I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC



  • I live on the countryside. I have ADSL. I pay for 8 Mbps and get 6 because we are like three people sharing the copper wire.

    Life is peachy. Until autumn this year.

    The county is selling fiber connections to meet the country goals of "90% connected to broadband (defined as 1Mbps) by 2020". They charge 20KSEK per connection regardless of where you live because "we have to think about the countryside too, even if your house is in the middle of a town and essentially already connected". However, they only install their stuff in towns and villages (which is sufficient to meet the 90% goal). Those who live outside towns and villages are not covered.

    Instead the community went looking for alternatives and found a company that were willing to install fiber connections to the countyside for the same price, iff they also got matching funding from the regional countryside development fund. They didn't get any matching funds because only 80% of the households signed up. However, the contract they signed with us is valid for another year so they may try again. The only problem is that the funds are depleted so there will not be any new funds coming this year or next. So in essence they now hold us hostage with the contracts.

    Parallel to this, and apparently completely unperturbed by this, the phone company has decided to close down the copper network on the countryside because it is getting too old to maintain. They are suggesting a 4G solution instead.

    • I know of exactly one place in my house where I get decent mobile phone coverage. I know many neighbours who have to drive in to the village to make mobile phone calls.
    • When more people connect to a mobile phone mast, the output effect is reduced for everyone because they are only allowed to emit a certain amount of energy. So at times when people typically want to use their network connections, it will be congested and with a weaker signal.
    • I will have to move from my "no limits except speed, always working" ADSL connection to a capped plan, for twice the price and less than half the speed, with a prayer that it doesn't rain and that idiots don't want to watch the world soccer championships.

    Shit.

    I might as well move to Wisconsin.

    Shit.


  • BINNED

    @Mikael_Svahnberg That sucks, man...

    Is no one doing WiFi in Sweden? Or are you too far from "civilization" for any providers to bother?



  • @Onyx said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    @Mikael_Svahnberg That sucks, man...

    Is no one doing WiFi in Sweden? Or are you too far from "civilization" for any providers to bother?

    There are some that cover our area, but they also only offer capped plans fof twice the price of my ADSL connection. And by "cover" I mean that I may have to put up my own mast to talk to their mast, and the "reduce the energy when there are many connections" flaw is still there.

    ... I wonder if I can teach the mailman Asterisk? At least they drop by once every day...


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    I heard there were long-distance wifi devices that are essentially a typical satellite dish hooked up to a high-powered wifi adapter (obviously you would need two). Any chance that could work if you can convince a guy in town to host the connection to you?


  • BINNED

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    There are some that cover our area, but they also only offer capped plans

    :wtf:

    I didn't hear of that shit being pulled even here in Moonland!



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    ... I wonder if I can teach the mailman Asterisk? At least they drop by once every day...

    For now, at least. I heard they planning to reduce mailman visits to maybe 3 times/week or less depending on the amount of mail.

    As I am in the process of starting to look for new housing I also have to consider the options for connection. I wouldn't mind living somewhere along my current commute (which would be countryside), but then I'd hope fiber is an option as the coverage aint the best. It's better than it was, but I'm not trusting the 4G between the town where I live and the town where I work. Other option is ofc to live on the edge of either my current town or the town where I work. House prices in towns around here have gone up to silly levels, though. Especially in the town where I work. Housing be hard to figure.



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    I know of exactly one place in my house where I get decent mobile phone coverage. I know many neighbours who have to drive in to the village to make mobile phone calls.

    Btw, does anyone knows of a way to locate a mobile phone antenna?

    I'm in a similar situation except that a couple of months ago, after a period of very, very bad signal, signal quality suddenly dramatically increased at home and around us. with a couple of neighbours that experienced the same, we think that a new antenna was added, but since the area around us is a mix of difficult-to-access fields and woods and private land, simply looking around to find the antenna is not that obvious (it may also well be that they simply upgraded one of the existing ones). Is there any simple technique to get, I don't know, a bearing to the antenna (it would be trivial to triangulate afterwards)? A distance? Something?


  • BINNED

    @remi Apparently, there's this:

    Now, if you can't just find it, there seem to be Android apps that will take a CLF file (which you can presumably download from that site) and match it to any tower IDs it can find (I found https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.signalmonitoring.gsmsignalmonitoring but that was just a random search, can't say if the app is any good).



  • @remi seems like the hayes command AT+KCELL is what you are looking for.

    Getting to a point where you can type AT commands on your phone is a different story, though...



  • @Onyx Ooh, that seems very nice! Although it's too bad you can't get details from the map itself (or at least I couldn't find how), even after registering... A lat/long-based search would be great...

    All I get is the API, which can apparently only be queried from an "area code" and "cell id" (lac/cid). I managed to get those for my current location (dialing ##4636## shows a lot of info... nice, I didn't know that!) but the cid is in hexa and even after conversion to decimal the API says that the lac/cid is invalid.



  • @remi Hmmm... there is a sub-menu (in the screen where I got my lac/cid) about the current cell, which also contains a lac/cid (and a lot of other details). Weirdly, while the cid is the same as the first one I saw (converted to decimal, which allowed me to check I didn't mess that up), the lac is entirely different!

    Entering this lac/cid (and also the mcc/mnc, they are marked as optional in the API but it doesn't work without them??) gives me a result, which nicely matches my current location (at work)! Yay! So now I just have to do the same at home and play with the options to get neighbour cells to extend a bit the search.

    (edit: in fact as soon as I add the mcc/mnc, both lac work, I guess these are 2 towers that equally cover my office?)

    Thanks @Onyx!



  • Why mesh networks never took off?



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg I... have no idea what you're talking about :sadface:

    Still, I got some info from that magic number (4636), so all is not lost!





  • @boomzilla

    His Belgian Brabant are the type of working horses

    Say no more!



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg I've heard about a magic thingy called "MiFi access point".

    You can put it where you have the coverage, and your other devices will bask in the glorious rays of WiFi .



  • @wharrgarbl said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    Why mesh networks never took off?

    I guess routing is a bit of complicated bitch there. Your devices spend more time and cycles to maintain the mesh than to switch packets for you to have those juicy internets.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @wharrgarbl said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    Why mesh networks never took off?

    'Cos they suck. Colleague of mine did his PhD on them, and his official opinion is that they suck. By the time you fix all the horrible intractable problems, you might as well run a cable.



  • @dkf said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    you might as well run a cable

    The best kind of network.
    Except if you plug it into MilwaukeePC



  • @dkf said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    By the time you fix all the horrible intractable problems, you might as well run a cable.

    I came into possession of some old Analog magazines and one of them had an editorial that was a transcribed speech that Arthur C. Clarke gave to some UN boondoggle or other. He was talking about how awesome the future was going to be because everyone would have satellite phones.

    Which seems like a reasonable prediction for back then, but I think for a similar level of problems it was actually easier to build (and maintain!) a zillion terrestrial cell towers. So while we kind of arrived at the future he predicted, it's also very different.



  • @remi said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    @Mikael_Svahnberg I... have no idea what you're talking about :sadface:

    Still, I got some info from that magic number (4636), so all is not lost!

    Hayes commands are used to talk to modems, like the modem that is buried deep in your mobile phone and does all the connection to the phone networks. They usually start with AT, e.g. ATH0 means "lift the receiver", ATDT is used to dial a number IIRC, etc. I think PJH has worked more with this if you are curious (not @-ing him since it's not really that important)

    The problem is that the modem in your phone is buried under seven other cpus, so actually being able to access it can be tricky.

    onyx's solution is probably much cleaner.



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg it would be a travesty to @mention PJH while at the pub.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    ATH0 means

    Atheros wifi device 0 on linux?

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    "lift the receiver"

    Oh.



  • I can't help but read the title of this thread and think of this:

    The Future (From "Batman") – 05:58
    — Movie Sounds Unlimited - Topic


  • BINNED

    @Mikael_Svahnberg On the rare occasions I ever did that it was while playing with one of those mobile internet USB sticks. Never bothered to learn the commands though, I just googled the minimum of what I needed. Which was usually "run this AT command to force this thing to modem mode instead of hybrid USB storage mode". Why was that controlled by an AT command? Fuck knows!



  • @boomzilla said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    Do you guys use horses, too?

    Well, I've got two horses. But if they had been helping putting the towers, I would know where they are and wouldn't need to search for them...



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    Hayes commands are used to talk to modems, like the modem that is buried deep in your mobile phone and does all the connection to the phone networks.

    The problem is that the modem in your phone is buried under seven other cpus, so actually being able to access it can be tricky.

    I see, thanks. I know someone who worked on this layer on mobile phones a few years back, maybe he would know how to access that. Although given the kind of work he was doing, he would probably know how to bypass those layers by stripping the phone away, not necessarily how to access it in a "normal" way!

    onyx's solution is probably much cleaner.

    At least, it's easier for me! I tested at home and I got the location of the antenna! It's not quite the one I was expecting (and not one that I even knew existed), which tends to confirm the idea that it is a new one that was recently added. Now if I can find how neighbour cells are defined I might be able to extend a bit my search...


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said in I have seen the future and it is MilwaukeePC:

    Hayes commands are used to talk to modems, like the modem that is buried deep in your mobile phone and does all the connection to the phone networks. They usually start with AT, e.g. ATH0 means "lift the receiver", ATDT is used to dial a number IIRC, etc. I think PJH has worked more with this if you are curious (not @-ing him since it's not really that important)

    The problem is that the modem in your phone is buried under seven other cpus, so actually being able to access it can be tricky.

    onyx's solution is probably much cleaner.

    Wow, the AT command set. That takes me back.

    Did you know Jimi Hendrix had his own custom-made modem, back in the day?

    It was a purple Hayes.


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