Happy 10th bloggy birthday to me


I noticed today it’s coming up for 10 years since my first ever blog post – and it was an apology!

Well I set this Blog up many months ago just to see how it all worked. Then promptly ignored it for ages. But I’ve had a resergence of interest, particularly because I keep seeing things I want to make comment on, or make note of. My daytime job involves me in online publishing of paid subscription content, focussing on people working in the arts and entertainment industry. As part of that I’m the webmaster and main programmer for a number of large content-rich sites, and I also write an occasional column published on one of the sites, highlighting issues revolving around technology and the internet in the arts industry.

The two main sites my company publishes are Arts Hub Australia and Arts Hub UK. My column is called ‘Click to Start’. Behind the scenes I program, generally large, web sites specialising in content management and publishing, subscriber management and email distribution.

I posted this on 26 November 2003, what feels like a lifetime ago – indeed it is, our youngest child was born in 2006, so my blog is three years older than her.

367 posts and 10 years later I am not sure I am any more enlightened. Just older and greyer, whilst a little like Dorian Gray and thanks to WordPress’ continual improvement the blog looks better and better.

puTTY SSH connections dropping when on wifi instead of ethernet


I use puTTY to create SSH tunnel connections to servers, and usually have the connection up all day. Recently I’ve been plagued with puTTY losing the connection every 15 or 20 minutes – all because I moved to wifi instead of a wired connection. It’s because I bought a new MacBook Pro, which doesn’t have a standard ethernet port, a small fact I didn’t realise so I didn’t buy an adaptor. Plus my family was probably becoming a little bored with the blue network cable hanging down the stairs from our cable router to my study – makes the place look untidy.

I already had keep alives configured in puTTY:

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 9.19.46 AM

After some research I came across this post ‘Why Windows 7 / PuTTY drop TCP connections even on very brief outages?‘ which seemed to mirror my own experience to some extent.

I took a look at my Windows registry, and did not see the TcpMaxDataRetransmissions parameter, so added it in with a value of 15 (the superuser post suggests 15, the linked FAQ on the puTTY web site says 10).


With this change my connection remained up for a couple of hours, and then died, a darn sight better than the previous habit of dropping a couple of times every hour – except this time puTTY doesn’t report the connection as dropped, it looks fine, I just can’t reach anything at the other end of the tunnel.

I decided to fiddle with the puTTY keepalive, and changed it from 30 seconds to 15 seconds, over the past day or two I’m seeing 3 or 4 hours uptime. Interestingly, I only notice when I try to connect to a server and receive a timeout message, previously puTTY would say it was disconnected, now it seems to think the session is still current.

All in all good progress. When I have some time I’ll play with the configuration some more. I haven’t even got to looking at whether there is a setting on my  wifi router that might be to blame.