[Bloat] Rigorous Coffee Shop Bloat Testing

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Tue Sep 3 13:29:51 EDT 2019

On Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 8:57 AM Rich Brown <richb.hanover at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Sep 3, 2019, at 11:22 AM, bloat-request at lists.bufferbloat.net wrote:
> >
> > The coffee shop tests were fun, but I(we) needed more rigor when doing
> > them. What I'd typically do is go in,
> > get on the wifi, start 6 minutes worth of tests, get in line, get
> > coffee...
> OK. I'll bite. What "six minutes of tests" do you queue up? What do you record?

Still working out what the "right thing" would be. The ecn syn failure
thing was new (didn't know OSX had that stat), getting some caps,
seeing if ipv6 was available, all seem like good ideas, in addition to
bloat protection.

the most recent script was this - (the data is in my blog-cerowrt repo
on github, also).

We could turn this into a batch file and try to get more rigorous
about also getting a packet cap.

Is there a decent android or IOS tool yet?


F="flent -x -H flent-fremont.bufferbloat.net -t $T"

$F --te=download_streams=4 tcp_ndown
$F --te=upload_streams=4 --socket-stats tcp_nup
# $F --te=upload_streams=4 tcp_2up_square # not useful enough
$F rrul
$F rrul_be

> And how do you broach the subject with the owner? Something like...

Carefully. The owners are always ready to take a complement or
complaint, and, so long as you catch 'em when
not too busy are usually pretty social in general.

In many cases they share the wifi with their credit card reader and
when I say that fixing bufferbloat helps,
their eyes light up. That was a specific problem that at least one had
- demonstrable - I saw it take forever
to clear a transaction (and the bloat was 2+ seconds long at the time
- NOT triggered by me) once... he had a synology router, and "applying
QoS" "just worked", and we did other things like reposition the
antenna, also. got me lunch
that did and he punched a whole bunch of holes in my "repeat business" card....

However the employees usually lack the router's password and clue.

IF we were to make this a thing (and it does invoke fond memories of
how we first spread wifi around the bay area
and then the world in the early 2000s - I was part of a group called
thirdbreak that generally lept across the counter to help a lot, back
in the days we were so eager to get out of the office and onto wifi
that we were mapping all the locations available - example:
http://www.wififreespot.com/ca.php from those days...), perhaps carry
a portable printer for the test output, biz cards,  and so on for the
no-owner-present case.

I recently hit on the idea of creating stickers - attached is the one
I'm using on my guitar...

which is a bit too much over the top, I think, generally.

but plan to give out and ones next time.

They are cheap (I used stickermule) and with a cool logo, folk dig
adorning their laptops with them, in general. Still,
we've never found that logo/slogan for fixing bufferbloat - the word
is too long and too negative, though I thought
the inverted wifi logo we use on the cerowrt site a good start. "Better wifi".

With more folk gathering data...

Maybe (for example) we'd play off starbucks vs peets - attached is
starbucks (using google wifi) vs another coffeeshop, coffeecat - sigh.
but weirdly enough starbucks's packet cap - although very close to
what a fq_codel'd trace would look like, doesn't actually seem to be a
fq_codeled trace. Still puzzled, need to go back and try that spot

And I gotta say, it's *really good* to get out of the lab once in a
while and see people, and sometimes, actually fix something, trying a
different coffee shop every week.

I guess, in the cases where the coffee doesn't become free, I could
deduct it as a business expense. :)

> "Uh, I think I know why all those heads are popping up..." OR
> "This is a nice network you have here. It'd be a shame if something happened to it..." OR

Oh, that's great! Goes with my costume, too. "Hey buddy, got an ipv6 address?"

> "I know I look like [don't look like] a pointy-headed geek, but there's this thing called bufferbloat..." OR
> "Do you ever get complaints that your wifi is really slow?"

I might also have an agenda in trying to see how much ipv6 is out
there, and the syn thing is bugging me, too.
So with a more organized set of tests, we could fan out to the coffee
shops of the world and forment another
wifi revolution and turn that world upside down! Who's with me!?

> Thanks.
> Rich
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> Bloat at lists.bufferbloat.net
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Dave Täht
CTO, TekLibre, LLC
Tel: 1-831-205-9740
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