[Gllug] london hackspace news / Cheap 2nd hand rackmount servers

David L Neil GLLUG at GetAroundToIt.co.uk
Mon Apr 4 02:52:58 UTC 2011

On 04/04/2011 01:07 AM, Nix wrote:
> On 2 Apr 2011, David L. Neil uttered the following:
>> On 04/03/2011 12:36 AM, Nix wrote:
>> Interestingly from my flat in ShepBush I found that the sheer number
>> of routers and 'hops' to get 'anywhere' that wasn't actually 'in'
>> London, slowed things down considerably for UK connectivity.
> Agreed -- though this does very much depend on your ISP. ISPs who
> provide links to anywhere other than the LINX may be able to get you
> out of London faster :)

<sarcasm>but that would be useful information and "enabling" and 
"empowering" consumers to make an intelligent choice between ISPs 

Far easier to have us select on such criteria as "up to" 8Mbps...

>> Previously, when I lived in Auckland city I was only two
>> hops from the national backbone and four from Sydney, Los Angeles,
>> Singapore... but in both the UK and US there are comparatively huge
>> numbers of hops/delays to route around and across the country!
> Of course some of those hops to LA et al might add rather a lot to ping
> times.

FYI: Traceroute between us:
(the first hop is technically more: laptop wired to Internet gateway, 
thence wireless bridge before being handed-off (wired) to the 
modem/router - hence the delay. Orcon is my residential ISP. Is Esperi 
'you' or something else downstream from Andrews and Arnold?)

[dn ~]$ traceroute
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
  1  link.brothers (  3.981 ms  4.900 ms  7.895 ms
  2  lo1-ubs.erx1.nct.orcon.net.nz (...snip...)  14.852 ms  15.811 ms 
19.773 ms
  3  ge-0-0-3-201.cre1.nct.orcon.net.nz (  16.743 ms  19.726 
ms  19.703 ms
  4  * * *
  5  * * *
  6  * po2-0-1.gw5.lax1.asianetcom.net (  138.283 ms 
138.213 ms
  7  xe-11-1-0.edge2.LosAngeles9.Level3.net (  215.082 ms 
212.771 ms  213.692 ms
  8  vlan70.csw2.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  138.733 ms 
136.873 ms vlan60.csw1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  139.818 ms
  9  ae-93-93.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  140.787 ms 
ae-63-63.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  137.651 ms 
ae-83-83.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  137.614 ms
10 (  170.802 ms  169.771 ms  169.780 ms
11  ae-2-2.ebr2.NewYork1.Level3.net (  237.771 ms  237.694 
ms  237.805 ms
12  ae-92-92.csw4.NewYork1.Level3.net (  241.815 ms 
ae-72-72.csw2.NewYork1.Level3.net (  239.594 ms  240.516 ms
13  ae-61-61.ebr1.NewYork1.Level3.net (  237.698 ms  238.771 
ms ae-81-81.ebr1.NewYork1.Level3.net (  239.757 ms
14  ae-41-41.ebr2.London1.Level3.net (  308.643 ms 
ae-44-44.ebr2.London1.Level3.net (  306.630 ms  306.689 ms
15  ae-21-52.car1.London1.Level3.net (  408.669 ms  352.611 
ms  351.785 ms
16  lonap1.restless.thn.aaisp.net.uk (  276.693 ms  277.755 
ms  276.755 ms
17  a.gormless.thn.aaisp.net.uk (  279.616 ms  278.700 ms 
278.777 ms
18  ginnungagap.esperi.org.uk (...snip...)  298.656 ms  294.717 ms 
294.721 ms

>>> Also getting people who want to work in the middle of nowhere and have
>>> the required skills is probably tricky.
>> au contraire: I know* numbers of ppl who would like to move to a place
>> where they can farm, (market-) garden, fish, or indulge in an outdoor
>> life-style (and without 9-5, Mon-Fri being so hard-and-fast) - and I
>> see one of those in the mirror (periodically)...
> True. Same here. But apparently a lot of people *like* the city life. I
> actually read something in the Economist this week extolling the Tube as
> a peaceful place (!!!!) solely on the grounds that it didn't have mobile
> phone coverage. Apparently not having room to breathe is considered
> secondary to attaining such 'peace'.

Indeed, as the oxygen level decreases so does brain function, and as 
both approach zero so does 'peace of mind'.

It is intriguing how living in a place of noise, one manages not to 
notice it. I hated the tube for that reason. Whereas here, when some 
(amateur) fisherman comes home and fires-up his out-board (motor) to 
rinse out the salt, I find it an oppressive and intrusive nuisance!
(Dear Editor, Times of London, ... ) In fact, folk who live almost on 
the high-tide line are jealous of my ridge-top location, not merely 
because I have a further view but because of the "noise-nuisance" of 
those boaties and ski-doo riders that they just can't escape. Doubt 
they'd like the tube either!

Sadly I see that proposals to wi-fi-ise the tube have taken another step 
forward. Even if the cellular coys don't get 'in', it won't take long 
for the wide-boys to figure out how to wi-fi and Skype their way into 
providing an inane and over-loud conversational hell for their fellow man...
(in that respect, the tube has yet to 'catch-up' with the buses!)

>>>    -- N., technically shouldn't be on this list anymore owing to cancelling
>>>           his season ticket yesterday. Goodbye commuting, goodbye London,
>>>           good to visit but not every day or even every month.
>> Welcome to the, um, G__UG-sub-club Nix. I haven't been thrown-out
>> (yet) and one can't become much 'Greater London' than by sitting on a
>> sun-drenched deck over-looking the Hauraki Gulf in a beach/country
> OK, you're a bit further away than I am :)

for which many are truly grateful

>> community that receives good DSL speeds from a handy exchange which
>> microwaves everything to the country's backbone (and within 6m is
>> scheduled for FttC)
> By comparison they're saying 'perhaps 2020' for my exchange going FTTC,
> and it serves twenty thousand people in south-east England. As for
> my parents, 2km outside a village in North Yorkshire... they're never
> even going to see ADSL service, it seems. Even modems can't get above
> 28kbps, and there's a DAX on every line in the street.
> The UK: the third world of connectivity.

Telecom New Zealand are doing their best to slow things down, in part 
out of fear that the business will all devolve to other parties and see 
them lose their current incumbent monopoly. Of course, given that their 
chief executive has come from BT you would have absolutely no trouble 
identifying their tactics and policies...

More reasonably the Christchurch earthquake is expected to cause delays 
to many of the county's infrastructure projects and I imagine the 
fiber-optics will also take longer to see the light.

However New Zealand, despite having a National (party, ie Tory) 
government at present, has a MUCH stronger attitude towards 
consumer-rights than the UK. Consequently there is a lot of feeling that 
'something needs to be done' (and will be done). However, during the 
decade since I was last living here, DSL hardly moved/progressed from 
its initial 110Kbps offering, and thus <8Mbps is comparatively new, and 
largely came about as a result of exchange-unbundling (aforementioned 
foot-dragging the cause).

>>                      - but as you say, is one hour's drive to *visit*
>> the country's largest metropolis/source of IT contracts/work...
> These days it even has electrical power!


For those who don't know how he is playing-along at home: many years ago 
a series of electrical faults rippled through the supply system and 
eventually two out of (*only*) three high-voltage power lines into the 
city 'blew', rendering the CBD a powerless, ghost town. The solution was 
to mend the broken bits and 'rush' the construction of a new feed-line 
(ie to abrogate all needs for resource consent, ride rough-shod over 
land-owner rights and concerns... in the name of 'the community' - which 
now enjoys a lovely/ugly set of over-head power lines - however the 
unvarnished truth was slightly different...)

You're talking to the wrong person about that. My father was a previous 
Head of Planning for the Auckland Electric Power Board and predicted 
EXACTLY what happened. They 'eased him out' because having spent years 
putting forward plans to accommodate the sizeable population and 
commercial growth in this widely-distributed city, he complained that 
the Board excused themselves into accepting almost none of them and the 
risk level was becoming huge. Instead/to shut him up, they asked him to 
start drawing-up risk assessments and impact statements for the range of 
inevitabilities... Wonder how close to exactly-right that turned-out to 
have been?

Fortunately, soon after the Board-incident he was offered the role of 
Chief Engineer/Head of a rural power board, down-country; and discovered 
the joys of explaining the (lack of) investment justifications for 
constructing 5km of new line to supply a single farm house and its 
milking shed. Bit of a change for the keen, young lad who started in the 
labs of English Electric and the CEGB, even learning Russian to figure 
out how to bring power to the UK from far-afield, and working on the 
original time-shift of importing power from France before they wake-up 
and exporting it 'back again' after the UK has eaten breakfast and 
pushed-off to work...

I believe/it is quite likely that Auckland (with its proportionally 
larger population) still has fewer high-V feed lines than does 
Wellington or Christchurch...

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