It’s day two of our Atlantic crossing and I’m getting the feel of the ship. It’s a really good thing I did all that setup work to enable offline coding, because the Internet is available mostly in a philosophical/mathematical sense. For example:
% ping -c 5 nonbinaryreview.submittable.com ✹
PING e132729.b.akamaiedge.net (220.127.116.11): 56 data bytes
Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
Request timeout for icmp_seq 2
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=3 ttl=55 time=797.729 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=4 ttl=55 time=728.960 ms
--- e132729.b.akamaiedge.net ping statistics —
5 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 60.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 728.960/763.345/797.729/34.385 ms
I spoke with a crew member who told me that there was no longer any person dedicated to IT support for the guests (that’s a thankless job, and I am not surprised nobody’s doing it). But apparently the ship’s satellite link is very unreliable and congested for the first day after leaving port, as everyone uploads their photos and reaches out to family and friends. Sure, I guess that makes sense.
Also, it seems that the default DNS resolution is super flaky while the network is under a lot of load. If you’re using a web application that does lots of lookups (so, every goddamned thing that gets built nowadays) then maybe half of the background requests for ‘analytics.js’, ‘widgets.js’, or ‘tracking_bug.png’ will fail. Which leads to some really frustrating and puzzling malfunctioning applications. And here, I’m looking straight at you, Submittable.
I did find a solution, though. If, once I’ve gotten onto the ship’s network, I then fire up a VPN, things work better. The packet loss and ping times are still atrocious, but at least I’m talking to a DNS host that will answer reliably.
Anyway, this is the view from our stateroom. I’m absolutely thrilled about this; I love looking out at the world and not seeing anyone else. If it means lousy internet connectivity, well, that’s a cost I’m happy to pay.