powerTOP

Intel has released a fascinating new utility that reveals what is preventing the CPU from going to sleep/low power state. A few of the bad actors I found on my system so far are ipw2200, hald, and audacious. hald appears to poll the disk constantly for something so it’s ide0 that appears active but not hald directly. Audacious causes 160 wakeups-from-idle all by it’s lonesome. Finally, when everything else is inactive my wireless driver (ipw2200) keeps the CPU awake constantly. If I’m plugged into a hardwire connection the CPU can sit in C3/C4 for greater than 90% of the time.

Enabling wireless encryption

Finally, found the magic option that wasn’t getting enabled in the kernel config. It’s been hit or miss whenever I tried to configure a new kernel whether the wireless would come up the first time.

Module Size Used by
michael_mic 2176 2
ieee80211_crypt_tkip 9536 1
ieee80211_crypt_ccmp 5888 1
i915 18880 2
drm 64084 3 i915
ipw2200 126260 0
snd_intel8x0m 12748 0
snd_intel8x0 26268 2
snd_ac97_codec 88292 2 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0
ac97_bus 1856 1 snd_ac97_codec

michael_mic (from the crypto section in menuconfig) is required for tkip support to work.

Windows Reinstall

Hey, step one is complete for reinstalling WinXP. The GParted LiveCD was very helpful in rearranging all of my partitions. My only complaint is that ipw2200 wireless support is broken for Knoppix 5.1.1. Otherwise, I would have used the Knoppix disk instead. GParted has saved me a couple of times from reinstalling Gentoo because I wanted to rearrange partitions.

Running XP under emulation in Qemu was a cool thing to do but in the end emulation isn’t capable of doing what I want it to do. Since the virtual XP is running on emulated hardware it can’t access the specific feaures of my laptop (duh!). So back to dual-booting. User-mode Linux is really more like what I want, but the total lack of nptl support stopped me there also. I simply can’t be satisfied! :(

Wireshark 0.99.5 fails on GCC 3.4.6

Wireshark hit a compatibility issue with gcc 3.4.6. For now, wireshark doesn’t compile. A fix will probably be ready soon, but this brings up another issue. I am being held at gcc 3.4.6 by Qemu which has some basic design problems with GCC4. Unfortunately, a permanent fix seems to be unsolvable because the permanent solutions discussed involve building a custom compiler to generate the incompatible parts of the code. Knowing this makes me think it’s better to leave Qemu behind and upgrade to GCC4. If I do that I’ll have to reinstall WinXP on my laptop. Running XP in emulation can’t do what I want it to anyway. :(

CharterComm, thy services are no longer required

At my house we have Cable TV and Internet services through Charter Communications. In the last several weeks, Charter changed the behavior of their DNS to return a Charter-branded Yahoo! search page if the domain was invalid. This is bad because; one, it breaks the address bar search; two, I want Google; three, another example of poor service from Charter. I occasionally search from the address bar, the automatic Google search is a nice time saver. The text ads on the Charter page are listed inline first with the actual search results below them. This is why Google beats hands down everyone else. Advertisements are separated from search results and they don’t get in the way. Another in the list of Charter annoyances is that POP mail access is so slow. I can download 1.6 MB in about 51 seconds –> 257 kbps! If I max out my connection I can get 384 kbps. 384 is slow any way because Charter’s website says their current Internet tiers are 3, 5, and 10 Megabit. When we signed up for the service the highest tier was 3 Megabit. Here in Hopkinsville, I doubt Charter has upgraded any part of this area to the new tier since they’ve been planning on selling the franchise for a long time.

Speaking of selling the cable franchise, starting this summer we will all be New Wave Comm customers. Supposedly, New Wave is supposed to already be running new fiber and installing equipment to take over service. prophead said, “Their plan to double the internet speed in most service plans is something everyone I work with can appreciate.” Cross your fingers that we will get better service like described but I’ll wait to see when it actually happens.

Yet another way to break WEP Encryption

WEP has been broken for many years but there’s still some one that enjoys taking all the broken pieces and smashing them into even smaller pieces. The new attack requires the active injection of arp packets by the attacker. Which leaves the attacker open for discovery by an IDS installed on the victim network. The researchers have a modified version of aircrack-ng called aircrack-ptw that is the proof of concept. The report reads in part, “Our current attack is a fast, but active one, and could thereby be detected by an Intrusion
Detection System (IDS). A passive version would be interesting making the attack undetectable by any kind of network monitoring system.” If the attacker finds a busy network, collecting the required packets would be trivial even if it took longer than 60 seconds. Anyone that is considering using WEP for anything important needs to wake up!