Oh great. I have experienced random hangups of my Laptop recently, and I had absolutely no clue what caused them, even after a reboot and looking into the logfiles. Today, after another hangup/crash I think I found the problem (but not the solution):
May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: sky2 eth0: tx timeout May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: x45 [sky2] May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: [pg0+943960755/1069376512] sky2_poll+0x469/0x548 [sky2] May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: [pg0+953407031/1069376512] nv_kern_isr+0x31/0x63 [nvidia] May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: [net_rx_action+82/199] net_rx_action+0x52/0xc7 May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: [__do_softirq+52/125] __do_softirq+0x34/0x7d May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: [do_softirq+34/38] do_softirq+0x22/0x26 May 16 00:08:35 localhost kernel: [irq_exit+41/52] irq_exit+0x29/0x34 May 16 00:44:32 localhost syslogd 1.4.1#17.2: restart. May 16 00:44:32 localhost kernel: klogd 1.4.1#17.2, log source = /proc/kmsg started.
Note that I could do absolutely nothing on the laptop anymore, no moving the mouse, no typing on the keyboard, no switching from X11 into a text console, no CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE to kill X11, no CTRL+ALT+DELETE to reboot, nothing.
I guess I'll have to file a bugreport somewhere...
We had the idea to try to run a wireless ad-hoc network. So we did. In just a few minutes Daniel configured his Powerbook (or iBook? I don't know for sure) for ad-hoc networking, and I did the same on my Debian-based shiny new Toshiba Satellite A80-117.
I added the following lines to my
auto eth1 iface eth1 inet static address 192.168.0.19 netmask 255.255.255.0 wireless_mode ad-hoc wireless_essid foobar wireless_channel 11
Then I issued
/etc/init.d/networking restart and that was it. We could ping each other, ssh between our boxes, exchange files, chat, play networked games, whatever.
Although this is probably nothing new for most of you, it was the first time I tried it, and I was really amazed at how painlessly it was to configure and even more that it Just Worked(tm) out of the box. We were travelling a few meters under the earth, no cell phone connections possible, and still could do any networking stuff we liked. Call me easy to impress, but somehow that's just plain amazing.