MTU f**k you

So a few months ago I replaced my cable model internet connection with an ADSL connection from my company.

It meant I had to use the company’s ADSL route on the front-end and my wireless router acting as a wireless bridge and switch.

Then I noticed my PPTP VPN’s were broken. One would disconnect in under 5 seconds, the other would last a few minutes then the connection would be dropped (i.e. I could not brown sites, fetch mail or IM) but the VPN would still be “connected”.

Initially I thought the problem was the two routers. But a quick check directly from the primary router discounted that. I hd the same behaviour via wireless or ethernet on the primary router.

My console log (I am using OSX Lion) showed some weird things in pptp.log, for example hundreds of entries after the connection dropped saying :

        Protocol-Reject for unsupported protocol 0x9264

After checking that Tunnelblick was not causing problem, stopping virtual interfaces, stopping the bonjour service and stopping ESET anti-virus, I stumbled upon the solution:

Change the MTU size on the device.

My new ADSL router could not handle a PPTP connection with an MTU of 1500. Setting MTU to 1450 on both the wireless and ethernet adapters 1450 fixed it. On OSX you find the MTU settings under System Preferences –> Network –> Select adapter (e.g. wireless or ethernet) –> Advanced — Hardware.

Putting this out there in case it helps someone else.

July 1st is Quiz Night!!

Amaze yourself with how much inane trivia you really do know!!!

What: Belgrade Foreign Visitors Club – “Pub Quiz”
When: Friday, 01 July, 7.30pm
Where: Sports Cafe (Makendonska 4)

Come along and have a few laughs, meet new people and give the ‘grey matter’ a bit of a work-out.
The night will be a lot of fun and it will be the last time that “Peter the Griller” runs the quiz, so let’s give him a great BGFVC send off!!!!!

· Great prizes (prize for best team name too!)
· Register your team (4-6 people) OR if you want to meet new people why not register as an individual as we will match you with others.
· Please register by MIDDAY Thursday (30 June)
Jules (064) 398 8025 or jules@belgradefvc.com

C’mon and get ruggered up! (Saturday)

The pretty town of Beocin (100km north of Belgrade) in Vojvodina is hosting two rugby league matches this Saturday, 18 June.

BGFVC is able to offer transport to the game on the Red Star team bus and a meal afterward for 500 dinars.

TIMINGS:
13.00 – bus departs Belgrade
15.00 – kickoff for Nova Pazara vs Dorcol game
17.00 – kickoff for Red Star vs Krusevac
19.00 – after match meal (good Serbian fare – meat/salad/bread!)
22.00 – back in Belgrade in time for Amy Winehouse/Moby concert

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO RESERVE A SEAT:
– Jules (064) 398 8025 or mail to: jules@belgradefvc.com
– Philomena (063) 120 8624 or mail to philomena@belgradefvc.com

Two more days to go and the battle will commence people!!

THE FAMOUS BGFVC “PUB QUIZ’ NIGHT – will next take place on Friday, 10 June.

Time: 7.30pm to register and form teams. 8pm start!

Venue: Sports Cafe, Makedonska 4

PRIZES:

1st place: 6 copies of The Oxford English Serbian Dictionary – said to be the best on the market. (Kindly provided by The English Book)

2nd place: 6 goodie bags courtesy of Metropolitan University

3rd place: 6 x 600 dinar bar tabs at Sports Cafe

Losing team: a bottle of good quality Metropolitan University wine
Best team name: prize TBA

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER AS A TEAM OR INDIVIDUAL:

Jules (064) 398 8025 or jules@belgradefvc.com

– Philomena (063) 120 8624 or philomena@belgradefvc.com

Savska Street Drama!

Disclaimer: I just want to start this blog entry by disclaiming that perhaps this is more an observation of humanity rather than something specific to Belgrade, however the specific event that prompted this blog post occured in Belgrade, hence why I am writing about it here.

Yesterday, I was walking down Savska Street in Central Belgrade towards the main police station, having just finished parking my car.  To paint the picture, I was approaching from the row of shops on Savska, approximatly 50 metres from Technomajia on the corner.   There were, by my estimation, around 25 other people walking along the same stretch of Savska, along with a fair amount of traffic on the road.

There I was, walking along the street when I hear an almighty crash, whip myself around within half a second, to see a large 18 wheeler truck slamming into a small red car and proceeding to push it a good 40-50 metres down the road.  About half a second after the impact, I was running towards the scene of the incident certain I would be presented with fatal injuries that would require my 7 year old RAF Air Cadet First Aid training to be used.   The crash itself however isn’t what shocked me.   The thing that truly shocked me was the fact that out of the 25 – 30 people that had been walking on the same stretch of road as I, only one other person had run across the street with me to offer assistance.

Not only this, but the vehicles that had been driving behind the truck and the red car, proceeded to drive onto the central reservation and continue on their way, instead of stopping (as required by law when witnessing an accident) and waiting for the police to arrive and take their statements.

It got me thinking, what is it with the mentality these days, where 90% of people turn around and walk away when there is a person or persons are in need.  If YOU were involved in an accident, would you not want people to come and help you? Its a worldwide problem – I remember watching a scene in LOST a few years ago where a woman was being mugged in an alleyway and only one person came to her rescue.  The man said “I just did what anyone would do” to which the woman responded: “Three people walked by the alley. They saw me. But they just kept on going. “

I remember thinking to myself at the time how sad that was and yet, in most cases its very true. Perhaps my view on the world is too pristine but I like to think that people should help other people in need.  We are all members of humanity and regardless of our background, color or creed, we are all equal and worthy of a little common decency, so I beg of you all, if you see a person in need, please go out of your way and at least offer your help.  Do not walk on by like its nothing to do with you.

Amazingly, the women driving the small red car was not injured at all aside from a little bit of whiplash.  I asked her to get out of the car as soon as I saw she wasn’t seriously injured because the truck had hit her car at a fairly high speed and for all we knew, the car could catch fire at any second.  I gave her some water and called for police and an ambulance (both of whom took over EIGHT minutes to arrive which is fairly bad in itself, especially given that the main police station was less than 150 meters away!).

The Truck driver attempted to blame the crash on the women, however myself and one other person had seen most of the incident and it was fairly clear that the truck had been attempting to move from the right lane into the left lane, hadn’t seen the red car, spun it out and pushed it down the road.   Both myself and the other witness gave statements to that effect although I am not sure what is going to happen to him.  I think the Truck Driver was just as shaken as the women and I think it was a genuine accident so I hope that he does not loose his license or anything, but I do hope that he learns to check his mirrors a little closer before changing lanes!

How would you have reacted in this situation?  Would you have run over to help or would you have kept on walking? Leave a comment and let me know!


First (but on the Second!!) Friday event June!!!

Hi everyone,

Your next opportunity to streeeaaatch the grey matter, give ‘constructive feedback’ to the quizmaster and be quietly confident that you are definitely the smartest member of your team is coming up again soon.

THE FAMOUS BGFVC “PUB QUIZ’ NIGHT – will next take place on Friday, 10 June.

Time: 7.30pm to register and form teams. 8pm start!

Venue: Sports Cafe, Makedonska 4

PRIZES:

1st place: 6 copies of The Oxford English Serbian Dictionary – said to be the best on the market. (Kindly provided by The English Book)

2nd place: 6 goodie bags courtesy of Metropolitan University

3rd place: 6 x 600 dinar bar tabs at Sports Cafe

Losing team: a bottle of good quality Metropolitan University wine
Best team name: prize TBA

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER AS A TEAM OR INDIVIDUAL:

Jules (064) 398 8025 or jules@belgradefvc.com

– Philomena (063) 120 8624 or philomena@belgradefvc.com

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Cheers

Philomena & Jules

Australia day at Beo Zoo – Sunday, 29 May

poster zoo

The Embassy of Australia will host Australia day at the Zoo’ on Sunday 29 May 2011.

The day will centre around the mini-Australia exhibit and will include a quiz for school kids, games, jumping castle, facepainting and other activities to help youngsters learn more about Australia. You may even spot a giant koala!

All funds from sponsored activities will be donated to the Belgrade Zoo.

The Aussie Embassy welcomes your support, so come along and have some fun at beautiful Belgrade Zoo.

See attachment for more details

Air Pollution in Belgrade

[Update: Thanks to Dragan Debeljak for pointing me to a new resource from the Serbian government where you can get near real-time air pollution information, with great detail for Belgrade: http://www.sepa.gov.rs/ams/xajax_data/eas_kvalitet_vazduha_1.php?nosplash=1 . ]

I am doing some research into air pollution in Belgrade, both for my own needs (my family and I are moving back to Belgrade after a year away) and for the wiki’s Accommodation section.

I am trying to find out the best and worst areas to live for air quality.

The only thing I could find on air pollution levels for the city is 9 year old (2002) “Environmental Atlas of Belgrade” from the Belgrade Institute of Public Health.

The maps are a bit hard to figure out, but they seem to show (unsurprisingly) that the city centre, Dorcol and Vracar are worst, with Dedinje and Senjak not much better, New Belgrade OK, with Zemun and other outlying areas best.

Air Quality – All (2002)

Air Quality – SO2, SOOT, NO2 (2002)

Air Quality – Sulfer Dioxide and Soot (2002)

That data is old, so things might have changed. It is also shocking.

The entire centre of the city had a World Health Organisation rating over 3, which is off the scale. The measure stops at 2+, meaning “Extremely Unhealthy”.

I tried to contact Institut zа јаvnо zdrаvljе Srbiје to get some up-to-date information, but no one answers there.

Does anyone have any up-to-date information or know of an expert I could contact about this?

Maybe the World Health Organisation Belgrade office?

An afternoon out of Belgrade – Sunday, 17 April

‘Belgrade versus Rest of Serbia’ rugby league match & Serbian dinner

Why not take the opportunity to get out of the city for an afternoon, watch some sport and experience Serbia’s wonderful hospitality?

Ruma (50km north of Belgrade) is hosting the ‘Belgrade versus Rest of Serbia’ rugby league match on Sunday, 17 April and the local mayor has extended an invitation to all foreigners living in Belgrade to come and watch the game.

Bus will depart BGD at 14.00 (after the marathon).
Welcome drinks will be provided pre-game and afterwards there will be a special meal put on by the mayor of the town welcoming visitors to his city.
The plan is to be back in Belgrade by 21.00-21.30.
As an added bonus Lee Crooks, ex Great Britain Captain will be at the game with us – so come and get some signatures for the kids!

All for 500 dinars!

If you wish to take you own transport you are most welcome to and instructions can be supplied by Jules on (064) 398 8025 or jules@belgradefvc.com

So please join in the fun! It’s a great way to see another part of Serbia, to support the Belgrade team, and to experience something that we all love about this amazing country, its very genuine and generous hospitality.

Philomena & Jules

Limited seats on bus, so please RSVP to:
Jules (064) 398 8025 or jules@belgradefvc.com
Philomena (063) 120 8624 or philomena@belgradefvc.com