Finally have something to say....
Couple of weeks ago AT&T Cable (in SF,CA) insisted that
try their cable modem for free for 2 months. It seems that
they (AT&T) finally had pulled fiber in San Francisco
Potrero Hill area. Funny I can barely get them to answer the
phone when my cable TV service is not working but for this
they turned up at my door on a Sunday afternoon.
I explained to the gent that I ran Linux servers and
fairly sure that AT&T did not want me as a customer on
cable modem system. No use, he insisted so I filled out the
form. (I really did not need a cable modem as I already have
384x384 DSL but hey for free why not.)
I filled out the form and I told the truth, I have 5 servers
running Linux, 2 LapTops all behind a Linux
NAT. Somehow I thought this would be the end of it, with
what I put on the form I never expected a call back from
Suprise, Suprise, Wednesday 3 days later in the evening I
get a call back. Yep, you guessed it AT&T indeed wants
a customer! Once again I go over what is installed in my
house and again they insist they want to
service. Make a long story short we set an install date.
One week, 2 days later at 11:30 AM a small
installers show up at my house (ok, ok so it was only 3
trucks, but how many people does it take to install a 1
cable modem, especially since I already have cable tv).
Now the fun begins, I get a call from the babysitter at my
house and I head home. The head installer goes into my house
and the babysitter shows him where the cable modem is to be
installed, he takes a single look and freaks......
about then I show up and meet him as he is talking to the
rest of the installers. He is saying something like "You
should see all the stuff in there, they have servers and
they are using something called Linux not Windows".
Right about this time I walk up and ask how long this is
take, and he says "You are running servers and Linux, there
is no way I am going to install a cable modem it is against
company policy". I explained to him that I had already gone
through this with 2 different people from AT&T and I indeed
him to install what AT&T promised.
Long story short, he refused, I called the AT&T office
I was assured that AT&T indeed wanted to install the
service, and they would contact the installer and send him
back to finish the install. The nice folks at the AT&T
customer service ask me if I would be kind enough to hold on
while they contacted the installer and resolved the problem.
A couple of minutes later he is back, "Is the installer
still in front of your house?" he asks? "The dispatcher
seem to reach him" I look out the window and see the truck
but no installer. I take my portable phone and go out to the
truck. I explain to the gent on the phone that the truck is
parked and empty no installer in sight, He ask's "Would you
mind leaving him a note to call his dispatcher when he gets
back?". So I do, and leave to go back to work.
Couple of hours later the lady in charge of installs calls
me up to let me know she is sending out a different
installer to do the job. She explains that since I don't use
Windows I'll have to complete the install myself, they will
put the modem in but not hook it to a PC. I tokd her I
understood and in fact did not want anyone touching my
Hour and a half later another call,
the deed is done I have a cable modem. The installer she
sent is back at her desk and she wants to know if I want to
talk to him. I chat with the installer and we talk about the
setup I have and the 2mbit wireless installed throughout
the house for the Laptops. (This installer thinks this is
cool and wants to know more, so he is going to come over on
a weekend for more info.)
Fun, fun, fun, even when they try to make it easy it still
becomes hard. Of course now I have to hook up the cable
modem to my firewall.....
Pull the firewall system out of the rack and dig around,
woops only 3 PCI
slots and I have them all in use, 2 Ethernet and 1 VGA, now
where did I put those old ISA VGA cards?
Found an old VGA and another PCI Ethernet, installed same
and put the system back in the rack. Power it up and it sits
there and beeps at me. Is nothing EVER easy? Back out
of the rack, open it up, reseat and wiggle all of the cards
and apply power, ah finally it boots. Shut it down
AGAIN and put the lid back on and back in the rack
one more time. Power up and it works, yea. Now I have to
figure out which Ethernet card is which interface now. Bit
of testing and all is happy.
Firewall is running again, NAT in place. Now for the fun get
a dhcp address from the cable modem. Actually this turned
out to be easy dhcpcd is your friend. 'dhcpcd -h "id
provided by AT&T" eth2' and I got an address and all
You have to use a current enough version of dhcpcd so
that it supports the -h option cause the AT&T dhcp
will not give you an address if you don't supply the ID it
Ok, now for some testing, the cable modem rocks. It is
fast downloading, here are some numbers downloading from
22:23:36 (348.89 KB/s) - saved  cable
22:26:13 (336.38 KB/s) - saved  cable
22:31:12 (344.70 KB/s) - saved  cable
22:35:10 (318.34 KB/s) - saved  cable
22:37:59 (329.86 KB/s) - saved  cable
22:48:30 ( 39.13 KB/s) - saved  sdsl
22:59:43 ( 39.04 KB/s) - saved  sdsl
Big difference, I have not tested an upload but I expect
that the SDSL will beat the cable but who knows.
Next time more about installing the 11mBit wireless so that
my wife and I can share the connection from anywhere in the
house (or back yard). Linux makes it easy
to configure Lucent cards but W2K is a bit harder to get the