All posts in Ramblings

We have a flat with very thick walls – giving us problems with wireless connections. We have a mesh network (TP-Link Deco P7’s) with Powerline backhaul. The theory was that when wireless signals could not go through the walls we would fall back to running the network over the mains cables between mesh access points.

The real challenge comes from the difficulty in finding intermittent problems on the network, and the series lack of any decent admin functions on the P7’s.

The mash network has 6 nodes, where the first one is connected to main router with a Ethernet cable. The rest of the mesh is using Powerline or the wireless network between them dynamically. Unfortunately there is no real way to know how each node is communicating with the other nodes.

I’ve tried most things I could think of and feel we are in a good place with the connectivity at the moment, with the exception of my wife’s studio. And kit in the room occasionally has problems.

In the end I installed one of the oldest and first monitoring systems I ever used – Smokeping. And it’s still one of the few latency and network error measurement and login tools I can find. But it’s a very difficult install under OsX – even though I had done it before. So this time I went modern, and downloaded a pre-made setup in a Docker container – and started configuring the monitoring tools.

It now looks like this


And look at the packet loss line – 10% packet loss on average. And it was even worse for the printer :


Average packet loss of 93% – its a wonder it ever works! But both these devices are connected to the same Access point – the Printer using a Ethernet cable – and the AppleTV using wireless.

So now I have a starting point – the cable between the access point and the printer is now the next thing to be inspected – but that’s for another day.

So SmokePing works very well for this type of investigation.

Btw. Here is the page for all access points :


And here it is :

From The Times – quoting Jeremy Paxman – and I find myself agreeing with him unfortunately. British politics baffles me at the moment


For the first time ever I discovered that Ikea has installed a public WiFi network. Welcome to our century :


From one of our courtyards today 



Yesterday I posted a little quote for the Norwegian and UK prime ministers after they had met – basically giving their nationals living in either the countries as expats the right to remain residents, even in the case of a no-del Brexit.

Reflecting on this I find it a very strange thing to do for the British PM – singling out one country (even if its to my personal advantage) for special treatment seems a odd thing to do. It’s almost a preparation for a no-deal Brexit?

Cardstack is something I have followed for a while – it’s a combination of software distribution and blockchain, all wrapped up in a vision –

It’s hard to wrap your brain around this – it’s not a easy concept to understand, as it is clearly written by “nerds” and therefore not easily accessible. But on the flipside they are taking it very seriously, so it’s on my list of things to read over Christmas.

The Mellotron was a quite unique instrument built around 32 tape strips from a tape recorder, and had 32 tape recorder playback heads.

It powered the sound of a number of my favourite bands in the 70’s, including the Moody Blues.

A very good video explanation of how it works can be found here :

I have also wondered over the years on why so few of us use signed or encrypted emails. And I guess the real reason is “it’s too complex to set up”.

Here is a excellent how-to from jeelabs

And here it is – but the reson it’s remarkable is not that it’s a (very) old picture with me in it (i’m in the middle) but that it’s a black and white picture hand coloured by my dad!

IMG 4736