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17 June 2005

My Connection Sucks^W Drops Too

But I'm taking control of the command line through screen(1)

Yesterday on irc (...sounds like one of those stories...) on #zope I talked to someone who goes by the nick "swissmade" and who was connected through a satellite link. He would come in again and again and ask the same question. When we finally got the answer through to him, he apologized by mentioning that output was often garbled due to the sat link. I recommended a shell account on a well connected server (freeshell.org shell accounts come to mind, though not with a "free" account, rather one of the paying kind which lets you use background processes after you log out). Together with that, take the "screen" utility and irssi with bitlbee for irc and AIM/ICQ/MSN etc.

I had discovered screen some years ago in an article on daemonnews, the bsd news zine. The article stuck in my mind, as if it was yesterday. It was about a guy who lived in some rural area and through the crappy phone lines he often could get only about a 26kbps dial up connection. And lots of disconnects. Sounds like Greece to me. He solved his disconnect problems using screen - he would still get disconnected, but when he dialled in again, he could resume his session right where he left off. All it needs is a quick

screen -dr
and you get your session exactly where you left it, down to the key you pressed in the middle of a word when the line went down. I relied on this, last summer on Limnos island, when I was getting on the internet through GPRS. Most of the time I just picked up my mail with IMAPS (hey, bandwidth is expensive with GPRS), but sometimes I would take control of my server through my neverending screen session. There are quite a few tutorials about screen(1) around, so when I was hunting for that old article I found a lot of them.


Posted by betabug at 09:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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