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Comcast Created Trip Hazard

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Comcast Trip Hazard 2

Yesterday, Comcast came out to install services at my next door neighbour’s home. But instead of using the utility access that was directly behind their home, they decided to create these nice trip hazards on my property instead. I complain a LOT about Comcast. Here is there latest bumbling:

Comcast Trip Hazard 1

Comcast Trip Hazard 2

Comcast Trip Hazard 3Comcast Trip Hazard 4

My 3 year old great niece is visiting from out-of-town next week, I do NOT want this there. And I do NOT want a rake over job either.

I have contacted Comcast this morning (as usual they were less than enthusiastic to help) and I have also Contacted the Arizona Corporation Commission who will send a request to them to fix this. But they have no regulatory power. Sheesh.

Update for May 6, 2015

Comcast Guy

This fellow, Manny shows up at my front door (without any prior contact) shortly after 9 am while I was shaving, to inspect the cable. Having done so, he informed me that they would have someone out to re-locate the cable. After a brief telephone call he made, he later told me someone would be out today to take care of this. Well that of course, never happened.

After Manny’s visit, I posted this sign:

comcast_notice

If they just bury the cable, the gives Comcast an implied easement to utilise my property. Nope they must do things properly, and re-locate, and bury the cable.

I called around him around 3:15 pm to get an update, and he wasn’t sure how busy the actual person was, but it would not be today. Well we know that much is true.

About 4:30 pm, Theresa from Comcast ( (888) 966-7794 ext 3014455 ) called me to reach out and get an update. I told her that Manny had been by earlier and that I do not have any information. I gave her Manny’s contact information, and that was that.

I sent information to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (report # T15000232) regarding the trip hazard, but they rejected it. At least I tried.

I also contacted the Drexel Heights Fire District. They did respond.

drexel_fire

They will have one of the Battalion Chiefs come out tomorrow to take a look around for themselves. As I told them, this could prove to be fatal to firemen in the event of a fire — because it is an unknown trip hazard that really involves 3 properties.

I’ll keep you updated.

Wayno

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Comcast’s blazing Internet Speed (NOT!)

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ludicrous_speed

ludicrous_speed

I was recently forced into a $100 cable modem upgrade from docsis 2 to docsis 3 modem, because Comcast apparently never told anyone that they had ended support for Docsis 2 modems. (Why they couldn’t email all their existing Docsis 2 modem users and tell them, is beyond me).

When I called to activate the new modem, the agent told me that I could get a promotional price for 1 year, of a speed at 100 mbps for an additional $5/month. Okay. I’ll give it a try. I had been without internet service for 4 days while I hunted down where to find the new Docsis 3 modem. I asked the agent for 4 days credit since I was completely down. The person said they would credit my account. ($1.67/day x 4 days = $6.68. How much do you want to bet that doesn’t happen?)

I waited. The upgrade NEVER happened. I called a second time, and the agent said that the work order was never submitted, and that she would take care of that for me. Thank you!

I waited again. And of course you can guess. Upgrade never happened. I called a 3rd and final time to cancel the upgrade, and go back to the performance starter with 7 meg down and 1 meg up for $50/month (unbundled. I am over-the-air with Mythtv because the cost of cable tv is too high, and you have to use their set top boxes. Can you say, ouch?)

Once again, Comcast’s offshore tech support, proved to be inept at handling a simple customer request. (Which would have actually made them more money).

You can understand my stance on the proposed merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast. They seem intent on discovering new lows in the customer service (they are NOT mutually exclusive) arena.

At a minimum Comcast could do the following:

1. When an order is placed, the customer is given a customer order number to reference.

2. An email copy of the order is sent to the customer.

3. On the day the service is to be performed, the customer is notified via email. If the order is NOT completed on time, the Customer should contact Customer Service with the order number, and ask for a status update.

4. Once the order is completed, the Customer is notified via email, that the order is now complete. Any further questions or comments, should be directed to Customer Service.

5. In the event the order is NOT completed on time, then appropriate action to expedite order completion is taken by Customer Service.

None of these suggestions will ever see the light of day, but it would vastly improve the Comcast Customer Service image, and at least give a semblance of a we can help attitude, rather than: “How sad. Too bad. Now leave us alone” attitude that seems to permeate Comcast’s Customer Experience.

Share your Customer Service experiences with the Federal Communications Commission on Proceeding 14-57 (TWC/Comcast Merger)

fcc_complaint

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Comcast’s weird routing from Pima County to Facebook

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Only Comcast —

Instead of taking a short 21 mile hop from San Jose, California, to Menlo Park, California — Comcast does this:

Goes from San Jose, California to Dallas, Texas. 1700 miles.

Then it goes from Dallas, Texas to Marietta, Ga. Another almost 800 miles.

Then it goes from Marietta, Georgia, finally back to Facebook in Menlo Park, 2450 miles.

In order for Comcast to make that 21 mile trip up the road, they take a 4900 mile detour. Unbelievable. Welcome to Comcast.

nwayno@maggie:~$ traceroute facebook.com
traceroute to facebook.com (173.252.120.6), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 Wiggum (192.168.1.1) 0.766 ms 1.489 ms 1.723 ms
2 * * *
3 * * *
4 te-0-1-1-0-ar02.pimaco.az.pima.comcast.net (68.86.201.205) 14.324 ms 14.540 ms 14.600 ms
5 he-0-3-0-0-10-cr01.sanjose.ca.ibone.comcast.net (68.86.93.117) 46.638 ms 46.843 ms 46.913 ms
6 be-11315-cr01.dallas.tx.ibone.comcast.net (68.86.85.141) 52.584 ms 45.716 ms 53.614 ms
7 be-11213-cr01.56marietta.ga.ibone.comcast.net (68.86.85.21) 71.292 ms 68.320 ms 68.191 ms
8 he-0-11-0-1-pe04.56marietta.ga.ibone.comcast.net (68.86.89.94) 65.796 ms 65.441 ms 65.505 ms
9 as32934-1-c.56marietta.ga.ibone.comcast.net (66.208.228.2) 68.866 ms 67.147 ms 67.117 ms
10 ae2.bb01.atl1.tfbnw.net (74.119.78.214) 65.548 ms 65.420 ms ae2.bb02.atl1.tfbnw.net (204.15.23.210) 67.759 ms
11 ae16.bb04.frc3.tfbnw.net (31.13.27.116) 72.204 ms ae15.bb04.frc3.tfbnw.net (31.13.27.114) 76.782 ms 75.143 ms
12 ae2.dr09.frc3.tfbnw.net (31.13.29.45) 70.846 ms ae1.dr09.frc3.tfbnw.net (31.13.29.43) 127.898 ms 124.045 ms
13 * * *
14 * * *
15 * * *
16 edge-star-shv-12-frc3.facebook.com (173.252.120.6) 75.695 ms 75.635 ms 72.918 ms
nwayno@maggie:~$

I knew Facebook had issues – Comcast just made it …? Well you tell me!(And all this time, I thought Facebook just suxed!)

I expect that the Customer Experience will only become obscenely more “quality challenged” if the merger with Time Warner is approved.

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At&t 4G problems in Tucson

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my_house

The symptoms: Dropped calls. Missing text messages. Text messages that wouldn’t send. Voice mail messages delayed…..

I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 with At&t. The cell tower is located at Cardinal and Los Reales (South of Valencia. Closest intersection is Cardinal/Valencia) (Drexel Heights area in Tucson.) I live about 1/2 mile WEST of the cell tower, and I get this blazing speed on 4G.

my_house

I was at the shopping centre today, and was about 500 feet EAST of the same cell tower. Line-of-sight The speeds are considerably different.

200ft_from_tower

I was informed by At&t that the cell tower was undergoing repair and to please be patient. The issues are due to an internal interference generated by At&T equipment. The tower has now been repaired. Really? Before this fiasco, I was getting 10-12 meg download on 4G lte at home. Other places in town, I get very good speeds. At home I get neinte. I no longer have 4G lte. I don’t even have 3G.

The At&t case number is: CM 20141022_95759252

At&t said they have escalated the issue to the next level, and that I should be getting a call RSN (real soon now.) Four calls, and over 3 hours on the phone with At&t tech support…..At&t said they would have the issue resolved by November 9, 2014 when I last spoke to At&t rep Kyle Moesch (At&t id: KM904C.)

As of 2:30 pm, Tuesday November 11, 2014, the problems still persist. Substandard data rates (under 1 meg down), delayed test/voice mail messages, unable to send some text messages.

I spoke with an AT&T rep today, and the new fix date is 7 pm, Friday, November 14, 2014.

The only consistent information I can get from At&t is they keep pushing out the completion date. First it was October 25.

Everything worked fine first week of October, 2014.

“A” for effort. “F-” for resolving the issue. Why does it work great 200 feet EAST of the tower, but 1/2 mile WEST, it sucks toenails?

0

Openvpn revisited: Howto install and configure openvpn

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wayno vpn from outside

wayno vpn from outside

Virtual Private Networks. They are useful, but they can also seem daunting. As I have learned more about VPN’S from my first post, some 2 years ago, I thought we should re-vist and update.

1. What’s the first thing we do? Why install openvpn of course!

REMOTE (HOST) Configuration


sudo apt-get install openvpn

2. Now we need to generate our secret key. This is used to authenticate a remote user trying to gain access. We will use openvpn itself to generate the secret key. NOTE: Debian by default, does NOT provide a path to /usr/sbin

You can fully qualify it: /usr/sbin/openvpn

temporarily add it to the PATH variable: export PATH=$PATH:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/sbin

Or just add:

export PATH=$PATH:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/sbin

to .bashrc

If you add it to .bashrc, you will need to logout and back in again, so it will re-read the file.

Let’s generate that key! (The key below is named homer for the host, it can be anything)


openvpn --genkey --secret homer.key

Simple, huh?

3. Let’s move some files, and create the configuration file for openvpn.

first, let’s move our secret key file:


sudo cp homer.key /etc/openvpn/.

The period at the end, is significant. It says copy the file, right here.

4. Next is the configuration file. Using your favourite editor (nano in my case) create the
/etc/openvpn/openvpn.conf file as follows: Most of the explanations of the parameters come from here.


# Sample openvpn configuration file
# jjs June 6, 2012 V1.0
#
# annotated by Wayno April 26, 2014
#
# remote specifies the address of the server

local 192.168.1.101 5001
#local 192.168.1.101 1194

# dev tun specifies that we are using a tunnel device

dev tun

# ifconfig tells ip address for the interface

ifconfig 192.168.224.253 192.168.224.254

# and the secret key name (in /etc/openvpn)

secret homer.key

# use port 5001 (default) to connect to the vpn. This may require
# you to add this in your router.

port 5001
#port 1194

# if you want data compression

comp-lzo

# ping every 10 seconds, if no ping in 120 seconds, other side dead

keepalive 10 120

# ping timer starts after it receives a connection

ping-timer-rem

# don't recreate a virtual net interface TUN after automatic restart

persist-tun

# Don't read pre-shared static key file again after auto restart

persist-key

# user and group

user nobody
group nogroup

# after initialization, run in the background as a daemon

daemon

# append the /etc/openvpn/openvpn.log

log-append openvpn.log

5. Restart openvpn


sudo service openvpn restart

If you check /etc/openvpn/openvpn.log you will get something like this:

sudo cat openvpn.log
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 OpenVPN 2.3.2 x86_64-pc-linux-gnu [SSL (OpenSSL)] [LZO] [EPOLL] [PKCS11] [eurephia] [MH] [IPv6] built on Feb 4 2014
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 TUN/TAP device tun0 opened
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 do_ifconfig, tt->ipv6=0, tt->did_ifconfig_ipv6_setup=0
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 /sbin/ip link set dev tun0 up mtu 1500
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 /sbin/ip addr add dev tun0 local 192.168.224.253 peer 192.168.224.253
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 GID set to nogroup
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 UID set to nobody
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 UDPv4 link local (bound): [AF_INET]192.168.1.101:5001
Tue Jun 24 20:00:39 2014 UDPv4 link remote: [undef]
Tue Jun 24 20:00:44 2014 Peer Connection Initiated with [AF_INET]192.168.1.103:5001
Tue Jun 24 20:00:45 2014 Initialization Sequence Completed

6. Let’s see if it works?


ping -c 5 192.168.224.253

PING 192.168.224.253 (192.168.224.253) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.224.253: icmp_req=1 ttl=64 time=0.033 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.224.253: icmp_req=2 ttl=64 time=0.041 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.224.253: icmp_req=3 ttl=64 time=0.030 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.224.253: icmp_req=4 ttl=64 time=0.041 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.224.253: icmp_req=5 ttl=64 time=0.040 ms

— 192.168.224.253 ping statistics —
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 3999ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.030/0.037/0.041/0.004 ms

==================

1. Now the CLIENT configuration /etc/openvpn/client.conf:


#
# openvpn CLIENT configuration
#
# V1.0 by Wayno April 26, 2014

# remote specifies the ip address of the remote (host) openvpn

remote 192.168.1.101

# dev tun specifies that we are using a tunnel device

dev tun

# ifconfig tells ip address for the interface
# NOTE that the ifconfig ip's are BACKWARD from the host

ifconfig 192.168.224.254 192.168.224.253

# The name of the secret key we generated (it could be anyname)

secret homer.key

# use port 5001 (note you may need to open this up in your router
# and make sure it points to the remote (host))

port 5001

# if you want data compression

comp-lzo

# ping every 10 seconds, if no ping in 60 seconds, other side dead

keepalive 10 60

# ping timer starts after it receives a connection

ping-timer-rem

# don't recreate a virtual net interface TUN after automatic restart

persist-tun

# Don't read pre-shared static key file again after auto restart

persist-key

#user and group

user nobody
group nogroup

# after initialization, run in the background as a daemon

daemon

log-append openvpn.log

2. Ensure you copy the secret key over to the /etc/openvpn on the client side. This assumes the key is already in your home folder


sudo cp ~/homer.key .

Note that the period (.) at the end IS significant.

3. And your output should look something like this:

sudo cat openvpn.log
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 OpenVPN 2.2.1 x86_64-linux-gnu [SSL] [LZO2] [EPOLL] [PKCS11] [eurephia] [MH] [PF_INET6] [IPv6 payload 20110424-2 (2.2RC2)] built on Jun 18 2013
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 NOTE: OpenVPN 2.1 requires ‘–script-security 2′ or higher to call user-defined scripts or executables
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 LZO compression initialized
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 TUN/TAP device tun0 opened
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 do_ifconfig, tt->ipv6=0, tt->did_ifconfig_ipv6_setup=0
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 /sbin/ifconfig tun0 192.168.224.254 pointopoint 192.168.224.253 mtu 1500
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 GID set to nogroup
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 UID set to nobody
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 UDPv4 link local (bound): [undef]
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 UDPv4 link remote: [AF_INET]192.168.1.101:5001
Tue Jun 24 20:20:27 2014 Peer Connection Initiated with [AF_INET]192.168.1.101:5001
Tue Jun 24 20:20:28 2014 Initialization Sequence Completed

3. ssh into the vpn

nwayno@Willy:~$ ssh 192.168.224.253
nwayno@192.168.224.253’s password:
Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.13.0-29-generic x86_64)

* Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/

Last login: Tue Jun 24 20:40:04 2014 from 192.168.224.253
nwayno@Homer:~$

0

Ubuntu to go: Installing Linux onto a usb flash drive

by

Another lost article, originally from May 4, 2009

Putting Ubuntu on a flash drive, can seem a daunting task. But if you follow these steps, you’ will have a portable secure operating system.

Here’s what you”ll need:

A computer with:

USB Ports
256 meg of ram
cdrom
USB flash drive (at least 4 G)
32 bit Ubuntu 9.04 Install CD (desktop)
(download from here: Download Ubunutu)
A live (hot) internet connection

WARNING: CHOOSING THE WRONG DEVICE CAN RENDER YOUR HARD DRIVE UNBOOTABLE. IF YOU’RE NOT SURE, YOU MAY WANT TO REMOVE THE PLUGS FROM YOU HARD DRIVE BEFORE STARTING.

1. Boot off the install cd.

2. Choose Install Ubuntu and hit enter

3. When you come to the screen that says: “Prepare disk space” (step 4 of 7) on top,
choose “specify partitions manually (advanced)”

4. the usb drive (on my system) is called /dev/sdc

5. delete the partition on this drive, so you can start fresh.

6. It should show /dev/sdc
free space (size of drive — 8065 mb in my case — 8 G)

7. Select the “free space” for the usb drive by single clicking it (left mouse button)

8. Select “new partition” on the bottom of the screen.

We are going to create a 1 G fat32 partition for windows, and then the rest for linux.

Windows (will become /dev/sdc1)
New Partition should read: Primary
Size should be: 1024 meg
Beginning
Use as FAT32 file system
Mount Point: /dos

Select the remaining “free space” for the usb drive by single clicking it (left mouse button)

8. Select “new partition” on the bottom of the screen.

Linux (will become /dev/sdc2)
New partition should read: Primary
Size should be the remaining full size of the USB Drive (7039 meg)
Beginning
Use as ext2 file system (we want a “non-journaled” file system)
(USB flash drives do NOT have a fast transfer rate (4-5 meg tops), so we want a non-journaled file system)

Mount Point should be / (root directory)

The great thing is that windows will NOT see any of the Linux on the flash drive. However, Linux WILL see the windows partition. So you can easily exchange information between Windows and Linux.

to see the Windows Partition in Linux simply go into terminal mode (after the install of course) and type:

cd /dos (that was the mount point we created above)

So it should look like this before proceeding to the next step:

Devices Type Size
/dev/sdc1 fat32 1023
/dev/sdc2 ext2 7039

9. Hit forward and you will see “Who are you?” (screen 5 of 7) fill out as desired.

10. if you get the message “there are no users or operating system suitable for importing from” error – that’s normal – (step 6 of 7) just go forward.

11. When you arrive at step 7 of 7, this is the tricky part. “Ready to Install” We need to make the flash drive bootable.

There is an “advanced” tab at the bottom right of the screen. Click on that.

Click on “Install Boot Loader” and choose the correct DEVICE (not partition) device. In my case /dev/sdc

WARNING: CHOOSING THE WRONG DEVICE CAN RENDER YOUR HARD DRIVE UNBOOTABLE. IF YOU’RE NOT SURE, YOU MAY WANT TO REMOVE THE PLUGS FROM YOU HARD DRIVE BEFORE STARTING.

12. Click on install, and sit back. Like Alton Brown says: “Your patience WILL be rewarded!”

13. Boot up off your usb drive, and we are going to make a performance enhancement.

14. Open up a terminal window and type

cd /etc # go to the /etc directory

sudo cp fstab fstab.org # make a copy of the file structure table (always have a path back!)

sudo nano fstab

change “relatime” to “noatime”

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fstab

´╗┐By default Linux records when files are last accessed, modified and created. This behaviour can be controlled with the noatime option, which will prevent this information from being recorded. The advantage might be a performance increase, especially when files are accessed and modified often.

control+o to write the file changes, then control+x to exit.
(hold down the control key, and hit the letter)

NOTE: if you screw up fstab, your system may NOT boot. DON’T panic!

boot into recovery mode, then choose “Drop to root shell prompt with out networking”

mount -o remount rw / # mount root as read/write access

cd /etc # change to /etc

rm fstab # removes the existing (hosed) fstab

cp fstab.org fstab # copy back the original fstab

15. Install updates and enjoy! You now have in your pocket, a secure, portable operating system.

if you do a df (display free) at terminal mode you will see that Linux
has used approximately 2.5 G (yes with “X” installed) and have about 4G free!

16. One caution. In order to avoid file corruption, I always “shutdown” when done using my ubuntu2go flash drive. Removing the flash drive before the system has shutdown, may result in file corruption.

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