May 102006

I’m continuing to run my app that monitors my cable modem connection, under the assumption that it’s going to keep sucking.

It’s based on a Perl script Dave Miller wrote ages ago, back when we were having similar problems with Syndicomm‘s ISP. I turned it into a nice little Cocoa app for my Mac. Objective-C is fun.

It works by sending out ten ICMP echo packets (pings) every 30 seconds. If at least three of them come back within two seconds of being sent, the connection is considered to be online. If the connection goes offline (ie, less than three packets come back), it takes seven packets coming back in one batch for it to be considered online again.

It then records all this information, spitting out the ping log into one window and maintaining a log of the date and time of each online/offline switch. Online events are recorded in green, offline events in red. It also maintains a total time elapsed counter as well as indicators showing the total number of pings sent, received, and lost, as well as a percent packet drop overall.

With a little tweaking, it might be a handy utility to share with others, so I might do that. Needs the stop button to actually work, and the box that lets you enter an address to ping currently doesn’t do anything — it always pings a hardcoded site right now.

At the moment, the connection has been on since around 6:30 PM. Unfortunately, that’s about an hour after the cable company left today, so they’ve fairly obviously not fixed things yet.

On top of that, although currently packet loss is low (around zero, most of the time), packet round-trip time is very long. Earlier today, they were averaging about 3.5 seconds, with the longest round-trip time being almost 30 seconds.

My current ping stats look like this:

64 packets transmitted, 58 packets received, 9% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 427.334/1204.596/18346.937/2309.430 ms

That’s just not pretty at all. On the other hand, even though it’s incredibly sluggish, at least I’m able to move data around at the moment. I don’t expect it to last though.

 Posted by at 1:07 AM

  One Response to “Testing my connection”

  1. My utility now has a working address entry box, and the Stop button, well, clicking it makes the app crash, but technically that does mean it stops.