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Gateway Down, no local network

"It's the weirdest thing.". The NT guy ran his fingers through his hair. There were actually three of them, but this one did most of the talking. "If the Internet goes down, they lose connections on the local network. I know a little Unix, so I checked the routing tables, and they all look fine. Even more strange, when this happens, I can still ping the Unix box."

"Lose connections? Are you sure?", I asked.

"Yup, I can show you by just unplugging the DSL cable."

"Can we do that now?". I expected him to say no, but he surprised me by walking over and unplugging the DSL.

I raised my eyebrows and asked "But won't that knock off people who are working now?".

"No, it won't affect them unless they log off."

Important distinction. Let's review: existing connections are not affected, they can ping but not connect from a workstation that has disconnected.

"OK, I know what's wrong. Take a second to fix."

Do you know what was wrong, and how to fix it?


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Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it? (Brian Kernighan)

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