Saturday 23 January 2010

Adding local DNS entries to a Netgear DG834

There is a program running on your DG834 called dnsmasq, which is used to forward DNS requests to the appropriate servers. The program can optionally use one or more local hosts files, so if you are hosting a webserver at home, for example, you can add it to the hosts file, and any LAN requests will return the LAN ip address, rather than the internet one.

By default, at least on the DG834Gv5, the option to add your own entries is not enabled.

Log into your netgear with telnet.

With a web browser, connect to http://your-modem/setup.cgi?todo=debug
Telnet to your modem: telnet

Create a new hosts file with local addresses:

mkdir /var/etc
cp /etc/hosts /var/etc/hosts
echo "" >> /var/etc/hosts

To check it works, restart the DNS Masquerade program:

killall dnsmasq
dnsmasq -h -n -c 0 -N -i br0 -r /tmp/resolv.conf -u r -H /var/etc/hosts

Making things permanent:

Now, there is a problem making this permanent as the root filesystem is 100% full, but what you would need to do is:

Mount the root disk read/write: mount / -o rw,remount
Copy the hosts file over: cp /var/etc/hosts /etc/hosts

Thursday 21 January 2010

Android Settings for O2

Settings required to get internet working on the go with the Google Nexus One, which is running android version 2.1 are shown below.

3G Connection Setting

Settings / Wireless and Network / Mobile Networks / Access Point Names.
Hit the menu button and select new APN, and set the following:
  • Name: O2 Mobile Web
  • APN:
  • Proxy:
  • Port:
  • Username: o2web
  • Password: password
  • Server:
  • MMSC:
  • MMS proxy:
  • MMS port:
  • MCC: 234
  • MNC: 10
  • Authentication type:
  • APN type:
Select 'back', and enable 'Data roaming'.

That's it for 3G settings.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Google Android Voice Recognition

My new Google Nexus One phone is running Android 2.1, and makes use of the Google beta voice recognition.

Summary: To date, I give it a 6/10. It didn't work too well for me, but shows significant promise.

For this facility, the actual processing is performed online - your phone captures a sentence, uploads it to a voice recognition service, and it is processed, and the results sent back (very quickly).

I should also point out that voice recognition that is performed to dial people from your address book, does not require an online connection, and is handled within the phone itself, for example, I can say 'Call Steve Clarke', and it works quite reliably.

For me, the online software, which is used for text and email dictation, and GPS destination searching, is a bit of a struggle:

I said: "This is the google voice recognition software. So far so good. I have a very mild lancashire accent and this software seems to struggle with long words and complicated sentences."

It typed: "This is the google voice recognition software. So far so good. I have a very mild length transaction. Famous software seems to struggle with long words uncomplicated sentences."

It seems to me that the software struggles with spoken contractions of words, for example, I said "andcomplicated". I also suspect that it struggles with words that aren't in the US based dictionary, for example, 'Lancashire', which is pronounce by most people either lank-i-shuh, or lank-uh-shuh.

Nice try though, and I look forward to upgrades on the processing server which will recognise me !

All in all, it is much better than the Windows Vista recognition - see my blog on 'Windows Vista does not like northeners'.

From the looks of it, things are getting better. Take a look at a 2008 article on the Telegraph website.

Sunday 17 January 2010

O2 Mobile Speed

Just ordered a Google Nexus One, and have upgraded my O2 contract to include Unlimited data access.

Unlimited is a term that really should not be used, as there are limits: You have a 1G/month download limit, and there are other limitations in the Ts&Cs, such as not being allowed to use VOIP.

Once I changed over, O2 sent me some new phone settings, which I applied to my E90. By default, the browser access point was "O2 Postpay WAP". I also tried the "O2 Mobile Web" settings - see below for details:

Speed Testing With A Nokia E90, and O2 3G and 3.5G connections

Performing the speed test with, at 14:30 - 15:00 on Sunday 17th January:

With the "O2 Postpay WAP" access point, I initially had a 3.5G connection, but it soon dropped back to 3G:
200K file: waited 2 minutes & gave up
200K file: 347kbps, 1.054s latency
400K file: 761kbps, 0.583s latency
1M file: waited for 8 minutes & gave up
400K file: 688kbps, 0.567s latency
200K file downloded in 2.7s: 608kbps
200K file: 738kbps, 0.611s latency
With the "O2 Mobile Web" access point, I have a 3.5G connection:
100K file downloaded in 2.2s: 372kbps
1M file: 247kbps, 0.641s latency
1M file: 265kbps, 0.787s latency
100K file downloaded in 3.2s: 256kbps
400K file: 211kbps, 0.675s latency
400K file: 144kbps, 0.695s latency
1M file: 531kbps, 4.564s latency
Back to the original settings "O2 Postpay WAP":
100K file downloaded in 1.594s: 514kbps
400K file: waited 3 minutes and gave up
100K file downloaded in 2.096s: 390kbps
200K file downloaded in 3.138s: 522kbps
400K file: 541kbps, 0.629s latency
1M file waited 3 minutes and gave up
And finally, back to "O2 Mobile Web"
1Mb file: 448kbps, 0.644s latency
400K file: 576kbps, 1.136s latency
400K file: 377kbps, 0.704s latency
Now, it looks like there is a choice between slow or un-reliable:

"O2 Mobile Web" Average Speed 343kbps, 100% success
"O2 Postpay WAP" Average speed 638kbps, 66% success

What I don't currently know is how much of the page loads is attributed to the E90 and the server at the other end, and how much is attributed to the network connection.

Expected Performance

The different capabilities of the protocols / connections are as follows:

GPRS = 2G - up to 114Kbps
EDGE = 2.5G - up to 560Kbps
UMTS = 3G - up to 2Mbps (believe O2 is a maximum of 384Kbps)
HSPA = 3.5G - 1.2Mbps to 84Mbps (supposedly 3.6Mbps for O2 as of today)

Performing the same tests with a Google Nexus One

The following tests are going to be performed ...

Before, and after the Google Nexus One tests were performed, the E90 was used to benchmark the network capabilities at the time of the test.