Recently Deutsche Bahn started wifi for everyone travelling with a ICE. So far I had trips where it just worked great, on other trips I could not even connect – not on mobile phone nor on my laptop.
Today it was different
We have great signal strength, wifi on my phone works like a charm. Connecting to the wifi works nicely on the laptop as well. But I cannot connect to the login page for accepting t&c.
What happened – the analysis
I have a Thinkpad X1 Yoga laptop running Ubuntu 16.04. Among a gazillion of other packages docker is installed – mostly for dealing with lots of neo4j databases (of course ;-). The wifi (SSID: WIFIOnICE) itself is not authenticated but upon accessing the first webpage you get redirected to URL http://www.wifionice.de. Here I got a “cannot connect” error message in the browser. DNS lookups however worked fine – on couple of other WIFI issues DNS is a common culprit. Using
dig www.wifionice.de I’ve learned that this hostname resolves to IP address 172.18.10.10. Next to check are the routing tables:
stefan@x1 ➜ sudo route -n
Ziel Router Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
0.0.0.0 172.16.0.1 0.0.0.0 UG 600 0 0 wlp4s0
169.254.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.0.0 U 1000 0 0 br-034d1e2af367
172.16.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.0.0 U 600 0 0 wlp4s0
172.17.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.0.0 U 0 0 0 docker0
172.18.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.0.0 U 0 0 0 br-034d1e2af367
Interesting, packages to 172.18.0.0/16 are routed to a weird interface called br-034d1e2af367 and are therefore not set via the wifi device. This finding justifies a loud WTF! This bridge interface is established by docker. Since I’m just a docker user without deep understanding of its internals I cannot really explain its exact purpose. But I don’t have to 😉
It’s good enough to just disable the bridge network interface while doing the wifi authentication:
ihtsudo ifconfig br-034d1e2af367 down
open http://www.wifionice.de in your webbrowser and press the "go online" button
sudo ifconfig br-034d1e2af367 up
After that operation I could use the internet on a ICE train without hassle.
a more elegant solution
Don’t have this one yet. I seems you can tweak the bridge’s IP number using
--bip <CIDR> upon docker startup. But I couldn’t find out the details for now. Happy to read your helpful comments here.
This post is mainly intended as a self-reminder for future train trips. If it’s helpful to others as well I’m more than happy. As a reference I’ve posted this in German language to a question on a forum of Deutsch Bahn as well.
When developing Cypher statements for a Neo4j based application there are multiple ways to do this.
A lot of people (including myself) love the new Neo4j browser shipped with 2.0 and subsequent releases. This is a nicely built locally running web application running in your browser. At the top users can easily type their Cypher code and see results after executing, either in tabular form or as a visualization enabling to click through.
Neo4j 2.0 Browser
Another way is to use the command line and either go with neo4j-shell or use the REST interface by a command line client like cURL or more conveniently httpie (which I’ve previously blogged about).
Typically while building a Cypher statement you take a lot of cycles to hack a little bit, test if it runs, hack a little bit, test, …. This cycle can be improved by automating execution as soon as the file containing the cypher statement has hanged.
Linux comes with a kernel feature called inotify that reports file system changes to applications. On Ubuntu/Debian there is a package called
inotify-hookable available offering a convenient way to set up tracking for a specific file or directory and take a action triggered by a change in the file/directory.
Assume you want to quickly develop a complex cypher statement in
$HOME/myquery.cql. Set up monitoring using:
inotify-hookable -c ~/myquery.cql -c "(~/neo4j-enterprise-2.0.1/bin/neo4j-shell < ~/myquery.cql)"
Using your text editor of choice open
$HOME/myquery.cql and change your code. After saving the statement will be automatically executed and you get instantly feedback.
I did some research on how to backup up a MySQL database on a regularly base. Finally I decided to use automysqlbackup. It’s a no-brainer. Just drop the script to /etc/cron.daily and configure the database settings and target directory. Very cool stuff!
On my desk, there’s a Siemens Gigaset SX353 connected to the desktop PC via USB. There’s a nice command line tool for managing the telephone, esp. dialing numbers is possible using
gigacontr --dev /dev/ttyGB0 --dial 1 <number> 10
Unfortunately when passing in a international number with the “+” notation, e.g. +49163123456 the phone will not use the “+”. This could be easily solved with a small python wrapper script gigadial.py:
import sys, os
device = "/dev/ttyGB0"
internal_number = "10"
command = "/usr/local/sbin/gigacontr --dev %s --dial 1 %s %s"
number = sys.argv
number = number.replace("+", "00")
if len(number) > 8 and number[0:2]=='49':
number = "00%s" % (number)
command = command % (device, number, internal_number)
Gnome supports configuring a handler for callto: URLs. Using gconf-editor modify the setting /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/callto/command must be set to
To use Thunderbird’s addressbook with this, enable in Tool | Additional Settings | Misc the option “insert callto: link for phonenumbers”. When viewing contact data, the phone numbers show up as links. When clicking the phone number, the phone dials that number. Cool!
Even cooler: For Firefox, there the wonderful Telify addon that finds phone number in webpages and converts them to links. Telify must be configured to use callto: URLs instead of the default tel: URLS.