On corporate responsibility and a shitty thomson TG585v8 DSL modem

Last night I ran into the strangest of problems. Having finally setup my HTPC in my living room I tried out XBMC and Constellation to conveniently control it from my iPad. Clicketty-click … and fail!

After struggling for something like 15′ trying in vain to figure out what idiotic mistake I had made I pulled out my laptop. After another 30′ or so, being unable to contact my HTPC through my laptop too, I found out that not even ARP is working. Afraid of a rootkit I started installing Wireshark on the HTPC. And after 5′ I was finding out in surprise that ARP broadcast requests were not even reaching the HTPC (?!?!).

Some googling later revealed that other people are facing the same problem: ARP simply fails with this DSL modem. And there is little info on whether this is a persistent problem. I can only tell that the problem was temporarily fixed by changing the encryption to WPA2 (vs. WPA+WAP2).

Who is to blame here? I will stand to my initial reaction. OTE, the largest ISP in Greece. True, they don’t build the firmware but they have selected and shipping and are getting paid for the hardware [*]. And if anyone still thinks that it’s not OTE to blame …

… I rest my case.

[*] One may argue that you get this specific CPE for free. Which is as free as a “free mobile phone with a two year contract”. Not free at all.

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