Wireless connection dropouts in Lucid Lynx

Since my upgrade to Lucid, I have been experiencing dropouts on my wireless connection and since the solutions that I had found on the net did not solve the above problem, I decide to script a temporary fix until it gets fixed in (K)Ubuntu or in the Kernel.

I found that that after I get disconnected if I were to disable wireless or sometimes disconnect and then try to (enable wireless &) connect again I am connected for a random amount of time. I automated this by writing a bash script to check for connectivity to the net and try to reconnect if there is no connection.

This has worked well for me so far and if your are experiencing similar issues, give it a try. The script is available here.

Update: Looks like the wireless dropout issue has been been fixed in Lucid 🙂

DNS Zone File Serial

Today, I came across this error while checking a DNS Zone file for error (I was trying to script the syntax check of a zone file before deploying it onto our production servers):

named-checkzone example.com example.com.zone
dns_rdata_fromtext: example.com.zone:3: near ‘201005051010’: out of range
zone example.com/IN: loading from master file example.com.zone failed: out of range

And, it immediately occurred to me that it was an integer overflow. The system that I was running named-checkzone had a 32bit OS on it and the serial number ‘201005051010’ is bigger than the biggest unsigned 32 bit integer.As our production servers run on a 64bit OS, named-checkzone returned no error for the same zone file there. I was curious and had a look into the RFC here and it turns out there is no real restriction on the integer size for a serial number (contrary to a few articles on the web).

The immediate solution was to do what the RFC recommends: use a 10 digit number for serial of this format YYYYMMDD + a 2 digit revision number instead of the format that we were using(this YYYYMMDDHHMM). That made a lot of sense to me and since we had access to all the slave Name Servers, we could have easily changed the serials to the 10 digit format but, since it was not really up to me and I was too tired to argue about it, I gave up and decided to wait until we get a 64-bit OS before I continued with the script writing.

Lucid Lynx — Downgrading from PHP 5.3

I hit this bug after the upgrade to PHP 5.3 (which happened with my Kubuntu Upgrade to Lucid Lynx). I read in another bug report that this issue was fixed in the latest snaphshot, so I tried compiling from source – using the latest 5.3 snapshot. This didn’t go well, as I hit a seg fault after installation and after about an hour of playing with gdb, I gave up!
So, I had to downgrade to PHP 5.2 ;(. Now lucid repos have 5.3 and I had no idea what to do. Googled around and came across a solution here. That worked. I just had to make sure that each individual php5 package (php5-dev, php5-memcache, php5-curl, etc,.) was listed in the file like this;

Package: php5
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-dev
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

Package: php5-curl
Pin: release a=karmic
Pin-Priority: 991

and so on(try to script the generation of the file).

I was very glad that the designers of apt had made this easy for us! I knew yum had priorities but, I wasn’t aware of a similar solution for apt. Everyday you learn something new 😉