DSL problems

The last 3 weekends, on Saturday, my Internet connection has been down, for hours (usually until Monday morning) and yesterday, it happened again. At around 4 PM, all connections started to drop, and after checking what the problem was, I called the support service at Telefónica. Usually, the people answering the phone, even though asking the same questions over and over, are nice enough to not get you upset, but yesterday, things were different:

  • Me: so, the line is having problems again
  • Support girl: ok, just reboot the computer and try again
  • Me: reboot the computer, what for?
  • SG: to reconfigure the router
  • Me: But the router is not connected to the computer, it is connected to a hub, as is the computer. Rebooting it won’t touch anything at all in the router. And the router is correctly configured
  • SG: what windows are you using?
  • Me: no windows here, just linux
  • SG: linux is not supported I’m afraid
  • Me: ok, right, but this has nothing to do with linux/windows. I tell you the router is configured correctly but gets no outside traffic
  • SG: no, your router has lost the configuration
  • Me: I am seeing, via telnet, the router configuration, and nothing has changed, it’s configured correctly, the problem is in the line, as it was the last 3 weekends. Also, pinging from the router to an external IP gives ‘unreachable’ errors.
  • SG: ok, run an ipconfig on the computer
  • Me: the computer has a local address (192.168.x.x)
  • SG: the router has lost its configuration then
  • Me: what?
  • SG: look, you’re gonna need to create a partition for windows so that we can send someone to reconfigure the router
  • Me: but I can configure the router myself via telnet/HTTP, no need for windows
  • Me: but the router is configured (sigh)
  • SG: no, it’s not
  • Me: look, I work on computers, I know what I’m talking about, and the problem is on the line
  • SG: heh, if you knew computers, you’d know you need windows to configure the router
  • Me: Ok, thanks for not helping me, bye

The conversation was much longer than what I wrote here, and the girl was much more unpolite than what you can see from this. So, just went out for a walk, came back, and called again, this time to talk with a much more polite person, who gave me a support incidence number. As I was telling the first girl, the problem was on the line, and this morning my DSL line was back, without the need for a fucking Windows partition.

So, lesson learned. When you call and they tell you to reboot the computer, just say “ok”, wait a couple of minutes without doing and saying anything, and then say “ok, computer rebooted, what’s next?”. Also, when they ask about which windows version you use, just answer with “98”, “XP” or whatever (supported) version you prefer. And when they tell you to run Windows programs, just try to find the Linux equivalent, if there is. That way, they’ll treat you much better than if you try to be clever.


I am in the process of installing many distros on a single machine, and would like to have all of them available at all times (ie, no need to reboot to switch to another one). So, I’ve heard about PXES, which, if I understood correctly, should allow to do that.

Anyone with experience on this able to give some advise?

Sharing is not a crime

Given the recent campaign to associate the worst crimes with piracy, a lot of people are protesting in different ways against the people in that campaign. One of the the things to protest about is that the campaign mentions that sharing and downloading music and videos from Internet is a crime, which is just totally false, at least given the current Spanish law. So, one of the best protests is what some people in Bilbao have done, consisting in downloading music from Internet in front of the SGAE (ie, the people behind the campaign) office in that city. They even called the police before starting the download, so that they could be arrested while “committing the crime”. Of course, no one showed up to arrest them.

The best about it, the photos, which made me laugh quite a bit.

Windows virii

Seems the last evil virus for Windows XP shut down last night the network of Digital+, a satellite TV broadcasting company. It indeed shut down everything, since at around 1 AM, all channels became blank on my TV, and soon after that the radio was talking about the virus problems in Digital+ as well as in other companies.

I guess it is a good time for some GNU/Linux-based company sales people to visit these poor souls and offer a real operating system that doesn’t get the company to a halt because of some stupid virus.

Software patents

After all the joy of seeing the software patents directive rejected, some people are starting to worry that it hasn’t been a victory.

Since the link is in Spanish, here is a little summarised translation of the important points:

  • The day before the voting, people from the anti-patent organizations were very worried about the result, with the Popular Party campaigning in favor of the bill, and some socialists (like Spanish Joaquin Almunia) saying that voting against it would make Europe be left behind in terms of innovation. Why that big change, in only one day?
  • Seems, from some explanations about the result given by some MPs, that the vote was against the commission’s way of doing things. So, one can think that once they do things “correctly”, the bill will we accepted.
  • The big corporations haven’t said anything about what is supposed to be a very bad thing for them.

So, have we been trapped, and the bill will be be back in a few months with a different shape and with the good willing and acceptance of the Euro parlament MPs? I hope not, but as Javier says, let’s celebrate it today, but let’s get back to work tomorrow.

KDE and Wikimedia

The KDE project has started some collaboration with Wikimedia to provide KDE applications with a remote API for accessing Wikimedia databases. Nice ideas have been proposed here.

Since the API seems to going to be desktop-neutral, I guess we need to pay attention to start using it in GNOME as soon as it is available. gnome-dictionary could use Wkimedia sites as its sources, Beagle could search in Wikimedia articles, Totem/Rhythmbox could display information on tracks/artists/albums as they play music/video, text editors could allow importing of those articles, etc, etc.

Desktop platform

As Philip says, the desktop platform for 3rd parties is not as attractive as it should be, given the fragmentation on two big, and incompatible for the most part, development platforms.

And it sucks that politics are involved, since that’s the only reason I can think of about glib, for instance, not being used in DBus, adding the need to copy/paste code from glib to DBus code or rewrite already existing/well tested code. This introduces the need to be updating the code in DBus whenever a bug is fixed in the GLib one, and, most important, fails short in the code reuse philosophy free software is supposed to promote.

Of course, this is just a small detail compared to Philip’s cool integration ideas, but I think a good common platform could help in solving all those integration problems.

So yeah, please let’s have some form of committe or something that approaches a similar KDE people committe to try to promote more the code reuse between the 2 desktops, trying to share as much of the platform as possible. Then, once the basics are shared, we’ll just have two different ways of writing desktop applications, just like there are several different ways on Windows (Delphi, VB, C API, Java, etc).