Socket transmission Q

I have an MFC app sending a continuous stream of data over a dedicated 100mb link to my linux box. Its transmitting single characters at a time (values from a measurement from a camera). The other end is my linux box listening and reading the data in, continuously updating a variable which is used by another process.

The problem I have is that for some reason, at random intervals, I get packets containing nothing sent through. not even "0", just a blank. I cant tell if thats a corrupted packet or extra blank packets. And although I could ignore them, seperating them from actual "0" values (atoi causes it to be returned as a 0) would be impossible.

The frequency of these rouge packets seems to be linked to the size of the message buffer in the socket server which is receiving. If I set it extraordinarily high (10000) I get one every 2-3 packets. If I set it low (10) I get one every 4-8 packets.

Has anyone experienced any thing similar?
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