Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wrongly configured DHCP sever & FC3

Recently I brought up Fedora Core 3 on my PC. My internet access is though a local LAN provided by my cable operator, so my PC is on DHCP and things work well with M$ Windows. Previously Rh9 was unable to setup the routing table properly so I hoped FC3 could do it, but finally problem has repeated in FC3.

The actual problem is that FC3 fails to setup default gateway it received from the DHCP server. I found that the gateway address doesn't belong to sub-network, so if it tries to add a default gateway it doesn't happen because the gateway should be reachable first, and there is no entry in routing table to route packets to the gateway. If gateway also belonged to the sub-network this would not have happened as there will be an entry for the local sub-network in routing table.

Form this I could fairly make out that DHCP sever is not configured properly, but call me a lazy boy I never bothered to confirm this and I raised a bug on dhcp in FC3 bugzilla. The bug owner Jason says DHCP server is not configured correctly, gateway IP should belong to local sub-network and dhcp client is not handling this situation correctly.

It is fair till now but he proposed a fix saying that if we detect this situation, don't bring up the interface and report an error to user. Now this I feel is not fair, agreed that DHCP server admin is a moron and wrongly configured the server, isn't it not fair to handle the situation and bring up the interface when you know what you can do? Only thing you need to do is to add a route to the gateway on that interface, and then add the default route to gateway.

Now look at M$ Windows it doesn't say single word and every thing works properly. Take a situation where there is a common user who doesn’t know much of techie stuff, and he is trying to install FC3. In this kind of a situation (I think badly configured DHCP servers are everywhere) his network doesn't come up and it says fix your ISP server. He will straight away give up using Linux.

These are the small things which the Linux community have to notice and fix. One of the goals is to be a common user friendly OS, otherwise people say Windows works like charm for me where as Linux is cribbs all the time. They really never bother about what the DHCP RFCs say about DHCP servers! I guess I should have a talk with Jason about it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

gzip Vs bzip2

Kousik asked how does gzip and bzip2 fair in compression compared to WinAce and WinRAR. I also got curious and carried out the test on Fedora Core 3.
  • Task - Compressing TARed Valve Steam Game files
  • Size - 6.03GB
  • Compression - Best (-9)
  • gzip v1.3.3
    • Total compressed size - 3.59GB
  • bzip2 v1.0.2
    • Total compressed size - 3.34GB
  • Comparison
    • bzip2 - gzip = 256MB which is considerable but I have expected more from bzip2 over gzip
    • WinAce - bzip2 = 614MB
    • WinRAR - gzip = 788MB

Clearly WinAce and WinRAR are doing better job. Only thing is that they are not open source, I think only the file formats are open.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

WinRAR Vs WinAce

I always liked WinAce for its excellent compression compared to any others. Recently on steam forums some one talked about backing up steam files on to optical media using WinRAR. Though I have faith in WinAce but I have not used WinRAR for ages so I thought it might have improved, so I decided to test the two.
  • Task - Compressing Valve Steam Game files
  • Size - 6.03GB
  • Compression settings - Highest
    • Compression - Best
    • Solid Archive - Yes
    • Dictionary Size - 4096
    • Use Content specific compression - Yes
    • File split - CD-R 700MB
  • WinAce v2.5
  • Total Files generated - 5
  • Last File size - 4.87MB
  • Total compressed size - 2.74GB
  • WinRAR v3.42
  • Total Files generate - 5
  • Last File size - 88.6MB
  • Total compressed size - 2.82GB
WinAce - WinRAR = 83.73MB
Considering the amount of data being compressed WinRAR is quite close to WinAce and WinAce seems to pull out little more in my various other tests also.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Po-ket-to Mo-n-su-taa

This is my first post in 2005 and Happy New Year to every one. At SASKEN we have a year end break from Christmas to New Year, so I am visiting my brother’s family in Kurnool this time.

My younger nephew Aditya, who is of Calvin’s age is a great fan of Cartoon Network. His favorite show is Pokemon. I always wondered what is the meaning of Pokemon? This time I asked him what is Pokemon? He said Pokemon means a Pocket Monster. This meaning makes lot of sense but only when you know the actual meaning. Then I asked him what is Pocket Monster? For this he went on length explaining me what is it all about.

Pokemon is very popular among kids in India now, you can see all kinds of merchandise like game trading cards, caps, water bottles (I wonder how many Indian companies actually licensed Pokemon stuff from the copyright holder) etc. every where. Once I listened to Aditya's narration of Pokemon stories I wanted to know its origin.

I always used to think that Pokemon is actually a very popular TV cartoon series, but to my surprise Pokemon is actually a game developed for the famous handheld gaming system Game Boy by Nintendo in Japan during 1996. The Pokemon game designer Satoshi Tajiri based the main theme of the game on his childhood fantasy. His fantasy was to make bugs (which he used catch) fight with each other like the monsters in movies. There the Pokemon a.k.a Pocket Monster (In Japanese Po-ket-to Mo-n-su-taa) is born. Pokemons are little creatures spread across the world, having some individual magic powers. Humans play the role of Pokemon trainers where the aim for them is to catch various Pokemons, train them and to participate in organized Pokemon fights against other Pokemon trainers. There are several other fundas like a pokiball using which a trainer catches pokemons etc.

It is said that initial game was developed for 6 years! and was not successful initially, so Nintendo lost interest in this game. Slowly its popularity rose by the word of mouth. Later Nintendo went for a serial comic based on Pokemon to promote the game. After some time later the TV series began. Pokemon phenomenon hit US later than Japan by 1998 as Nintendo released the game in US only in 1998.

I really don know how many Indian kids have actually seen a Game Boy and played Pokemon on it, but certainly every one enjoys the TV show. When I tried to watch it before knowing what it is all about, it didn't really made sense to me. Now I can fairly understand the concept but it is still not very interesting to me. Pokemon I like in is Pikachu that is because he is really cute.

Aditya cought on camera when he is busy on PC

Cute Pikachu