Wednesday, March 04, 2020

I know some people here read Silicon Valley Redneck. Has anyone heard anything out of him? He's in Tennessee right? If you're reading - thinking about you.


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeWednesday, March 04, 2020 2:24:00 PM

    Eric? He's been posting on his blog as of this past Tuesday.

    My guess is that he's still busy unpacking the stuff from the move, and if any of it had to go into storage, that just made the level of effort all that much worse.

    He's also mentioned some network issues with newer Realtek controller chips.

    I'll see if I can leave him a bit of help or at least alternate advice.

    Oh, and I forgot, I have to set the mood again.



  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeWednesday, March 04, 2020 3:02:00 PM

    About leaving Eric a comment ...

    No can do.

    Cloudflare has recently been a major pain in the ass to deal with.

    I have a workaround that lets me view certain sites, but comments are tricky if they work at all.

    Even then, if I leave the browser up for a while and I've made "certain types of comments" somewhere (PACK YOUR RICE *ahem*), Cloudflare then tries to shut down my ability to view those sites.

    It's especially visible as a happening thing when I try to view a certain Polaroid-Style Pundit who is also based in East Tennessee, located in the City of the Steamed Sandwich.

    Eric's site isn't even showing the comment box because of some crap going on with the CSS that's probably some kind of Cloudflare-induced toggle.

    So here's what I was going to tell Eric then ...

    The base Realtek firmware package is always out-of-date.

    It never has drivers for newer chipsets, and some of those chipsets have their own build packages because Realtek often has those drivers written for them by contractors.

    You need the non-base Realtek firmware package for that hardware that you can build as a kernel module for your kernel, so if your kernel supports akmod or dkms, try an install package with that chipset's support that uses that.

    Otherwise, you get to do this manually for every kernel build in a standalone build tree that will reference your current kernel (unless you feed it compile-time options for an alternate installed kernel).

    RHEL 7 has some ELRepo packages for some of these kinds of drivers, and they compile to kmod packages that may or may not update properly via dkms.

    I don't know how this is supposed to work for your Linux variant because we use RHEL 7. There are also several versions of dkms that don't work with certain Linux OS distributions, and so you have to look out for that as well.

    If you are stuck with 150 Mbps or lower, go get a Wi-Fi dongle that uses the RTL8188CU/RTL8192CU chipset. There are several of these, but the ones that are branded Raspberry Pi typically don't have these chipsets, such as the white CanaKit Wi-Fi dongle with the imprinted Raspberry Pi logo on it.

    Once you're done with using it in client mode, you can use it in host AP mode with hostapd if you'd like to set up a low-and-slow Wi-Fi access point via something like a Raspberry Pi.

    Another alternative is if you have a Broadcom chipset, try the broadcom-wl or just plain wl package and see if that works.

    Why I happen to know this: some of our hardware supports limited low-speed and low power access in very close proximity via an embedded USB Wi-Fi controller in host AP mode.

  3. Yeah - I think his last post was the day before the tornados. Seems like the area got pretty walloped. I only pay attention because Tennessee is all of our bug out spots. Then a tornado comes in and slows your roll.

  4. I read & comment on his blog.
    I don't think he settled anywhere near Nashville, he was more towards the eastern part of the state.
    He does have slopes to mow, a tractor/mower (I'm jealous!) with a roll bar system that can and has to be folded down to put it in the garage. I ask myself if I would bother to put the roll bar up every time I took it out?

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeThursday, March 05, 2020 12:26:00 AM

    A friend of mine lost his father to a mowing accident where the mower/tractor turned over on a not very steep hill side ...

    He got to go through high school without his dad.

    So yeah, I'd deal with the bother of the roll bar.

  6. Marking myself safe from the tornadoes, here. Those were in the Nashville and Cookeville areas, and I'm out east of Knoxville. We do get little tornadoes here, but not the kind that make the national news.
    Yes, I am using the rollbar; even on a modest slope, that tractor feels alarmingly tippy, despite being nowhere near its official limit, and besides, unfolding it is a once-a-day operation (unlike fastening the seatbelt). Also, we're having a small ZTR mower delivered in a couple of days, for detail, close quarters, and slopes, leaving the tractor for mowing the big open gently-rolling areas.
    Capital of Texas Refugee: Thanks for the tips! I'll have to address reasonably-fast WiFi access for the various Linux boxes sometime soon, as an interim measure until I get Ethernet cables strung hither and yon.
    Today was supposed to be rainy, but now I'm looking at the fine sunny view out my window and being distracted. Better close the blinds, turn off the Interwebs, and try to get some tech-type work done.

  7. Oh, and Tennessee has its first official case of the WuFlu coronervirus. Great. In the south-of-Nashville area, so not right in my front yard just yet.

  8. Hey! Excellent news. Good to see you safe.

    SF just popped up with 2. It's a real nail biter with this homeless situation now.

  9. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, March 06, 2020 7:22:00 PM

    I know the area around where Eric is ...

    I've been going to this place near where Eric is whenever I've been in the area for at least 25 years.

    Back when the original Boker ceramic knives were super difficult to find, they had plenty of them in stock and would let me check one out, which of course I wound up buying.

    They look different now though.

    Oh, and these knives are now also made in China, so don't expect the other two models to be in stock any time soon.

    Aside from the big Cabela's in Sidney, Nebraska that used to be backed by a huge local distribution center, there aren't many places like what Eric now has nearby.

    I'd consider hitting up Eric's local amenities if it weren't for the fact that I'm actually closer to that Cabela's right now ...

    I do not like how there are at least eleven confirmed cases of the Hong Kong Book of Kung Flu in Nebraska now, let alone how there's one in the Florida panhandle for when I get back to Florida, BTW.

    One thing Eric might not know about that may also be a thing where he is: steamed sandwiches. I made a joke about this a while back, but I don't think anyone got that Knoxville is the home of the steamed sandwich.

    This is not the same as putting your sandwich inside a bunch of moist paper towels and giving it a full nuke in the microwave.

    Unless I'm going for BBQ, I have to have one of these steamed sandwiches when I swing through Knoxville, and there's also a place in Tourist Trap Gatlinburg that may still be around, but I haven't been there in a long time.

    I haven't been suffering from a shortage of tourist junk and fudge in all sorts of arcane flavors for a while, so I can skip Gatlinburg.

    Spend enough time on the roads and you'll know about these places too. :-)