Wednesday, 23 July 2008

TTG - Text Traffic Grapher

Have you ever wanted to know how much bandwidth you were using this instant? Do you like CLIs? (i.e. Command Line Interfaces) Then this utility is for you!!!

I found this utility the other day and discovered that it's one of those tools that I don't know why it's not included in most distributions. It's actually at the very bottom of that page, but it's very good.

You provide the name of the router or switch you want to monitor traffic on, the RO community string (usually public) and then you can type "list" to see the interfaces you can monitor and their status. Once you know, use that and you'll see the most recent traffic utilization through that interface.


ttg switch public gi1/0/1

Found "GigabitEthernet1/0/1" at index 10101:
[09:44:59] current throughput: in 411.9 kB/s out 218.8 kB/s
[09:45:00] current throughput: in 405.9 kB/s out 247.4 kB/s
[09:45:01] current throughput: in 485.4 kB/s out 342.4 kB/s
[09:45:02] current throughput: in 523.7 kB/s out 357.5 kB/s
[09:45:03] current throughput: in 538.3 kB/s out 350.8 kB/s
[09:45:04] current throughput: in 486.4 kB/s out 302.4 kB/s

---- ttg statistics ----
in out
maximum throughput: 538.3 kB/s 357.5 kB/s
average throughput: 475.3 kB/s 303.2 kB/s
minimum throughput: 405.9 kB/s 218.8 kB/s

Nice huh? This will definitely help me when trying to figure out bandwidth utilization over a short interval.

And there's loads of things it can do ... try the help.


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Ubuntu isn't perfect, but it's damn close

I have everything working on my new MacBook Pro. I installed Ubuntu Hardy (i.e. 8.04) like I mentioned in the previous post and after using it for a few weeks for my day to day tasks I can honestly say that it's 99% there.

I've discovered a few annoying issues that are slowly being worked on by the Linux community at large and I hope will fix my problems once they release the new version of these applications.

Which applications are causing problems? Well the two worst issues are the ones that unfortunately I think are quite important. One is something I need to have for daily use - a softphone. Now there are several applications out there: Ekiga and Twinkle are two of the Open Source ones that are available for install - Ekiga being the default. However I found that there were a few times where they didn't work. When I used Mac OS X I would use X-Lite, then I discovered Zoiper and used that instead. Well, Zoiper runs on Linux too, so I've installed it as well to test. I also found WengaPhone which I installed and tested too.

The reason for testing all these applications is that I would always encounter a problem or on a different application, a different problem. On Twinkle, my audio drivers would not work if some other audio application (or itself) crashed. With Ekiga, I couldn't get it to work over the VPN. I tried different settings and maybe I missed something, but on a VPN it doesn't work. With Zoiper - I thought that being on a familiar application I would be able to troubleshoot it better and get it to work. Well, that didn't work either. I also tried WengaPhone which worked much better, but had the same problems as Zoiper - the audio would sometimes fail and I wouldn't be able to hear or talk to anyone. I think this may be due to the applications being 32 bit while I'm on a 64 bit installation. I have the compatibility libraries - including sound, but still no go.

Anyway - while I'm in the office I'm going to use Twinkle and just have to reboot if the audio driver fails (what a pain.) A possible solution which I haven't tried yet is finding a way to reload or reset the audio drivers. If you have an idea of how I can do this easily, let me know. I may just have to script the rmmod, insmod for the sound modules.

The other issue that I have is related to the wireless connectivity. At home I setup my wifi to use WPA+WPA2 for protection. I was able to get our wifi printer on the network, our Nintendo Wii and the two other computers. My MacBook Pro on Unbuntu sees the network requests the key and then doesn't do anything. It seems to connect to the network, but doesn't get a DHCP address. I've tried using a static IP address, overwriting Network Manager, but that worked once and then stopped working. I even had created a profile for "home" so I could just toggle that and have a static IP at home... but nothing!

For now I'm tethered via a network cable. Not the best solution, but it'll have to do until I find a solution.

By the way, I did disable the WPA+WPA2 settings and went with JUST WPA and then with JUST WPA2, but in both situations I had the same problem that I don't quite complete the connection and don't get an IP address from the router's DHCP server and I can't get the static IP address to work either.

Anyway - all in all - I'm very pleased with my Ubuntu installation.


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

New MacBook Pro now with Ubuntu

I got a new MacBook Pro for work and I decided that I was going to run Ubuntu on it. So after reading multiple threads, webpages and blogs on the subject went ahead with the install.

Let me tell you that IT'S AWESOME!

I've always liked Ubuntu and had it running on my old MacBook Pro on Parallels. Well, running it directly on HW is so much better.

If you want to know how I did it, just Google it, or click on the links at the bottom.

I got everything to work: sound, iSight, wifi (although I have a strange problem at home where DHCP doesn't take so I had to create a profile and give myself a static ip,) even my 3G Vodafone USB modem.

So far, everything that I use for work I can find a replacement for an apt-get away.

The only tool so far that I can't get a straight replacement for is OmniGraffle. We'll, I'm working on something...

Ubuntu on MacBook Pro 1
Ubuntu on MacBook Pro (most recent hardware)
Ubuntu and Vodafone 3G