Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Software to the Rescue

Due to a series of delays and mishaps, our planned two week program has turned into a one week program. Douglas warned that the existing bandwidth would not be sufficient for our needs, and when I arrived here on Sunday and got a time estimate of 2 days 10 hours on the first machine I tried to update, I knew that he was right.

So Monday morning it was a trip to San Salvador to upgrade the bandwidth. We asked for a 1 Gigabite rate, and were assured that it would be ready by that evening. It wasn't. In fact, neither Internet nor phone -- since the same cable provider is supplying both -- worked at all until a service tech came to the house on Wednesday.

In the mean time I managed to get myself sick -- something I seem to do at least once on every visit to Central America. That meant that Thursday was spent in La Nueva Conception visiting the clinic and getting medicine. I'm starting to feel better now.

The last complication was getting the router to work. The cable modem seemed to refuse to give it an IP address. It is a Linksys WRT54GS ver. 7.2 router. After talking to Douglas, I confirmed that the cable modem needed to be reset each time that you connect a new computer to it. Using three machines, I could confirm that the process worked. Each one would get an IP address if I:
  1. Connected it directly to the cable modem.
  2. Reset the cable modem.
  3. Restarted networking on the host machine.
I still don't why it didn't work, but the solution I finally found was to change the software on the router. Installing dd-wrt instead of the vendor's original software made it work like a charm. Free software to the rescue once again!

1 comment:

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