Talk:2259: Networking Problems

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 02:01, 27 January 2020 by (talk) (It's not lag, it's latency)
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I just had an issue the other day with copying disk images to a network drive using smbclient on Linux Mint. The transfer would only run at 1 to 2 MB/s. Then I discovered that if I opened the mounted drive in the GUI file explorer and refreshed the directory where I was copying the image to, it would consistently cause the copy operation to jump to 40 to 60 MB/s and stay there for the rest of the operation. I concluded that smbclient must run on actual sorcery. Aaron Rotenberg (talk) 18:02, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Sounds like the explorer is able to create some sort of cache that the transfer is able to use but not create. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:36, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
The original smbclient implementation turned out to be virtually impossible, so the programmers gave up and used import_ai(). Unfortunately they then used ai_solve(network.problems,0,0) to set the maliciousness and capriciousness variables to zero, but a combination of off-by-one and roll-over errors mean that these two variables are maximized. True story. Cosmogoblin (talk) 09:39, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, can confirm that even the high end of 'normal computer problems' can result in belief in the occult and/or paranormal operation of computers. I now attempt to moderate my brainwaves into positive only flow to make sure I do not negatively effect the computer through quantum effects on the bits and operation. If i get frustrated or confused by the computer for an extended time, i put it down and walk away until I have more of a 'can do' attitude. Then of coarse there was that time that.... it may be too late for me, but there are puzzling computer problems to explore so I... remember me as I was. ~Litppunk 18:26, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Yeah. Life changed, memory lost. Still trying to fix bugs. Are you available to connect over this? 22:04, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

"Ghosts generally are not concerned with expressions of belief, but there are some religious traditions that include group clapping and chanting." - I don't think the hover text is related to the ghosts. They seem just like two separate unbelievable things. "Perhaps the ghost in question is the Holy Ghost." - I doubt that is what he is referring to, especially since it is plural 'ghosts' and the Holy Ghost is singular. Curtobi4 (talk) 18:44, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Clearly seems related to 1457, albeit with much more advanced tech issues. --GoldNinja (talk) 19:18, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Clapping hands and saying you believe in fairys is how you prevent Tinkerbell from Dying when you watch Peter Pan. -- (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yeah, the interactive part of the play/movie/comix. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:36, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Pareidolia (one of my least favorite words because I can't spell it well enough to google for the correct spelling) is a definite problem for the human brain - we habitually spot patterns where they don't exist. But the problem for software engineers is that spotting patterns that DO exist is how you find bugs. So distinguishing between real patterns and pareidolia ('i' before 'e' except after 'c'...and 'r'...sometimes...) is a vital part of the job. Clearly Cueball has that problem here. SteveBaker (talk) 20:48, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

I know it's hyperbole, but are there any actual networking problems that could cause every other packet to be laggy? Blacksilver (talk) 21:17, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Nothing I can think of you'd ever do in a production setup on purpose, but with some really crazy port-channel settings, with the right kind of tiny packets like a SYN, and a downstream bridge or repeater to add in some intentional delay, I think you could. Never underestimate the power of a sufficiently motivated netadmin. DevAudio (talk) 22:55, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

The classic 500-mile bug: "We can't send mail more than 500 miles"

I'm legally required to link The Story Of Mel and A story about 'magic' Blacksilver (talk) 12:28, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

While I don't believe that ghosts have power over computers, I do believe that many of the seemingly random "hiccups" in my computer programs are caused by sunspots. Rtanenbaum (talk) 22:52, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Disagree strongly that this has anything to do with seeing patterns where they don't exist. Modern network troubleshooting tools will show you exactly the order that packets were received, and the time they were received at. Although it would be hard to induce the problem described, if it were induced, you could indeed see it quite clearly and objectively in a packet capture. This comic is more about some of the brain-breakingly twisted ways networking can go awry and all the impossible things it can make you want to believe in the quest to make sense of what we are seeing. DevAudio (talk) 23:02, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

I will correct myself slightly - it would seem from the mouseover text that he is finding a false pattern, but it's not impossible for what he said to be true, it would just require laboratory conditions and someone playing a prank. He could also be seeing a real pattern with some kind of crazy cause involving a sound transducer and either EMI or some intentional sabotage. Yeah, that's waaaay off in left field, but so is the network data Cueball may be actually be seeing. On the whole, I would not fight someone who chose to believe Cueball is seeing a false pattern with the clapping. It's a reasonable interpretation for anyone who hasn't seen the insane things I have when troubleshooting networks. I HAVE seen ghost packets. (It was a weird glitch causing a switch to replay packets from hosts that weren't even connected anymore, not actual paranormal activity.) DevAudio (talk) 23:34, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, I don't think lag is about how long transmission of a packet takes, which is instead referred to as network delay. Furthermore, from the referenced Wikipedia page, network delay is experienced in each "hop" of the data packet from node to node and includes the following delays: processing delay (time to process the packet header), queuing delay (time packet spends in routing queue), transmission delay (time to push the packet onto the link), and propagation delay (time to travel to destination based on the speed of the link). IMHO, a laggy network connection is one where the network delay is longer than normal due to a temporary problem in one or more of these areas. A connection that is always slow because of low link bandwidth is not laggy, it's just slow. Others may disagree with me. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 03:02, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Lag is an application-layer concept (being the time from a user doing something to trigger an action to when the effects of that action start to be observed). The network-layer equivalent is latency and it is one of the fundamental limits on what you can do with remote resources (and the one that is very hard to do anything about, unlike bandwidth where you can just get more by spending money). -- 02:01, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi. Isn't Randall using the scale in the wrong direction? I mean "normal problems" make your brain stop working if you debug them "none" to "some" while "Networking problems" only make your brain stop working if you debug them "a lot". If I am wrong. In what way should I read the axis? thx OK-Randall (talk) 09:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

It's not a measure of "how much debugging" causes your brain to stop working, but instead is a measure of "how much your brain stops working" when debugging them. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 14:04, 26 January 2020 (UTC)