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Static IPs & Wireless in Ubuntu

Sun Apr 27th 2008 @ 2:10 pm

So, as it turns out, there's not much documentation on setting up a wireless connection with a static IP address for Ubuntu. As I solved this little dilemma of mine, I though it would be a good opportunity to write an entry to help others out there with the same problem (if there are any).

Part of the problem is that it seems the application NetworkManager is great for using wireless connections over DHCP, but it chokes on static IPs. One of the first things I tried was removing NetworkManager altogether. Having solved the problem, it may be unnecessary to keep it around, but I ended up getting everything working with it so let's leave it alone.

While digging around through forums and posts, I found out that NetworkManager seems to ignore interfaces that have been set up in the /etc/network/interfaces file. Initially after editing this file to configure my wireless interface (usually wlan0, which was the case for me) it looked like this:

auto wlan0 iface wlan0 inet static address netmask network broadcast gateway

Note that in the snippet above I have excluded the configuration for the loopback interface (lo0); you probably want to leave that alone. Now, regarding the configuration for wlan0, ifconfig told me that i indeed had the IP address for the wlan0 interface, but i had no apparent active connection: no web, no network, I couldn't even ping the router. I looked in the man page for interfaces,

$ man interfaces

but I couldn't find anything I missed. After a few more minutes of googling, I came across an unrelated forum post which revealed I was indeed missing a line in the /etc/network/interfaces file:

wireless-essid <MYWIRELESSAP>

So now my /etc/network/interfaces entry for wlan0 looked like this:

auto wlan0 iface wlan0 inet static wireless-essid <MYWIRELESSAP> address netmask network broadcast gateway

where <MYWIRELESSAP> is the name of my wireless access point. After saving /etc/network/interfaces, I ran:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

and connectivity was restored, this time using the wireless connection with the static IP address of

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Judgements & Jury Duty

Mon Apr 7th 2008 @ 4:31 pm

the juiceI probably still shouldn't discuss the details of my recent jury duty experience, despite being dismissed. So I'll apologize in advance to the two involved parties, the people of the great state of California and the defendant whose name here on forth will be changed (to protect his innocence) to OJ. Now I didn't choose OJ because our man was up on double or even single murder charges, I simply chose it because I thought a post on the judicial system of California should contain a reference to its most infamous case in recent history. If you want to draw any conclusions between what I may be trying to say about said judicial system and the aforementioned case, be my guest, although that one's on you as I'm just trying to be funny.

So let's begin long before the last two business days involving my trips downtown, way back to my jury duty postponement effort that brought me in contact with the lovely and seductive automated voice of the phone-in registration system. One might think that when trying to select a day to postpone to, you would be given the opportunity to try and select multiple days in one phone call should the first day you select be unavailable for deferment. Not so my friend, not so. Instead, you must call back repeatedly, methodically incrementing through the business days of the next three months, one phone call by patience taxing phone call. If not for that sexy automated voice, i might've wanted to throw my phone twice the distance I actually felt the urge to. They might as well make it a toll call and divert what I'm sure would be an obscene amount of funds to invest in a wireless connection in the potential jurors' waiting room so that I might have written this diatribe a few days sooner.

Apart from that though, the system is run surprisingly well, even though I was called back for an additional day only to be summarily dismissed a few hours later. But even that carried with it faint amusement as I was the only potential juror on my selected jury panel to not be interviewed. As such, it gave me the wonderful opportunity to sit back and pass judgement on all the other potential jurors being interviewed, particularly when they were clumsily delivering their poorly crafted and thinly veiled excuses and prejudices in order to escape their civic duty.

In particular, my favorite was a gentleman (and I spare no sarcasm there) who upon being interviewed laid down prejudice against the defendant's race, feigned abhorrance at his alleged crime (when previously exclaiming loudly before being chosen he would be enthusiastically in favor of legalizing drugs across the board — yes, it was a drug case), and then stumbled when asked which side he favored. Our specimen was, you guessed it, a pompous real estate agent, hair slicked back, wearing only the trendy-est in club attire and wing-tip boots, falling just short of saying he had more important drinking and wooing of ladies of the night to do.

In addition to the so-full-of-it-right-winger-if-I-wanted-crap-I'd-squeeze-his-head was the potential juror decrying so leftist a position that if the defendant were Pablo Escobar himself he would've moved for acquittal because his wife died tragically from complications of an excessive cocaine habit.

To round it all off, you would've been astounded by the number of potential jurors who admitted to having previously caught cases on drug possession charges. Way to go Nancy Regan!

In awkward conclusion, I suppose the moral of the story is to not shrug off your jury service and claim you never received the summons. Go, serve your proud country/state/county/city/district/province/treefort and indulge in the madness that is others trying to escape that same duty. If nothing else it's a poorly paid vacation from work.

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If I have as much trouble naming posts as I do naming files...

Thu Mar 27th 2008 @ 11:35 pm

So here it begins, my first blog entry in my newly created site. The site is still but a skeleton of what I eventually hope it becomes. If nothing else, at least I can say I started it off right by being XHTML Strict (validating, of course) and using CSS for layout. My hope is that the structure is flexible enough that when i grow tired of the design — as I am already starting to given the amount of time I spent looking at it during development — I can restyle it as I see fit. Also, as my current creation page is as barebones as the rest of the site, this will be a test, at least until I make some upgrades, as to how well I can put down my thoughts in markup.

But enough reflection on where the state of the site sits, as I guess I'm trying to decide the types of things I'll be writing about. I think the first paragraph already indicates that I will be spending a certain amount of time reflecting about the technological state of the site, but I'd also like it to serve as a journal for my other explorations into design and development. That largely comes from an urge to contribute to the community that has so freely given to me. Of course, the community I speak of comprises the open source community, as well as all the other little blogs and forums out there I routinely check and stumble across in Google while trying to arrive at some solution for the computer problem of the day.

Even that seems like too narrow a scope though. I can see this as being a ranting farm for diatribes on the other silly little things going on in my life, like my detoured Metro route this evening due to a stabbing at the Hollywood/Highland train station. I can also see myself commenting on the state of humanity as I see it, ranging from my interactions with others (that's what the privacy feature is for) to how crazy Barack Obama supporters are. Not that I'm opposed to him, far from it actually; it's just funny to see people in the frenzied state I used to find myself in over politics. I guess I've just gotten a little to cynical these past few years to really give a squirt of piss, as a friend of mine might say.

So all in all, while I was hoping this little free-form exercise might lend some insight as to what I'll be going on about for as long as I decide to keep up with this silly thing, it seems I've reached no definitive conclusions. Although, on second thought, maybe I have — it's going to be about whatever the hell I feel like it being at that point in time, just as it should be.

Hey, here's a thought: I can set down little goals in each of these posts, and see if I can live up to them before my next entry. I suppose the first would be for me to rig-up an RSS feed for this site. It's unlikely anyone will ever use it, but it'll be a fun little development challenge, if you'd call it that. Although, if the goals idea is anything like my New Year's resolution of five years ago where I vowed not to make anymore New Year's resolutions, it's future doesn't look bright.

Won't it be funny for me too look back on this first entry after I have a few under my belt; I guess that's what I made the edit and delete functions for.

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