I had one of those living in the future and being connected is gnarly moments today. I run with clothing, fitness trackers, phone, head phones and keys, and I fixed internet access for a company today. Gnarly I can do that with so little, kind of sad that even out in the woods running I am available. – I’m going to focus on the awesome fix things super power I had today; with a few tools, in the middle of no where – I solved an impacting customer issue today.
Internet is down – can you hear me now?
11:06 today, about 1/2 mile into my run Tony sends me a text message. Tony is the lead Dev at my oldest customer. Thinking about it, I’ve been doing IT support for them for over a decade now. Anyhow, Tony is in my VIP contacts on my Iphone, thusly, his texts show up on my apple watch, and are there it distract me, if I want to be distracted while running.
11:06 – Are you working on our network? Phones are up but the rest of the internet is down. Weird.
This is where living in the future is kind of curse. I’m in the woods, running in the mud next to a creek, no one else in sight, and my attention has now been stolen by a customer in need of assistance. Do I keep running? stop and call them? turn around and go back to my car to be in a better place to help? or tell them good luck I am running for an hour.
My apple watch lets me voice to text respond to people. Figured a response is cheap, so I yelled at my watch and texted Tony back telling him I was running and I just got a server down alert from there that showed up on my Fitbit Blaze. I asked him to check that server. Waiting for his response I went for a 90 second hard run; figured I might as well do interval running today. 11:19 Tony texts back telling me the server down was a DPM server and should not be the problem.
Trouble Shooting / Thinking – From Tony’s first text I know a few things. He says phones are working. The phones are VOIP phones to a cloud provider; which means SIP connectivity / base TCP is working. I don’t know how long the phones cache DNS for, so the first thing to check is DNS. I texted Tony back asking him to check to DNS. My voice to texted did not come out right. I asked him to ping woot.com –
11:20 – DNS working can you like kingwood.com and get result
Mutter, LES, that is not woot.com or helpful. I just finished another interval and it is time to walk for 2 minutes. Out comes my phone and I RDP in a data center where the customer has presense and I have an RDP server. From there I RDP to the building Tony is in over VPN tunnel. VPN tunnel works great, showing TCP is working. VPN is IPSEC based on hard coded IP addresses; no DNS involved. I ping a few places and DNS appears to be working – this is odd.
After sending Tony a screen shot of DNS working. I sent him a picture of my current office. It’s pretty awesome being able to RDP to servers from a bridge over a creek in the woods.
My next move was to check a website myself to see if it was indeed not working, and sure enough, web pages are not loading. We know DNS is working locally. We also know connecting from the DNS to the internet to look up zones is working. How do we know this? I pinged pornhub.com hoping / mostly knowing it was not in the local cache, and knowing it as 5 minute TTL on the DNS zone. I not just a perv, I used logic there to test more than one thing at a time, and add a cute easter egg to a screen shot.
Time to stop looking and reboot something
Figured next simplest thing to check while running ts the PFSENSE gateway box / internet NAT gateway thing the customer uses. And by check, I mean fuck it, reboot the thing. Because big hammer reboot is simpler then looking at anything. PFsesnse says 120 seconds to reboot. Awesome. Time for another hard run interval, but first I better send Tony another picture of where I am at.
After my interval I look at RDP on the phone again and check a few websites – BAM! woot and amazon are loading now. No, I did not use pornhub as a web test. I like woot as my web test. Look there -I’ve saved the day. At 11:34 I text Tony – Looks better and add a screen shot.
After sending the screen shot I took off for a hard run interval to another water fall . When I hit my walking time I chcked to see if Tony confirmed we were all up and working. 11:36 Tony texts me back. Thanks. We’re up. – I responded back with Sweet back to my run, and sent him one more picture of a water fall.
Tony, being brilliant, sends me one last text with a perfect current events reference
11:47 -Glad to see you have clothes on unlike other micosoft jogger.