Archive for March, 2010

Last post!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Hi all,

This is the last post on the fonosfera… before the next release!

We are right now (while I write these lines here), fixing the last bugs in the list for this release. They all seem to be under control. This has been possible thanks to the testers Alexandre, Marco, Juan Manuel, Cristian and others. And of course all the others that have been reporting bugs. Thanks a lot to all.

So, please, stay tuned, we will very very very soon have a new firmware for you guys. Only remember, we’ve been focusing on connectivity: making the router work as a router. Other bugs will be fixed in coming releases.

Some said it’s better… let’s see if all think the same!

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Hi guys, new firmware around the corner.

But we need more testing now. We have done tests with some volunteers that we are so thankful for, but now we need more feedback. We are releasing a Release Candidate for 2.3.6.0 soon.

It is not a final image: We don’t consider it stable and it has bugs that we expect to fix when the final 2.3.6.0 is released. However we feel it is now ready for some field testing.

So, what should you expect from this test firmware?

  • The FON Hotspot feature has been fixed. You can share your WiFi again at your will.
  • We have fixed the WiFi issues that the Fonera was having with the BCM4325 chipset from broadcom. This WiFi chipset is used by the iPhone 3Gs, many last generation iPods, some Apple laptops and desktops and other brands (Dell etc).
  • We have been in close touch with RaLink, our chipset vendor, to make sure the WiFi configuration is the best possible. In previous versions we had a couple of values that were not completely optimized. Now the WiFi conf should be the best.
  • Improvements in the 3G system: we have made some internal cleanups so the 3G configuration is cleaner. For instance, you can now reset the 3G configuration when it’s dialing, in case it seems to be stuck.
  • We have replaced the software that controlled the 3G dongles with “usb_modeswitch”: a software that will allow us support many more 3G dongles and will make it easier as well. This doesn’t mean all units will work out of the box but many will and others will be easy to fix in the near future.

These are the things you might miss:

  • We have removed the “Repeater Mode” or WiFi-WAN mode. It was unstable and until we find out why, if ever, it will be switched off.
  • Torrent, DLManager, Samba etc. have had no changes. As we said many times, we will first try to make the base system (mainly connectivity) as stable and reliable as possible.

These are things we know are wrong:

  • MAC OSX 10.6 seems to have issues with the 802.11d protocol (country code exchange protocol) over 802.11n. What does it entail: when WiFi is enabled in OSX, it will listen to any APs around. The first one that sends a message containing a country code, will determine the country selection of OSX. Once a country is selected, OSX will refuse to connect to APs advertising different country codes.
    How does this affect users? The Fonera is broadcasting US as the country code. If you live in Europe and your OSX gets a frame from a different AP saying it’s in Spain, for instance, then it will refuse to connect to the Fonera since it is in a different country (US).
    This bug is not Fonera exclusive, (seeĀ http://discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10500601) it happens to OSX with any AP that has a ‘wrong’ country code. We will very likely add a dropdown menu so the user can chose what country the AP is in.
  • MAC OSX (other OSes not confirmed yet) seems to get micro-disconnections from time to time. We are still studying this issue.

When can you expect to test this new test firmware?

Well… we are aiming for next week. Can’t promise yet but it looks like we might be able to have it cleaned up and ready for you guys to test. Please, bear in mind it will be a test version and only those who feel confident (or desperate enough) should try it :)

Thanks for reading all the way down to here!

One more short update about the Fonera 2.0n

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Hi all,

We have successfully tested some of the fixes today (or so we think so) and have an image almost ready for user testing. We have selected a set of users that have been reporting FON bugs consistently and in a comprehensible way in the last months to us. Also, they have experienced most of the important bugs that have been reported, so are good candidates to represent most of the rest.

Those users will be helping us test the firmware in the field. If you are not in that list, please forgive us and be patient. More users means more feedback (better), we know, but also much more coordination work. So, please understand we wanted a kind of reduced and well selected set of testers.

We still are working on some fixes, so what they will test is not meant to be a pre-final firmware, but an advanced stage firmware, with some important fixes. We can advance there is no major changes, don’t expect a cool super-fancy firmware, but just what we considered the most critical bugs (wifi connectivity, fonspot, stability, some 3g dongles support…) fixed.

How long will they be testing? Well, that depends on how good we made our work till now. Hopefully one week approximately should do it. Meanwhile we will keep working on the still open bugs and hopefully have a ‘final-to-be’ firmware ready for them by next week. Let’s cross fingers!

These users are, of course, free to talk about their findings about this new firmware with the rest of the community. They can blog, post, twit, comment, share on IRC… whatever they want.

Stay tuned and thanks again for your patience and trust!!