6 GHz Wi-Fi Pitfalls in 2023/24

Yes, I’m on the 6 GHz trail at the moment, because I want to find out how useful that band currently is and where the limits are. So here’s another post on the topic. In previous articles I have already mentioned that one 6 GHz capable notebook of mine simply refuses to use the band at all, no matter whether Window or Linux is running, and the second one gets easily fooled into switching off the 6 GHz band for a while when it sees ‘rouge’ access points. But unfortunately, there is more.

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Ubuntu 22.04 – Bluetooth Mouse and Bluetooth Headset

Quick success story: About a year ago, a combination of wireless USB mouse and USB port problem made me try something new. This was when I found out that unlike its predecessor, Ubuntu 20.04 supported Bluetooth HID devices such as mice and keyboards. So I switched over and no longer needed that small but still visible and slightly clunky USB wireless receiver.

A Bluetooth device that didn’t work well with Ubuntu 20.04 on my hardware, however, was my Bose Bluetooth headset. It would connect and work just fine, but one of my CPU cores would go into overload while the headset was connected. Since then I migrated to Ubuntu 22.04 and gave it a try on the same notebook again. This time around, everything worked well! No problems at all anymore when listening to music and using it for video calls also works like a charm. Even my Bluetooth Mouse and the Bluetooth headset work together at the same time. Very nice!

Container Games: When LATEST is not the greatest, and how it broke my MediaWiki

Infrastructure as code they say, so I built myself a wonderful Ansible script to update my virtual machines and container installations on a regular basis without manual intervention. This has worked superbly in the past two years or so, but this week I was bitten. When I searched something in my (containerized) MediaWiki instance today, nothing could be found, and when clicking on any page in the ‘recent changes’ section, I only got a red ‘no text for this page’ error. I have to admit that this gave me goose bumps for a moment because a lot of effort went into this Wiki. So I soldiered on to investigate…

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Lenovo Thinkpad BIOS Update Games – Reloaded!

Early in 2023, I wrote a blog post about the different levels of BIOS upgrade support for Linux by Lenovo for their different notebook lines. T and X series get excellent support, and now, in late 2023, I have received the first BIOS upgrade for my Lenovo T14 Gen 4 (Intel), which was just recently launched. I was positively surprised the OS offered me to install the upgrade, because I’m running Ubuntu 22.04, which was released last year and well ahead of this notebook.

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37C3 – Martin @ Congress

Those of you who have been to ‘Congress‘ before know it’s a special event for anyone even remotely nerdy. It always takes place between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and I was lucky enough to get a ticket. It seems they still remembered I gave a talk there about 5G last time around. After not having taken place for a number of ‘Covid’ years and after moving back from Leipzig and 17.000 participants to the significantly smaller Congress Center Hamburg, I was not sure how things would work out and whether I would like it. So I jumped in to find out.

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Lenovo T14 Gen 4 and Intel AX211 Wi-Fi – When ‘Rouge’ APs Disable My 6 GHz Wi-Fi

When I was recently on business travel, I used my smartphone for Wi-Fi tethering my notebook to the Internet over the 6 GHz band. But every now and then, my notebook wouldn’t find the smartphone’s network and I had to switch to the 5 GHz band to make it work again. After a bit of back and forth between the two bands over a couple of days I noticed a pattern.

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Lenovo T14 Gen 4 and Intel AX211 Wi-Fi – Performance in 5 and 6 GHz – Part 5

One of the interesting new features of the Lenovo T14 Gen 4 I haven’t had in my previous production notebook was the support of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz band. So I was obviously quite curious how this would work and how performance would look like. So here’s the story.

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Pixel 6 – LineageOS and VoLTE Roaming

One of my reasons to switch from my previous phone with LineageOS to a Pixel 6 with LineageOS was to get Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support. It has worked well in my home network and I’m very happy about the upgrade. But what about VoLTE Roaming support when visiting another country? I had no idea if this would work until I was abroad recently and checked it out. And indeed, VoLTE Roaming was activated and working. Apart from the better speech codec used compared to traditional circuit switched roaming, call setup time was also almost instantaneous. Very nicely done!

The Interesting Case of Fixing Things with 32GB RAM

So here’s a fix that left me with some question marks:

A family member likes to test the limits, and pushes out rebooting the notebook running on Linux for as long as possible, sometimes well over 6 weeks. A side-effect of this is that applications that like to bloat, such as Firefox, Chromium, Thunderbird, Libreoffice, etc. etc., keep eating up more and more RAM. At some point, usually after a week or so, all of the 16 GB RAM + 8 GB swap space on the SSD becomes used.

Closing the apps occasionally would help, but that’s also not in the cards. EarlyOOM helps to keep the system stable, but at some point the system just keeps banging its head against the 16 GB of RAM. So what to do? At some point I was convinced to install 32 GB of RAM. I reluctantly agreed, but honestly, I thought it wouldn’t help much. From my point of view, doubling RAM would just extend the time to the inevitable, and EarlyOOM would be asked to help again. But it looks like I was wrong.

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