I finally took some days off. Those are most needed, since I spent carnival on call at the hospital (argh!)… So Brenda and I decided to spend those days at Maceio, capital of Alagoas state, and a very anticipated vacation. They have a lot of sun and beautiful beaches, enough to fill our week (and get some tan also).
This picture was taken at “Praia do Gunga” (Gunga’s Beach), a charming place with a calm shore, almost like a pool, protected by natural reefs. As you can see, I am having a bad time right now 🙂
Food is excellent, so are the people. But there are some inconveniences (as always). Beaches around downtown are not proper for bathing… They’re fighting a long fight against pollution (and loosing, if you ask me)… Also, Alagoas is a poor state… Our guide said alphabetization covers less than 70% of the people…
Also, network connection is expensive in hotels. Ours charges BRL 1,00 every 5 minutes! And the speed is not the best. They have one of those systems requiring a web authentication before you go. I’ve seem people complaining about this kind of system in Planet Debian before (reference please!) and suggesting Tunneling over DNS as a “fix”. I’ve noticed it would work in our hotel, but I decided to try another approach I’ve already written about: just a quick tunnel over an ssh connection.
I know I told you I needed an authentication before, but that is for the first connection! Yes, once the connection is established, I could just log out (thus stop the charging). No new connections could be made, but the tunnel was already up, so just put everything through the tunnel and I should be fine right? Wrong. I got bitten by a drawback of the technique already pointed in a comment when I first wrote about it: in an error-prone network, TCP-in-TCP slowly dies of attempting to correct itself over and over… and I was using a poorly connected wi-fi (loosing almost 30% of the packets!).
So, I was left with the set-up of a not foreseen tunnel using DNS as the only option… This would take time (and money)… So I decided for a simpler approach: SOCKS proxy. Yes, everything I would do could be done through a SOCKS! So a simple:
bash$ ssh -D 8888 my.remote.location
was all that I needed. That and setting my Firefox to use a SOCKS proxy on localhost:8888 and all went fine. I paid to set-up the tunnel then, once established, I logged out and kept using my tunnel all this time. Simple and effective, and I got some time left to blog about it. 🙂