11-09 -- Last week on planet Earth
This starts my last week in Madagascar. I'm both antzy about getting
some things DONE here, and so looking forward to getting home. I miss
my sweetie, and can't wait to see her, but the network's not done, and
neither is the website.
I've got a way of snapping pictures of sonograms, but that won't
happen until I return.
The software for the deaf school is ready to go, but won't be
delivered until Sunday, and more importantly, won't be LEGAL until I'm
back in the states and someone will actually take my credit card.
I've got a shopping list for SALFA once I get back.
I've gotten Rivo (and others) to understand just how terrible their
Internet connection is, but I haven't been able to do anything about
it, other than put in a caching proxy server. I've told them that I
will GIVE them $280 to buy them out of their one year contract for
their DSL. Just, I say, find another provider who's better. I show
them how to check.
Just for yucks, take a look at how bad Wanadoo (their current
My traceroute [v0.69]
ldell1 (0.0.0.0)(tos=0x0 psize=64 bitpattern=0x00) Wed Nov 9 15:53:54 2005
Host Loss% Snt Last Avg Best Wrst StDev
2. gw-adsl.wanadoo.mg 0.0% 28 53.2 79.9 43.9 302.5 62.5
3. 172.16.1.2 0.0% 28 57.6 91.0 43.5 379.5 79.3
4. 220.127.116.11 0.0% 28 49.0 86.6 49.0 332.3 72.5
5. 18.104.22.168 0.0% 28 54.5 79.7 44.5 292.4 60.3
6. hs1-0-0.bcnar1.BercenayEnOthe.op 0.0% 28 716.6 622.3 577.0 792.8 60.5
7. po1-0.bagbb2.Bagnolet.opentransi 0.0% 28 608.9 605.0 581.1 732.3 33.8
8. po2-0.pascr2.Paris.opentransit.n 0.0% 28 600.1 595.7 580.8 690.5 22.6
9. gi2-0.pascr3.Paris.opentransit.n 0.0% 28 591.8 631.7 583.8 1171. 115.8
10. po10-0.loncr3.London.opentransit 0.0% 28 596.2 629.5 590.0 1240. 123.5
11. google-1.GW.opentransit.net 0.0% 28 604.0 639.1 588.9 1201. 123.7
12. 22.214.171.124 0.0% 26 598.6 643.2 589.5 1142. 117.1
13. 126.96.36.199 0.0% 26 623.1 665.0 618.9 1132. 113.6
14. 188.8.131.52 0.0% 26 601.0 656.4 599.9 1074. 111.8
15. 184.108.40.206 0.0% 26 615.6 653.5 604.8 1061. 103.7
16. 220.127.116.11 0.0% 26 620.3 646.7 604.1 993.3 88.8
Allow me to explain what you're seeing. You're seeing an
over-subscribed or badly configured DSLAM/router combination. Note
the 79.9 average delay right off the bat. Where the DSL is put onto
the the Wanadoo network, it's SLOW. That should be three milliseconds.
It's at least twenty times that. Try this with your DIAL-UP MODEM.
Now, that's nothing compared to the 600 millisecond delay getting to
France. That's probably because the satellite they're using has voice
traffic on it, and IP is dead last in priority.
Read anything you didn't like in that paragraph? Words like "dead
last" might jump out -- that's almost normal, but look at the words
"France" and "Satellite".
"France." Why is their traffic going to France? A trace from Chicago
to South Africa shows that traffic to South Africa from the States,
which like it or not, is where most websites are, is not substantially
slower than traffic from the States to Paris. The traffic from
Madagascar goes through Paris because Wanadoo is subsidiary of France
Telecom, and that's the way they like it. But it's a bad design.
What if there's a disruption in that link? It should right off try to
find the shortest path, and right now, it seems to have only one next
"Satellite." Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's on ground lines (though the
fact that the delay is always 600 milliseconds smells strongly of a
satellite to me -- a digital system where you're able to assign
priorities to traffic, such that IP ranks dead last). If so, then
they're taking ground lines to France for some reason, huh? Like
Senegal isn't closer, or South Africa, or Egypt?
All lines (or satellite) connections lead to France, so that France can
get a cut of all the calls. If the lines (even the critical ones) were
distributed, then France could be negotiated out of the loop. France
is still farming this country, and it's not letting someone else have
There's been talk of a fiber being laid to South Africa. It's
financed by the Germans. They're all set to do it, but it keeps
getting delayed. Someone with clout is slowing it down, I've been
told. Someone named France. But that's all paranoid suspicion. And
just might be wrong.
So what's the effect of this? Google probably takes less than a
second t load for you, no matter how slow your connection is -- it's
well designed to load fast. Takes between five and ten seconds here.
A page with frames (frames are killer for slow connections) can take
fifteen to thirty seconds to load.
Proxy severs help, because you don't have to actually load the
content, but you still have to check the change dates, and that means
establishing connections, and that means back and forth hand-shaking
at half a second per shot and that means multiple seconds for the
I ask one of my coworkers about the smog. He says its burning trees.
Happens every year, about this time. I think there's an inversion
layer involved, as well as car exhaust. Trees, tress plus cars, trees
and cars and moisture, I have the burning eyes and throat and nose to
prove it ain't just fog.