMware services:
   VMware USB Arbitrator                                   [  OK  ]
   VM communication interface socket family                [  OK  ]
   Virtual machine communication interface                 [  OK  ]
   Virtual machine monitor                                 [  OK  ]
   Blocking file system                                    [  OK  ]
Starting VMware services:
   VMware USB Arbitrator                                   [  OK  ]
   Virtual machine monitor                                 [  OK  ]
   Virtual machine communication interface                 [  OK  ]
   VM communication interface socket family                [  OK  ]
   Blocking file system                                    [  OK  ]
   Virtual ethernet                                        [FAILED]
[root@ehoffman ~]#

That’s weird. The vnic is up with the specified IP:

[root@ehoffman vmnet8]# ifconfig
vmnet1    Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:50:56:C0:00:01
          inet addr:172.16.3.1  Bcast:172.16.3.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: fe80::250:56ff:fec0:1/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:38 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

vmnet8    Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:50:56:C0:00:08
          inet addr:192.168.250.1  Bcast:192.168.250.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: fe80::250:56ff:fec0:8/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:36 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

Checked the /var/log/vnetlib logfile and it appears to be some problem starting DHCP on vmnet8:

Internet Software Consortium DHCP Server 2.0
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 The Internet Software Consortium.
All rights reserved.

Please contribute if you find this software useful.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/dhcp-contrib.html

Configured subnet: 172.16.3.0
Setting vmnet-dhcp IP address: 172.16.3.254
Opened: /dev/vmnet1
Recving on     VNet/vmnet1/172.16.3.0
Sending on     VNet/vmnet1/172.16.3.0
Internet Software Consortium DHCP Server 2.0
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 The Internet Software Consortium.
All rights reserved.

Please contribute if you find this software useful.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/dhcp-contrib.html

Address range 192.168.250.128 to 192.168.250.254 not on net 192.168.250.1/255.255.255.0!
exiting.
Failed to start DHCP service on vmnet8
Failed to start some/all services
Feb 23 09:28:46 VNL_Load - LOG_ERR logged
Feb 23 09:28:46 VNL_Load - LOG_WRN logged
Feb 23 09:28:46 VNL_Load - LOG_OK logged
Feb 23 09:28:46 VNL_Load - Successfully initialized Vnetlib
Feb 23 09:28:46 VNL_StartService - Started "Bridge" service for vnet: vmnet0
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_CheckSubnetAvailability - Subnet: 172.16.3.0 on vnet: vmnet1 is available
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_CheckSubnetAvailability - Subnet: 192.168.250.0 on vnet: vmnet8 is available
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_StartService - Started "DHCP" service for vnet: vmnet1
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_EnableNetworkAdapter - Successfully enabled hostonly adapter on vnet: vmnet1
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNLServiceStart - Daemon process did not report status, returning failure
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_StartService - Failure in starting "DHCP" service for vnet: vmnet8
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_StartService - Started "NAT" service for vnet: vmnet8
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_EnableNetworkAdapter - Successfully enabled hostonly adapter on vnet: vmnet8
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNLServiceStatus - pid: 13512 for Netdetect service daemon on vnet: 0 is stale
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_StartService - Started "Netdetect" service for vnet: vmnet0
Feb 23 09:28:47 VNL_Unload - Vnetlib unloaded.
Started Bridge networking on vmnet0
Started DHCP service on vmnet1
Enabled hostonly virtual adapter on vmnet1
Started NAT service on vmnet8
Enabled hostonly virtual adapter on vmnet8
Started Network detection service

The important line there is Address range 192.168.250.128 to 192.168.250.254 not on net 192.168.250.1/255.255.255.0! Apparently DHCP is misconfigured. The config file for dhcpd for vmnet8 is /etc/vmware/vmnet8/dhcpd/dhcpd.conf . Here’s what it looked like:

subnet 192.168.250.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 {
        range 192.168.250.128 192.168.250.250;
        option broadcast-address 192.168.250.255;
        option domain-name-servers 192.168.250.1;
        option domain-name localdomain;
        default-lease-time 1800;                # default is 30 minutes
        max-lease-time 7200;                    # default is 2 hours
        option routers 192.168.250.2;
}

I changed the range to 192.168.250.2 to 192.168.250.127, thinking that was the problem, but it turned out to be the “subnet” line – the subnet should be “192.168.250.0 netmask 255.255.255.0” rather than “192.168.250.1 …” After changing that, everything Worked As Intended.

Clean install of FC14, regain Radeon X1600 support (!)

So I was complaining the other day about losing support for the Radeon X1600 when I upgraded my work laptop from FC12 to FC14. I was on the verge of ordering a new laptop (ThinkPad W510 with quadcore i7 and 1GB Quadro looks niiiice…) when I figured it was worth at least giving a true clean install a shot. I backed up all my stuff to an external USB drive, repartitioned my drive (finally done in a sane way), did a fresh FC14 install, and miraculously everything seemed to work. rsynced all my stuff back over and it was almost perfect. I still have a weird issue when trying to unlock my screen after it goes into screensaver – basically I can’t, it just stays locked and I’ve resorted to doing “init 3” and then “init 5” to make it work again. That’s a minor annoyance though at this point. So, yay again for Fedora! I wouldn’t go with ATi for a Linux machine again though.