My name is Anton Olsen. This is my site.

I have been involved with, and excited about computers since the late 70s.  I am currently working as a web guy at Innovation First, International.  Most of our projects are written in PHP, but I'm comfortable with many languages, including Python, Bash, a little Perl, C, and might be able to code my way out of a paper bag with Ruby.

Design, specifically web and graphics design are both something that I tinker with in my spare time. I am not a great designer, but I have produced some nice looking sites and understand the use of WC3 standards, CSS, and XHTML. I prefer to leave the graphics work to an artist, but can get by with The Gimp if needed.  I am a Linux person and haven't used Windows with any regularity since mid 1999.  Currently I'm running Ubuntu on my desktop, laptop, and tablet computer. I'm completely at home with RedHat, Fedora, and SuSe and have tried most of the major Linux distributions.

I don't really have any plans for this site. Just like me, the focus here will likely flit from one interest to another.  Often hovering around web stuff, photography, electronics, robots, food, and occasionally kayaking.

I also write for Wired's GeekDad blog.  We are a loosely organized group of writers from around the world who write about being geeks and dads.  GeekDad has turned out to be a lot of fun.  I love the creative outlet and being an official member of the media has allowed me to go places I couldn't before.

You can probably find out more about me at these sites:

At IFI we produce 3 distinct product lines.  Rack Solutions provides two and four post telco and computer equipment racks, rails, shelves, and accessories.  We have a series of toolless products that makes installing equipment a snap, literally.  VEX Robotics are a line of educational robotics kits and accessories.  We also plan and coordinate the VEX Robotics Competition.  And last, but not least, HEXBUGs are a fun and inexpensive toy.  You can probably find them locally at a Radio Shack store, or online at hexbug.com.

If you want to contact me, leave a comment on a post, or email me at anton at this domain.

9 thoughts on “About

  1. I have a Verizon PC5740 works fine in XP, RHEL4 ES does not. Have done the Ken thing, and I just get error messages from the ppp connect.

    And it seems no one knows how to make this thing work and then posts answers. If you have a tip or two, I’d appreciate it.

  2. Check dmesg to see which device is being created. Usually /dev/ttyACM[01] or /dev/ttyUSB[01].

    Make sure that device is in your /etc/ppp/peers/1xevdo file and that you have an appropriate chat file configured.

    Run “pppd call 1xevdo” manually and in a seperate terminal, tail -f /var/log/messages to see what it does.

    If it complains about device not found then the serial port is wrong or the module didn’t load.

    Most other errors could indicate that your chat script isn’t quite right.

  3. I have the same problem on my dual-boot Toshiba laptop. The device ttyACM01 is created but when I run “ppd call 1xevdo”, one of the first lines that shows in “tail -f /var/log/messages” says the device is locked by PID so and so and then everything subsequent fails. What should I do from here?

    I’ve tried to get this working under Xandros unsuccessfull and have high hopes for Ubunto (at least the card lights up!). ANY suggestions would be appreciated. I hate to return to Win XP but if I can’t get this card to work (installed and worked 1st time under XP) I’ll have to.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Check to see which PID has it locked, might be that pppd is getting started automatically by something else.

    “ps auwx” gives a ton of info about what’s running and who owns the process, the second column is the PID.

    Be sure you’re using the correct device. Two are created, but only the first is usable by pppd. The other is believed to be what the official software uses to flash the firmware and monitor signal strength while connected.

    If you can tell me what process is using the modem I might be able to give you more advice.

  5. Thanks much for your speedy reply! I REALLY appreciate folks who are willing to help noob converts to Linux.

    Anyway, between when I left the 1st message and now, I did some fiddling. The error PID lock error is now gone and now I get connected:

    Connect: ppp0 /dev/ttyUSB0

    BUT, immediately after, I get the message:

    GConf server is not in use, shutting down

    Now, if I had any clue as to what a Gconf server was, I might know why it was important. I find no reference to such a thing in my “The Official Ubuntu Book”. Perhaps this new error will shed some light for YOU, I hope?

    Thanks again!!


  6. Hi, Anton-

    Another update: I got rid of the “GConf” error by remembering to add the ohci-hcd module.

    NOW, the error is:

    LCP: Timeout Sending Config.Requests

    I’ll stop now so you’re not shooting at a moving target. Its just that I wasted over 2 months waiting for Xandros support to help with no results. You wouldn’t think this would be such a big thing- the fact that it is may mean that Linux may not be ready to challenge Windows just yet. That’s a shame, too, with WIN Vista looming large and lots of us wanting to ditch Windows entirely right about now.

    Thanks again for your help!

    Mike Ostrowsky

  7. I’d suspect that your chat script is declaring connect before you’re actually connected.

    The AT_CSQ? line is just to log the signal strength. I think for the PC5740 I had to remove the ? for it to work.

    TIMEOUT 120
    ” ‘ATZ’
    ‘OK’ ‘AT&F0’
    ‘OK’ ‘ATE0V1’
    ” ‘AT+CSQ?’
    ‘OK’ ‘ATDT#777’

    Some of the chat scripts I’ve seen didn’t include the wait for the CONNECT string and any errors spit out by the modem will be lost.

    If you’re using Verizon, be sure your user is set correctly with your phone number in the pppd options file. (The file with the device, etc)

  8. Hi again, Anton-

    I discovered my problem. It is that I am a DUMMY! DUMMy!! DUMMY!!! I never really looked at my /dev listing, but rather just jumped into the Ken Kinder stuff and started trying to solve problems.

    Had I looked, I would have seen /dev/ttyACM0 ready and waiting as soon as the PC5740 was plugged in. Well, today I discovered that and changed the ttyUSB0 to ttyACM0 in the /etc/ppp/peers/1xefdo file using the chat file you suggested trying and I connected to the Internet immediatedly. No unexpected terminations, good high speed connection, the whole nine yards.

    Thanks for your multiple suggestions to help me. Now, on a related subject, is the FUSE program stable yet? The really big claim to fame in Xandros (my first Linux distro) was that it read and wrote NTFS files in the Windows partition apparently without any additional software. I tried it and it worked flawlessly. Unfortunately, I couln’t connect to the Internet under Xandros. Any way I can reliably get that functionality in Ubuntu?

    Thanks again for your previous help. Linux gurus are much friendlier than their Windows counterparts…


    Mike Ostrowsky

  9. Pingback: BeagleBone Black and “Sounds of the Night:” Installment 4 of 7 | Volt Vision

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