Monday, July 2, 2012

sakis3g command line

is a wonderful bit of kit. Dionisios has obviously spent ages and ages fully documenting a very elegant piece of software. Very well done. Woohoo!
But *nix man pages (and sakis3g man is no exception) tend to have 'way too much information and little or no examples for the beginner. They seem to think that you want a PhD in the subject. 
I don't. I just want it to work. 
The way my head works is that I need a quick intro and demonstration, to get a feel for the beast. Then, after I have basic functionality in place, I will go study the documentation for an access to nirvana. 
Engineers always read the instructions. Cover to cover. But they need a starting concept. Something simple.
The script is elegance supreme. It just works. 
But it "just works" with a GUI with a number of click this click that kind of Microsoftish stuff.
I want a single command line command that will kick it off and let me get on with life.
The following works with thanks to
    sakis3g connect --nostorage --pppd APN="MyAPN, e.g., ppbundle.internet" APN_USER="Myusername" APN_PASS="Mypassword" USBINTERFACE="Mydigit from ttyUSB, e.g., '3'" USBDRIVER="option" OTHER="USBMODEM" USBMODEM="MyUSBmodem_MAC_address_from_lsusb"
Obviously, change My* to Your* throughout...
I've suggested to Dionisios to add some such simple guidance on his wiki, but in the meantime I hope this will help someone else.
But again, meant to be helpful. This is a hugely wonderful bit of kit. Thanks to Dionisios.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Decisions, decisions

It has been a formidable month: gales, hurricanes (sorry, not a named hurricane, just a "mild" 984 mB depression - Category 1 hurricane by any book), et al.

As a result I've only gotten from London to Littlehampton in three weeks and have only a week left before having to go back to work.

I'd like to make Southsea, Chichester or somewhere else, preferably with a pub, greengrocer, fishmonger, and butcher within walking distance.

Premier do good work, but sort of a one-size-fits-all. We enjoyed Eastbourne, but there is nothing there except the marina and an ASDA and some other mall type shops without a thirty minute bus ride....

Emsworth is lovely, except they don't have room for me. Ditto for Arundel/Ford Ship and Anchor.

Bosham was lovely too, except no shops and no marina.

Littlehampton is pleasant and will do, but the the river current is fierce, as is the tide and the flotsam and jetsam. I can find a berth at the marina, but it is still on the outside by the river, so am concerned about moorings, flotsam, jetsam, etc.

I've discovered the MCA river classification site, wonderful.

As we have gone up the Thames almost to Oxford I know that I can handle the Arun Class B river, except nobody lives there with a dock...

Chichester and Northney marinas are HUGE, so I fear that I would only be a number, and as I can't stay here that wouldn't do without special concern on the part of staff. Southsea might be better, but it depends.

Time is short, so even if I could carry on to the Solent then the prices are horrible, so better to go to Poole or beyond, but there isn't time for that.

So I must stop short: either Langstone Harbour (somewhere) or Arun.

So in short, what would you do? Comments welcome.

Interesting day...

Pilgrim and I are in Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK, berthed along the town wharf.

This summer has established a pattern valid for at least the past three weeks: You get to go to sea for a day, then the gales whirl in and you stay put for four days or so until the next window opens to go a bit farther.

Oh! and you have to meet the tide windows, with some 30 feet of tide...

Not for nothing is the English Channel formidable...

So under this protocol shipmate Mike and I made London to Eastbourne, mileage-wise about four days in thirteen days. So we were lucky. I have now gotten on another day in six on my own. So I have time for about one more try.

Now the problem is cost. Here is reasonable, next is not. So we'll prolly stay put.

But, back to the subject:

As I was sitting having my morning coffee I see this thirty-something-foot sailboat hurtling at my amidships. Remember, we are having force 5-6 winds. So I go topside and just as I think he is going to T-bone me (He'd lose, we're 20 tons of steel, he is five tons of plastic) he tacked on starboard and glided into the slip ahead, dropped the main, feathered the jib, and (almost) stopped. All in about 30 seconds.


But he was on his own, so I went up and helped him stop and secure the boat.

His face was bloody, as was one hand. He is a Dutchman my age or prolly about five years older.

He had gone out enroute Chichester (Beaufort force 5-6 means 25-30 knot winds... Google is your friend).

He had dropped the sails and was trying to use the motor to get back into port. He has an outboard motor on a contraption that failed, and the motor jumped out of the brackets and was dangling by its fuel lines...

Bad karma.

So anyhow, gave him a coffee, told him about Screwtape and he proceeded to clean up stuff.

I then went shopping and came home, did a G&T and had all the dinner sous chef stuff done, when Her Majesty's Coast Guard Search and Rescue team and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) came knocking on the hull. "Sorry to bother, but we're bringing in a boat, would you mind terribly if we berth her alongside you, as there is no other space at the quay?"

Of course not, knock yourself out.

So yet another drama ensued. Another fellow my age or older who had chosen to go to sea in a Force 5-6 gale with his elderly wife and (guess: daughter and son-in-law, but that might be reversed) had gotten a lobster pot wrapped around his rudder.

So, m' aidez, RNLI dashed out and towed him in alongside.

Rather embarrassed, but proceeded to don wetsuit and dive and remove the offending appurtenances (a bunch of rope and a float...) at 9PM at night...

Only Englishmen, mad dogs, (and Dutchmen)....

Well it's almost 10 PM and none of them have emerged, neither the English nor the Dutchman. So presumably they are recovering from their adrenaline overdoses...

Crazy? Maybe, but a whole heck better than staying in Swansea and watching TV for your entire life.

As for me, I believe in the English adage: "Gentlemen never go to weather. It spills the champagne."

So Pilgrim shall reside in either Littlehampton or Chichester, prolly the former.