Wednesday 24 August 2016

Nearly there!

I now have two boxes mounted on a wall; one has an ethernet port, and will give me the feed to my network, the other is just to hold the fibre in place, or something like that. The fibre now extends all the way to a BT exchange several miles away.

Tomorrow, TalkTalk have to send an engineer to the BT exchange to install their box, then they can turn the feed on.

This is starting to feel real.

So I got out the Pix 525 that I bought 18 months ago. I configured it then, but my network has evolved a lot since then - for example, I'm mostly on gigabit speeds, I have the big Dell Poweredge servers, and several other servers have changed. So I need to configure the Pix again, and I think I'll do it from scratch, the changes are so great.

I started it up ... and it hung. Rats. I was relying on this, because it's got a lovely web-based user interface, making it much easier to configure than my pix 515, which is all command line. I tried it a few more times, but it hung soon after starting each time. Curious, because it worked fine 18 months ago, and it's been powered off since then.

So I opened it up. There's a little battery, and I thought, maybe that's died. So I got the battery out of the clip ... and the whole clip came off the motherboard. Oh bugger. Is that a couple of hundred pounds worth of pix I just broke?

So I took a breath, thought a bit, and got out my soldering iron. I soldered a couple of wires to the place on the motherboard where the battery holder had been, and then connected those to the battery holder. I put the battery in, and started the pix up again. Again, it hung just as it started to boot.

But I'd also noticed three pins sticking up off the motherboard near the battery, and I made a guess. I took out the little plastic and copper thing that shorted two of the pins together, and put it on the other two, counted to five, then put it back. I powered up the Pix, and it worked!!!

So now I'm in the middle of reconfiguring the pix firewall, and it'll be easier than it was a couple of years ago, because I spent many hours then learning how to do it and what it all meant.


  1. Is it true that you got a PhD from being able to draw straight lines through clustered data?

  2. No, it was more about showing that you can't draw a straight line through the plums of a plum pudding.