Dude, Where’s My Internet?

Broken Internet ConnectionSo tonight, I decided to try the most obvious use case for the CloudBook, simple wireless Web surfing. I curled up on the couch with the CloudBook while I was watching a little TV. One of my cats came over and lay at my feet and I started poking around the Internet looking for a bargain on a new digital camcorder (filming the CloudBook has revealed that my camcorder sucks). I was having a good go of it for about half an hour and then, out of nowhere, the Internet connection died. I say the Internet connection died, because I was no longer able to pull up any Web sites. However, the CloudBook still indicated that I was connected to my wireless network and it’s clear that the Internet connectivity in my house was unaffected, because my wife was listening to Internet radio the entire time. I shut down the CloudBook and took a break. Later, I started the CloudBook again and surfed the Web from the same couch for a long time without incident. Oh, and this couch is about five feet from the router. All weekend long, this machine has been baffling me. Just when I think I have it figured out, it does something wrong that I didn’t expect and can’t reproduce. It’s really hard to report on this system, because it’s just so unpredictable. This morning when I was filming the boot up, twice it gave me “daemon failed to start” errors and then refused to show the dock. I’d reboot and the problem would go away until the next time. This happened maybe two out of five times I booted it and then not again since. The thing has a mind of its own.


Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the updates. The Avant Window Manager they used for the dock is very buggy–I’ve used it myself in other Linux distros. Not quite sure why they abandoned the Enlightenment window manager, which has a native dock. This whole thing seems slapped together at the last minute.

  2. MikeZ Says:

    The connection problem seems like flaky DNS service, or thermal problems.
    The other problems might be thermal problems but there are add-on file system layers that are known
    to get flaky at times giving the same symptoms. Can’t draw any conclusions without access to the machine.

    Are there any hints to what is failing in the various logs in /var/log? Anything strange in /var/log/dmesg?

  3. Mike Cane Says:

    Thing is, you’ve already stated — or Everex has — that you have non-final software on that machine. Is that correct? Perhaps those bugs were shaken out it an incremental release since?

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