Friday, November 23, 2007

Finally back to breaking things

After a long winter of not working on any projects, the house is finally mostly setup as I want it, and the job is settling into a productive routine; basically its time to start breaking (modifying them if you will).

First up getting that worthless La Fonera running DD-WRT.

For the last year this little toy has been sitting under my dresser as a testament to my lack of fixing ability (my poor delusional family thinks I am the savior of all things running on electricity, when I am little more than a middling hack(sic)).

Certainly it doesn't sound like a hardware hack, but as one of the magnanimous(sic) Fon shoved an update down on it that left it mostly not functional, and on a firmware revision that prevented me from following the instruction here on updating to DD-WRT. There are other guides, but this one had the most pretty pictures for wannabes like myself to follow. Anyway, since the software route didn't appear to be working(at least it wasn't the last time I tried it) I decided to follow this guide to adding a serial port to the Fonera and flashing it over the com port.

So quite some time ago, I ordered one of the Dallas DS275 line powered level converters, and started trying to wire it up using the instructions on the aforementioned page. Needless to say (because I suck) I was unable to get the router to display information over the com. Nearly ready to admit defeat I went back to the uselesshacks guide and notice that the page had been updated sometime since I first tried to upgrade the fon some 2 years ago, there was a hard reset option that took my firmware back to v0.7.1 r1. From there the instructions are very easy to follow, and worked perfectly.

Small success, but it was a project that was holding up the Server in a UPS case project.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Not Dead just slow

Well since I the last time I posted I have been a busy boy, unfortunately very little of it hacking up hardware. I have been making (slowly) a sweet charging and music playing dock for my Cellphone (Audiovox SMT-5600), the glue seems to always be drying, and always seems to just need one more coat.

Once completed this will let me set my cell phone in the doc for charging, and play music to a 3.5mm headphone jack. I cut down a seat of 2.5mm headphones for the prong and picked up the mini jack at Fry's. The plastic base station came from some cheapo usb camera from Radio Shack (Flat Foto) I picked up on closeout I bought it for a cheap camera to tear to pieces, but the dock so far is much more interesting.

The rest of my time has been dedicated to getting my parents new house up and running with cool gadgetry. The house is a huge 4500Sq Ft with nere a data cable to be seen, too far in the sticks for DSL, and Adelphia the Local Cable Co couldn't even find the house on a map (or with a driver even though we are 7 miles and four turns from their main campus.)

I have wired up the house for the satellite they apparently have to get, and brought a cluster of wires that looked like crap to the inside of the house where it can easily be worked on by yours truly. Run a few lines of data to the office, and set them up on a 3G card from Cingular getting 1.0mbs(reported) Less than 380k sustained (actual). I updated the driver that doesn't support server 2003 officially, copied registry settings from the xp machine, and moved dll's and sys files around until the card began to send a receive data using information gathered by watching the install with total uninstaller.

I was mostly annoyed by the driver telling me that it didn't support server03, when clearly they chose to limit the installer for an ideological reason other than a practical one. The card does not have the "Accelerated" mode, because I didn't get the application that is bundled to run on the server, (more because of time crunch than lack of ability). This is really sad for the parents though as with the accelerated profile, they pull at a reported 1.8m and 386k actual. I think that longterm the choice of server03 is the right one for them, as this box will have no benefit of a Nat firewall to protect them from misc. internet baddies.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Broke the picture frame, time for a rebuild

Finally finishing up with my move to the new house, and in unpacking I discovered a sad thing, the heatsink retention clip on my the picture fame pc broke during the move.

Tragic. (or maybe just a little sad)

either way, must be time for a new project.