August 2009 Archives

new router

The router to replace the one I fried arrived yesterday. I went with an Asus WL-500gP V2. I had a chance to play with it last night and was able to get it up and running. Like the Buffalo router it replaced, dd-wrt could not be flashed from the default firmware, so instead I had to use the tftp method. It involves booting the router to special mode that starts a tftp daemon, uploading the firmware to the router, waiting a while and then rebooting it. I messed up a few steps along the way and at one point thought I had bricked my router, but it turned out I was just mis-configuring the IP address on the PC I was using the transfer the firmware from and I also forgot to set the tftp mode to binary. Here is a list of steps I used to flash the dd-wrt firmware to the Asus router:

  1. Shutdown all network interfaces on the PC
  2. Power the router on
  3. Power the router off
  4. Press and hold the black restore button while powering up the router
  5. When the power LED starts flashing release the restore button
  6. Bring up the PC's wired interface with static IP
  7. Check that (the router) responds to ping
  8. tftp to and run:
    tftp> mode binary (set tftp to binary mode)
    tftp> trace (to get feedback)
    tftp> put dd-wrt.v24_usb_generic.bin
    ... and wait for the upload to finish
  9. Wait about 5 minutes (I am not sure if this is necessary, but I think it is to allow the router time to copy the firmware)
  10. Shutdown the PC's wired interface
  11. Power cycle the router (the power LED will remain solid and the air LED will light)
  12. Bring up the PC's wired interface with DHCP
  13. Log into dd-wrt and configure the router

I used the USB version of dd-wrt since the Asus router has two USB ports that I can attach storage or a printer to. I didn't have time to see if I could get that working, but I hope to soon.

latitude c400 update

I installed Fedora 11 on the Latitude C400 again after I had finished with all of the hardware upgrades. As I mentioned before the Intel graphics chipset (82830) the laptop has is not very well supported in Fedora 11. I changed the kernel options in order to get the install to work a little better. I played around with Network Manager and had enough issues with it that I decided to look for another solution. I could not get Network Manager to bring up the wireless interface until I logged in. There is an option to always have an interface connected if the network is accessible, but it does not seem to work. There have been many improvements since the last time I tried to use Network Manager, but it still did not quite fit my needs. Someone suggested wicd to me, so I checked it out. It works great with Fedora 11, I got connected to our WPA network without any hassles.

active baby

Graham is at it again. We are no longer swaddling him, but he continues to be fairly active at night. When we put him to bed at night, we place him in the middle of the crib. Most mornings when we go to check on him he is no longer in the middle of the crib and usually has moved all the way to one side or the other with his legs and hands hanging out the side. Below are some images from the last couple of mornings. Sorry for the poor quality, it was low light and I didn't have time to set up a tri-pod. I recently got a laptop and camera setup to do time lapse video and hope to capture Graham's sleeping to see how much he moves around. I still need to figure out how (or if) to set longer shutter times on the camera.

Active Graham

Active Graham

dead router

Back on July 22 someone found a vulnerability in the dd-wrt software and the folks over at dd-wrt created a fix and recommended updating to the fixed version. They also posted a solution that just involved updating the configuration and did not involve updating the firmware. Since I am running dd-wrt on both of the routers at home, I made configuration changes and added updating the firmware to my "to do" list. I have one router (a Buffalo WHR-HP-G54) setup with 802.11b and the other (a Linksys WRT54GL) with 802.11g. The Buffalo router is connected to the cable modem and we use it for devices that only support 802.11b (the TiVo) and for devices I don't want on the internal network. The Linksys router is connected behind the Buffalo router and is used for everything else.

rpm -e --force glibc!!!

Ever accidentally uninstall glibc from a Linux system? Well, I have and I can't say I recommend it. You may ask how one does this, since most distros make it fairly difficult to uninstall. Well, I was trying to test the latest Intel xorg drivers to see if it fixed any of the video issues I encountered with the Latitude C400. I wanted to install the newer drivers, so I set up yum to point the the Fedora Rawhide repository (which includes the newer version of the driver) and did an update. Since the driver depended on the kernel and the kernel depended on glibc they all got updated (the kernel got installed, so the old kernel was still on the system). After updating all the packages, I rebooted and tried a number of different xorg configurations to see if I could get X to work better. It didn't :(

brewing with graham

We brewed on Saturday, which was the first time since Graham was born. We brewed our maple porter and our extra pale ale. Everything went much smoother than expected. After the four month break I thought we would for sure screw something up, but nothing to crazy happened. Someone asked if one of the beers would be named in Graham's honor. Since the maple porter already has a name, that left the extra pale ale, which seemed a bit fitting seeing as he has such pale skin, unexpectedly pale skin you may even say, so we decided on "Graham's Unexpectedly Pale Ale".

I was also able to get the Latitude C400 setup with gphoto2 and took photos at 8 second intervals so I can make a time lapse video of the brewing session. So far it appears to have worked (I haven't had a chance to create a video yet) except for some reason it stopped 20 minutes before we were done. The last 20 minutes was all clean up (washing pots, putting stuff away) so it didn't miss much, but I was a little disappointed to not have captured all of it. Oh well, I can always do it again if it ends up being interesting. I will post the video once I get it put together. In the mean time here are some photos with the newest helper monkey.

Brewing with Graham
Graham inspects the brewing stand

Brewing with Graham
Our neighbor succeeded in making Marc and I smile,
but not Graham, he takes brewing very seriously