Into Ballarat today to sign the contract
for the land. John
Curwen-Walker is the conveyancer, the same one who did the contracts for our current
house, but this is the first time I have met him; last time we did it by mail. Interesting,
talkative person, and he finally got us to get round to writing wills.
So now it's done! What are we going to build on it? Off to Joking to talk to a somewhat under-the-weather
Tom, who gave me brochures for their other range of houses. Back home and took a look at
them: they're enormous, more expensive, but no more useful. So we're gradually settling on
our house model.
First thing, of course, was to pay the deposit on the land. Tried that, with our account
from the Bank of Melbourne, and got
a message telling me that the sum exceeded my daily transfer limit. How much was that? Ah,
that for them to know and me to guess. So I called them up on 13 22 66 and was told the
sum. I asked them to raise it, and was told to go to the home page.
So I told the consultant, who said “It works for me”. But it seems that she was using
Microsoft “Internet Explorer”. What can I say? When I told her I was using Chrome, she
said yes, that's a known problem with Chrome.
There are times when I'm just lost for words. And though she was prepared to report the
problem to the web team, she said that they would not contact me and confirm that it was
fixed. And one of the reasons I'm leaving ANZ is because of their cavalier attitude to security.
Visited the site with firefox and followed her instructions: “Click on Forms Ay to Zee”.
Zee? What does that mean. It's American for Zed. And this from a bank that advertises
with “We speak your language”. After the annoyance I had, that was the last straw. But she
really didn't seem to understand that it's an American usage. Time to look for Yet Another
Tomorrow's the Big Day when I get connected to the National Broadband Network—maybe. It seems that the coverage maps are a best-case
scenario. Spent a while setting up a Google Map showing installation locations. Now I just need to get people to add
their locations and state whether it was a success or a failure.
Today was the day scheduled for the installation of my connection to the National Broadband Network. They had given a time
window between 8:00 and 12:00 to perform the installation, so I was up and about by 7:30,
walking around like a tiger in a cage. No sign of them at 8:00, of course. That's to be
expected. No sign at 9:00. Well, they could be late. No sign at 10:00. How long are they
going to be? Were they given the wrong phone number? As Andy Snow put it:
PID USERNAME PRI NICE SIZE RES STATE C TIME WCPU COMMAND
612 nbnco 44 0 98268K 44424K zombie 0 1367:16 99.95% install --location dereel
Round 10:30 I finally said “Where's the bloody NBN?”. And immediately the phone rang.
Harry from the NBN, about to
leave Ballarat. And sure enough, they
showed up in a surprisingly short time for the distance. 25 minutes later Harry was showing me
And in a little over an hour we were connected. Harry tells me that the signal is
excellent, though I'm not sure he means more than “all three LEDs are lit”. Plugged in my
access point, and got an immediate connection. Thank God for that! The relief was almost
unbearable, and it kept up all day long.
That wasn't the end of the story, of course. I really wanted to
run PPPoE from eureka, my main
FreeBSD machine. And that didn't go as
smoothly. Reading the logs didn't make much sense to me, so I put if off until later.
And now we can use VoIP normally! Turned
the adapter (a NetComm V210p) back on, but it didn't register. Why? While messing around, realized
that I was still connected via the Internode link, so
whatever the problem was, it had nothing to do with the NBN. Played around with various settings, at one point
setting “NAT” to “on”. BAD choice. After that, I couldn't communicate with it at
all, and not even a hard reset worked. It has a telephone interface: enter #120#
and a woman's voice, obviously chosen to grate, reads back the IP address. Correct. But I
still couldn't ping it. Tried to reset it: the manual tells me that I can set an IP
address, say 192.168.11.22, with the entry #112192*168*11*22#. But it
lies. It didn't change, and I couldn't find any way to communicate with the thing. Well, I
paid $10 for it, less than the money it would save in a few days of intensive phone calls,
so I started looking for alternatives. Not easy, not cheap.
Then Callum Gibson said “I hope you're using the LAN port”. Nope, WAN, as I discovered empirically. But it seems that
after resetting, only the LAN port worked. Once I connected to that, I was back in
business. Set it up with the help of the sample configuration for the SPA 3000, since they don't have one for the V210P, and I
know the SPA 3000: SIP proxy domain mynetfone.com.au, proxy server and outbound
proxy server both sip.mynetfone.com.au, display name, user name and auth. ID all
what MyNetFone call a SIP alias, but
which looks like some kind of phone number, and the auth. password to the password.
Still nothing. Time for a support call? When do they ever work? But there wasn't much
choice, so called up and was connected to Alex, who wanted remote access to the machine to
take a look for himself. That required me to download special software, only for
“Windows” or Apple of course. So I did that. It's
interesting: it hijacked an open “terminal” window that I had on the machine, and displayed
what he was doing as he went. Basically he replaced the host and domain names with IP
addresses. Reset the box and it worked! Here's the final config:
I'm really impressed. I think this is the first time that a service call has brought such a
quick solution. But what was wrong with the DNS lookup? The name server was set correctly.
On closer examination, there are two possibilities. The addresses are all the same, but I
had set the domain name mynetfone.com for the SIP proxy domain. And that's a
different address. And then at the bottom there's an amazing “Use DNS SRV”, which is set to
off. I can't recall seeing it before, so it's not clear whether it was on or off when I
So now I have a network link with 25 Mb/s down and 5 Mb/s up. How much of this am I really
getting? Not very much, it seems. Repeated test with speedtest suggest about 8Mb/s down and 4 Mb/s up. Is
that NBN or Exetel? To be observed.
Apart from the NBN, also received a card in
the mail today: pensioner concession card, in the name “Greg F. Lehey”, which doesn't quite
match the initials GPL. Also the information that they are finally paying my pension,
backdated to September. In the meantime nearly enough money has accrued to pay for my new
camera. Life is gradually getting more comfortable.
This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have
a horror of reverse chronological documents, so
all my diary entries are chronological. I try to leave the pages here for two days;
you'll find them all in the archive, so if I fall
behind a day or two, you may find more here. Note that I often update a diary entry a
day or two after I write it.
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