DEC Alpha server, phone tethering and the Solwise plug.

Donald’s project to put Gentoo on the DEC Alpha server took another step forward. The Gentoo kernel has been downloaded, and compilation started. The kernel compile stage was still running at the end of our 2 hour meeting, so it was left to run over the weekend. Unfortunately, on my return on Monday morning, the process had not finished, but had ‘crashed’. Lack of memory is believed to be the cause. We will decide what to do about this at the next meeting.

Jon finally managed to tether his phone to his laptop running Ubuntu but was not happy with the stability, more to follow, or might follow, if Jon’s new project FreeNAS doesn’t take priority.

The attempt to use the Solwise plug in conjunction with a 3 broadband dongle for backup internet provision did not prove to be reliable either. The Solwise plug would fail over to the 3g dongle without problem when the broadband was disconnected, but the signal was so poor that internet access was intermittent at  best, or non existent at worst.

I had a look at external 3g directional aerials for mounting on a mast on the roof, but the general consensus from the internet seemed to suggest that these aerials did boost the signal considerably, but you lose all that is gained if you need a long aerial cable run down from the mast to the computer, which I did need. So this idea will not be tried. Instead, I will try a different service provider. The tests have been done with a 3 dongle, and I intend to try O2, to see if they are any better.

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