[lug] attbi @Home blues

Rick Casey caseyh at colorado.edu
Sun Dec 30 13:47:37 MST 2001

Well, I'm finally back on line too. Basically took the assistence of a
persistent AT&T tech. Spent 1 hr waiting in the queue, then spend 1 hr
troubleshooting the problem in Windoz. Had to use a Win98 utility off
the install CD that forces the release of automatically obtained IP
address; then, when all else failed, much to my chagrin, we were able to
obtain an IP address from the DHCP server once I took out the Linksys
switch that I had between my computer and the cable modem (!).

So, I took the TCP/IP info from Windoz, put it into Linux, the critical
info being a new entry in the /etc/resolv.conf file for the ATT DNS
server. This was cheating a bit, since I didn't use DHCP to get
connected; but, hey, it worked!

Must say that the AT&T tech named Tim up in Vancouver, BC was quite

--Rick Casey
| Rick Casey       Professional Research Assistant |
| CADSWES              http://cadswes.colorado.edu |
| University of Colorado at Boulder                |
| caseyh at colorado.edu            work 303.735.3670 |

> What a bunch of hassles!  See below for my long and winding road to
> success.
> On Thu, Dec 20, 2001 at 10:48:07AM -0700, Sean LeBlanc wrote:
> > On 12-18 23:27, Rick Casey wrote:
> > > Thanks for this info on dhcpcd. Has sure helped.I think I do need to use
> > > it instead of pump. I found a good info source about it at
> > > www.scrounge.org/linux/dhcpcd.html
> > >
> > > Unfortunately I'm getting 'operation failed' when I try to run dhcpcd;
> > > my syslog message about it says:
> > >
> > >     Dec 18 22:40:19 C28665-A dhcpcd[1911]: timed out waiting for a valid
> > > DHCP server response
> Resetting my cable modem has fixed this each time.  But this is just
> the first step - see below.
> > > That looks like my old hostname address from the Excite at Home service.
> > > Cannot see where this is coming from; I cleared out the config info
> > > using control-panel and rebooted.
> > >
> > > How does one clear out this hostname?
> Checking the /etc/hosts file and reading `man hostname` might help.
> I am back on-line, and here is what I did.
> The initial attbi network configuration, as viewed by the client, is
> really peculiar and non-standard, using firewalls or the like to
> prevent the client from seeing hardly anything.  My "test" method for
> a long time was to get an IP via `dhcpcd eth0` and then ping the
> gateway machine from /etc/dhcpc/dhcpcd-eth0.info:
> It never responded which made me assume anything else was hopeless,
> and the notion of using a fully-wide-open broadcast address also seems
> bizarre (doesn't that mean that all broadcasts are picked up by all
> devices on the ethernet segment, even if they aren't on the same
> logical IP network?)
> So I called a ticket in (waiting between 30 and 60 minutes for either
> the initial tech, or the "advanced tech support" or both).
> 1st problem at their end: my cable modem was no longer registered in
> their system.  Before the tech discovered that, voices in the
> background were saying "just tell him we don't support linux" or
> something like that, I think.  Thankfully, my tech persevered.
> So it took them a day or two to fix that, and I still couldn't ping
> the gateway so I called back again and they sent out a tech to do the
> "provisioning".  He encouraged me to try my browser, and to my great
> surprise, I got a response from the browser, again even though I
> couldn't ping the DNS machines that dhcpcd had put in my
> /etc/resolv.conf file.  It hadn't even occurred to me to try the
> "host" command to do a DNS query when I couldn't ping my gateway or
> DNS servers....
> The browser (netscape) response was coming from
> https://sas.r4.attbi.com/
> and it asked for an account number and registration code (last 9
> digits of the account number).  I got that from the
> friendly service guy (who was pretty curious about linux).
> The first one he gave me didn't work, so he phoned in and
> they were able to give him a new one right away (normally
> takes 72 hours, he said....)
> After filling out the registration page it
> redirected the browser to something under this server:
>   https://registration.attbi.com/
> But the redirection was failing and I couldn't to the
> server or anything.
> This next hurdle was only overcome by temporarily configuring a proxy
> in Netscape:
>   https and http proxy: sas.r4.attbi.com port 8000
>   no-proxy-on: r4.attbi.com
> After going thru more forms, I got registered.  But I still couldn't
> surf beyond the registration pages - the system kept intercepting
> all port 80 requests and sending them there.
> After we both scratched our heads for a while and he kept asking
> me to reboot linux (thus losing lots of other context I was
> in the middle of), I decided to once again reset the cable
> modem (there is a reset pin in my RCA modem, so no need to
> physically unplug it....)
> That made everything finally work fine from that machine.
> Now I can also ping the gateway, dns, etc.
> I had to go to the home page and sign up from there for a second
> machine before my second machine could get a dhcpcd response.
> I still see lousy and eratic ping times, like I did from the
> @home network.  E.g., the closest ntp server to me has ping
> stats like this, with a pretty high standard deviation:
>  15 packets transmitted, 15 packets received, 0% packet loss
>  round-trip min/avg/max/mdev = 38.556/66.274/108.582/25.916 ms
> [I found the closest servers via this command]
>   lynx -source http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/clock2.htm |
>         sed -n -e 's,).*,,' -e' /([0-9.]*$/s/.*(//p' |
>         xargs ntpdate -q |
>         sort -n +7 > /tmp/ntp-close
> Hope this helps someone.  Good luck,
> Neal McBurnett
> http://bcn.boulder.co.us/~neal/
> GPG/PGP signed and/or sealed mail encouraged.  Keyid: 2C9EBA60
> > > Don't I a need at least a DHCP server IP to direct dhcpcd where to go?
> >
> > No, you don't need a DHCP server IP. That's the whole point - if DHCP server
> > needs to be moved, clients won't miss a beat. It uses broadcast to find it.
> >
> > It doesn't work in Windoze, either, right? What lights are on your cable
> > modem? I talked to a guy from CLUE who had similar problem (DHCP timing out)
> > and he ended up exchanging his modem for another. There was no traffic
> > lights before trying DHCP, but he could see them light up when he tried DHCP.
> >
> > When you called them before, could they see your modem?
> >
> > It sounds to me like you might want to look outside your own software config
> > info if it doesn't work in Windoze, either. Pump worked easy as pie for me,
> > and it or dhcpcd should for you, too. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is
> > something else that's going to require a call to your favorite service
> > personnel. :/
> >
> > --
> > Sean LeBlanc:seanleblanc at attbi.com Yahoo:seanleblancathome
> > ICQ:138565743 MSN:seanleblancathome AIM:sleblancathome
> > Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks
> > and discomforts.
> > -Arnold Bennett, "The Arnold Bennett Calendar"
> > Management QOTD:This seems correct, however, correctness doesn't pay the bills.
> > We need to table this and eliminate redundancies in the
> > technology strategy.
> >
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