Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We are on Mars, again. WOW!


Curiosity pushes us
drives science
brings us farther away from home,
discovering new worlds
and finding reasons
to extend our reach even more.

Thank you
to you all, engineers, scientists, managers
who dreamed it, believed it
and eventually made it real.

home is larger,

Here is the XKCD celebration of the landing.

Here is a screenshot from the beautiful (and free) Nasa Eyes web application, which features the EDL (Entry Descent and Landing) animated and interactive sequence.

And here is a link to the dramatic "7 minutes of terror" video clip, that illustrates the complex sequences of the landing.

I really like the "dare mighty things" motto, that appears in the end. It is a quote from US President Theodore Roosvelt:

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.Theodore Roosevelt - 26th president of US (1858 - 1919)

You will never accomplish anything if you are too afraid to fail.

And finally the link to mission website:

Kudos to all who made this possible.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Higgs Higgs Higgs

In search of a deeper meaning, today, the LHC announcement: something is there, at 125.5GeV, and maybe it is it! 

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Higgs Boson!

They say that particle is the one that allows mass itself to exist.
It is fundamental, and its existance is an incredible confirmation of the current physics so called Standard Model.

I do not know how a Higgs boson looks like. Neither at CERN they can see it.
It lives just a few trillions of a second, before vanishing out in a quantum sparks cloud. 
And detectors do not see it directly, but just the sparks cloud, and decoding that smoke they can infer the gun.

Anyway, I imagine it like a quite big brownish marble.
And it is smiling,

Prof. Peter Higgs, smiling, today, at the CERN press release event



Friday, May 18, 2012

Replacing an Optima-ADSL Annex-A router

updated jun 29, 2012

Context & Problem: Since 2008 we have a business phone and internet access contract with Optima Telekom croatia ( http://www.optima.hr/ ).

The internet link was served by an ADSL Huawei Smartax MT-880 device, that was supplied by Optima.
Some days ago, there was a storm, and the Huawei router broke.

Had a call with Optima tech support, but found that the supplied router is out of warranty, and that the suggested option they propose is a contract upgrade, with a higher monthly cost and a new router.

Solution: reuse an old T-COM Siemens ADSL C-010-i router, to connect to Optima ADSL line, with proper reconfiguration.

I had an old T-COM router, sitting there, a Siemens ADSL C-010-i, with Conexant chipset. This device has just a LAN RJ-45 port and a RJ-11 ADSL WAN port whose cable goes in the ADSL splitter. According to some documents I found on the internet, this device also have an internal USB port which is only accessible opening the case (which I did not do).

T-Com branded Siemens c010i
from a previous installation, and I decided to try to use that. Had a look on the internet, and another call with Optima tech support. Optima could not support me in reconfiguring the device, because is not among the one they support.

After many hours of fiddling, i managed to have it working, and now I am sharing here the settings with which I had it working.

The Siemens C-010-i default factory configuration is at ip, with http username and password being admin/epicrouter. There is a small button that allows to set it back to factory configuration.
My Siemens unit has probably been manufactured before 2008.

The main setting that allowed me to connect the Siemens router to the optima ADSL were:

PVC: 0
VPI: 0
VCI: 35
ADSL Handshake protocol & modulation: Autosense, G.dmt first
Encapsulation: PPPoE
Multiplex: LLC
Service Category: UBR

With these settings, the line got up again (after some moments post modem reboot, ADSL line light stops flashing and becomes steady green).

After these settings, and after a router restart, this is what I got on the system log.

router system log
01/01/1970 00:00:00> DNS: Add IP address (User defined)
01/01/1970 00:00:00> DNS: Add IP address (User defined)
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1 Session is up.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> DNS: Add IP address (Auto discovered)
01/01/1970 00:00:00> DNS: Add IP address (Auto discovered)
01/01/1970 00:00:00> No Static Session Information is defined.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> NAT/NAPT Session Start: interface ppp1, WAN IP is
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1: DNS Secondary IP address is
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1: DNS Primary IP address is
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1: PPP Gateway IP address is
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1: PPP IP address is
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1 PAP Authentication success
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1 PPPoE Session is established.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1 PPPoE PADS Received  Service-Name:adsl AC-Name:br01os01
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1 PPPoE PADR Sent, Service-Name:adsl AC-Name:br01os01
01/01/1970 00:00:00> PPP1 PPPoE PADI Sent
01/01/1970 00:00:00> ATM Tx Error Count: 0, Rx Error Count: 0
01/01/1970 00:00:00> u/s total bit capacity: 136bits, used: 136bits
01/01/1970 00:00:00> d/s total bit capacity: 1845bits, used: 1392bits
01/01/1970 00:00:00> d/s Latency: INTERLEAVED, u/s Latency: INTERLEAVED
01/01/1970 00:00:00> d/s Data Rate: 5024kbps, u/s Data Rate: 480kbps
01/01/1970 00:00:00> d/s Attenuation: 29.3dB, u/s Attenuation: 9.5dB
01/01/1970 00:00:00> d/s SNR: 12.4dB, u/s SNR: 15.0dB
01/01/1970 00:00:00> CO Vendor: GLOBESPAN
01/01/1970 00:00:00> Max Tx Power: -38dBm/Hz
01/01/1970 00:00:00> Annex Mode: ANNEX_A
01/01/1970 00:00:00> Modulation: G.dmt
01/01/1970 00:00:00> ADSL connected
01/01/1970 00:00:00> ATM layer is up, cell delineation achieved 
01/01/1970 00:00:00> ATM Connected 
01/01/1970 00:00:00> CfgMgr: 'Prism.dlz' module loaded.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> CfgMgr: 'Apimage.dlz' module loaded.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> CfgMgr: 'Washer.dlz' module loaded.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> CfgMgr: 'ShtmMib.dlz' module loading failed.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> CfgMgr: 'Shtm.dlz' module loaded.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> Initialized Dynamic NAPT.
01/01/1970 00:00:00> ATM: Setting up vcc0, VPI=0, VCI=35 
01/01/1970 00:00:00> ATM: Detected 
01/01/1970 00:00:00> Ethernet Device 0 Detected

update: (29 jun 2012)

Performance TUNING on MTU
With standard settings, modems sets up link with the following PPP options:

With these settings, I found that some downloads are aborting, and speed tests reports give inconsistent results (albeit browsing speed does not seem that bad).
In particular, speedtest.net gave consistently very poor results in speed measurement, reporting about 0.07Mbit/sec download speed and 0.15Mbit/sec upload speed.

Did some other fiddling, I set the following:
After these settings have been put in place, and after a router reset, I did not experience anymore failed downloads, and got much better speed measurements, and browsing speed is better too.

Here is the table of the current settings in Configuration/PPP menu of the ADSL Modem

#Session NameAdapterModeService NameAccount to UseDisconnect Timeout(min)MRUMTUMSSLCP Echo IntervalLCP Echo Consec Failure MaxAuthentication ModeAuto Reconnect
1ausoniapppPvc 0PPPoEadslausonia0140014001300106AutoEnabled

Happy hacking!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

What is To innovate

Innovare e' avere sogni
Ancora mai sognati da nessuno

E per realizzarli, fare e sbagliare
Disperarsi e riuscire

Con coraggio, determinazione
E indomita perseveranza.


To Innovate is to have dreams
no one yet has ever dreamt

And work, and fail, to make them real
Thru desperation till success

With bravery, determination
And indomitable perseverance.



Monday, March 19, 2012

Arduino Lilypad Jacket

A weekend project for lighting up your jacket!

With an old jacket, an Arduino Lilypad, some leds with integrated resistors, and some patience, my kid Giulio became the school star for one day.

He was super happy.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Farewell Whitney Houston

She was among my idols while at college.

Her songs were soundtracking many nice moments of my life.

She was brilliant in her initial career. Then she derailed. What a pity.


May her be joyful now, 

smiling and happily singing