So, we are again at the New Year, and that’s the pain for sysadmins of messaging services or any other telecommunication systems. And that’s because of the servers’ or networks’ saturation due to the huge traffic from their users, trying to send New Year wishes messages to their friends and relatives. Usually such issues happen with mobile phone networks, GSM, 2G, 3G, 4G etc, but for the second consecutive year, the online services too are suffering from those bottle necks. The most complained service this year or last year for some, is WhatsApp. At first, I got messages from friends in Mauritius asking about the issue, but it was working fine for me. Some even thought the service was blocked by the government. Mine was working fine (In Turkey), and posted about the WhatsApp issue on my Facebook page , and then noticed that it’s not in Mauritius only. Then, as time went, I started to experience issues here too, and it’s obvious, the New Year is 2 hours before Turkey’s , and it also confirms the fact that the issue was due to high traffic. News websites were also reporting about same . But its good to note that the official Twitter Account @wa_status where WhatsApp post system updates, had no indication at all about that downtime, but their in-app system status page displayed a “server experiencing a problem” message.
To check about the worldwide extent of the problem, I collected testimonials from friends around the world and confirmed once more my hypothesis (Sorry for that term, I had an Stats exam this morning 😛 )
Skype got a new card in its playing deck since some time. It’s called Skype Translator. It, essentially, translate your conversations into another language to ease interaction. They rolled it out for select pre-registered users using the Windows 8 Operating System (I got the upgrade but did not use Windows 8) and then released it fully to all users since a week or two. Being a nice system, its been laying down silently in the sidebar on my Skype Application. At first, it was only for text conversations and can be turned off. Flicked it on for some tests and flicked it off again. But then it “became alive”! Voice conversations were being “translated” too!! Worse, it was trying to translate conversations from my mother-tongue language, Creole, to English. It turned out to be a mess, a real mess and so annoying popping on during the whole conversation!
Skype attempting to translate vocal Creole conversation to English
And then I took the decision to get my parents to disable it on their side, [I disabled mine some days back]. Then I thought, I must not be the only one to be annoyed by this, as the feature was added during the automatic updates and enabled by default, I decided to write this post to help others who want to disable same too.
Turkey – Sunday 25 October 2015 – 03:59 EET.. Almost everybody’s sleeping.. 04:00.. Something happens.. mobile phones, pc, smartwatch don’t show 04:00.. but 03:00.. it’s Winter time! And then.. the whole population wakes up.. and ask to each other.. “Saat kaç?!” What time is it? In fact, the government decided that due to elections on November 1st, the time change will be delayed by 15 days, i.e postponed for November 8. So, is the time on the mobile phones and PCs, the true Turkish time (according to the government’s decision) or the Eastern Europe Time? And then the confusion started..
I got the update too.. from mobile phone to smartwatch and pc.. time have changed.. and in fact I was not aware of the decision and also misread a WhatsApp message regarding same. And I followed that time until Monday 26.. whereby I got 1 hour late in class! [Fact is, around 1 hour before the class, I read an article on the BBC’s website , about the confusion in Turkey about the time. I was puzzled, but when I cross-checked with the LED Clock in the Hostel’s canteen, I was in sync with the time there. So, I thought, we are all on the same page.. But 8 mins after I entered class.. the teacher stopped for a little break..]..
Well.. What could have been done in that situation?
So! It’s been long since my last blog-post! But this one will compensate for the time I’ve been off-air.
Well, Logan‘s done a presentation on fq_codel and I got really interested in the topic. fq_codel (fair-queuing controlled delay), in a nutshell, was designed to overcome Bufferfloat; a phenomena in Networking whereby excess buffering of packets causes bottlenecks and thus reduces network quality. fq_codel is a scheduling algorithm that sets limits on delays suffered due to the bufferings. I won’t go too technical deep in this blog post.. This post will only show the setting-up of OpenWRT, and configuring it to enable CoDel and thus improve our networking performance. Hopefully, more posts about OpenWRT will follow including tutorials for some amazing features 🙂 Stay tuned !!
To be honest, I had some experience beforehand with those Operating Systems. I once got an Access Point from somebody that did not support bridge mode. I had to kick the propriety firmware out, install DDWRT, configure it (+ some tweaks 😛 ) and had it up and running. It’s still working since around a year or so..
The router I chose is a TPLINK WR841N; chose another model that had modem capabilities built-in but unfortunately, same did not support OpenWRT. Had to get it replaced by the vendor.
Well, let’s dive inside..
Devices are everywhere; from around our wrists to inside our pockets to huge server farms. Those Engineering excellency are roughly metal structures with electronics components and one of the intangible marvel of the human mind inside them – The Software; those piece of code that make sense to everything. People either take writing those codes as their job or their hobby; but when the two are mixed, great stuffs happen!
Usually, important softwares and application are written by several programmers from one specific company or from developers around the globe contributing on the same project. One of the latter is Logananden Velvindron, a Mauritian coder. (about whom I wrote some time back). He helped to fix bugs on critical systems or wrote improvements to existing softwares. The great news is that, some times his improvements are deployed on production servers and systems from famous companies like Google! The latest in date is from CISCO which implemented an updated version of ntp which happens to contain Logan’s code. On that occasion, I paid Logan the usual virtual visit and got a little word from him. 🙂