[Rack] robot IP address still not working

Ben Kochie ben at nerp.net
Tue May 1 15:29:06 PDT 2012

Have fun, I'm done helping.


On Tue, 1 May 2012, Jake wrote:

> i will personally escort the vyatta box off the premises if you can describe 
> it well enough for me to locate it.  you might as well start setting up the 
> bsd router now because i will eventually find and do-ocratically remove the 
> vyatta thing.
> port forwarding won't bbe enough for several reasons.  one is that this is a 
> development machine, meaning that the whole POINT is for users to be able to 
> open any kind of connection they want, any time, in either direction.  NOT 
> spend all night trying to get port forwarding to work on a new service.  and 
> i dont want to have to create a new login on pony for every user of the 
> robot.  it is its own machine on the internet.  its connections should not be 
> mediated by another machine like pony.
> ben doesn't even respond to this issue anymore.  please just go ahead and 
> reinstate the bsd router.
> -jake
> On Tue, 1 May 2012, Jonathan Lassoff wrote:
>> On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:08 PM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>>> It has been over six months since the robot wheelchair had an IP address.
>>> Work on the robot has basically stopped since then, because there is no
>>> way to get into it from the outside world.
>>> I do not have the ability to do anything about this myself, because the
>>> network at noisebridge is way too complicated for me to be able to do
>>> anything close to what I would have to do.  The most I can handle is
>>> setting up a router at a house with DSL, and turning on DMZ mode.
>>> Otherwise I would have done it myself by now.
>>> Since the robot can no longer be accessed from the outside world, all
>>> development on it has stopped.  It is frozen in time since the moment its
>>> umbilicus to the world was ruthlessly cut.
>>> It is almost too late to get it to a point where it's worth taking to
>>> maker faire.  It doesn't do anything new.  A lot of scripts are not
>>> working and need massaging to get them back into order.
>>> People have told me to use SSH port forwarding, but then they were unable
>>> to get it to work themselves, and there's extra lag because it has to pass
>>> through another machine.  It's not a solution at all.  Even if I could do
>>> it I wouldn't be able to explain it to the developers whose work I solicit
>>> on the robot.  It's not an option.
>>> I don't understand why it's impossible to give the robot an IP address.
>> I really want this to work again, too. I really do.
>> It's because of this Vyatta router that SuperQ put in. Its
>> configuration for NAT services doesn't actually seem to apply and do
>> what it should. It's Linux, but the management portion of things is
>> closed source. So, I've hit a point where I can't dive any deeper into
>> the problem.
>> There's an additional problem wherein the translated address needed to
>> get assigned to the external interface, but sshd is bound to *,
>> meaning the SSH daemon of the router was picking up, instead of NATing
>> stuff to MC Hawking.
>> I could "fix" the underlying configuration on the Linux kernel, but
>> that takes the configuration out of the Vyatta CLI, which I perceive
>> as the only real advantage to the Vyatta box.
>> I for one, would like to bring back the OpenBSD router. It worked well
>> for years, and was replaced because ....well, I don't really recall
>> why SuperQ had such zeal for a Linux router. I think the general
>> impression was that OpenBSD was "different" and users didn't want to
>> have to learn it to get stuff done.
>> Perhaps those that like the Vyatta box can speak as to why it's a win
>> for Noisebridge.
>> Jake -- based on our previous discussion, it sounds like all you
>> wanted was inbound (externally-initiated, landing on the robot as the
>> destination) SSH. If that's all, then we can easily forward you a port
>> from Pony or Minotaur. Connections to that port would just get
>> transparently masqueraded into MC Hawking instead.
>> Are there any special protocols you want to have talking into and out
>> of the robot?
>> My suggestion about tunneling still stands, though. Adding a daemon on
>> MC Hawking that transparent forward robot-hosted IP services into a
>> Internet-connected machine would be the best all-around solution.
>> That way, it can even be driven around, via cellular or foreign
>> Internet-connected WiFi networks and still be spoken to in the same
>> fashion.
>> I don't know where others have fallen in getting this to happen, but
>> I'd like to see it work. I'm willing to help develop whatever tooling
>> is necessary.
>> --j

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