Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Coping mechanisms.

Coping mechanisms.

A banner day thus far — only wasted two hours this morning getting my wireless setup back to something resembling “working.” Last night I tried replacing my old D-Link AP with a new WRT54GL, in the hopes that I could later flash that unit to something from OpenWrt or DD-WRT. Unfortunately there are some significant features missing in the WRT’s Linksys-provided interface. And then to make matters worse, none of my wireless devices could connect to the router.

After several hours of painstakingly trying different options, I finally gave up and boxed the damn thing up again. I put my D-Link back in place but then spent a while getting my cable modem to deal with the change. Eventually everything worked out, but I lost some really precious hours in the meantime.

So when I show up to your meeting only half-prepared, now you’ll know why. Pity me, for I am a sad, sad man.

Oh, and on top of that, we’re having a brokers’ open house today at our home — which means either the constant interruptions of real estate agents nosing around (irksome, but good in the long run), or the mounting frustration of having none of them visit, which looks like what’s actually happening today. Our realtor just showed up, but she’s the only person thus far.

I guess there will be extra baked goodies my wife made, though, as a consolation… So now I can put on a few extra pounds! Yay, just what I needed for summer! What’s that, you say? “Willpower?” Apparently you’ve never had my wife’s cheese wafers. Or brownies. Or muffins… ?


  1. Bryan

    When I got my WRT I recall having similar problems initially. It turns out I had to connect a windows computer via ethernet and ‘activate the router’ using the windows driver cd. I probably would have avoided a lot of headaches had I just read the instructions. I am not aware of a Linux-based solution, but I thought I would bring this to your attention in case it is the same problem I had.

  2. @Bryan: Yeah, I saw that prominently in the info packet that came with the router. Nevertheless, that is a completely unacceptable solution for me — not just on principle alone but because I literally have no Windows computers in my house. Everything here’s running Linux. So much for trying to support a vendor who’s doing open source…

  3. @Jeremy Katz: No kidding. That should actually be very do-able in New Hampshire — biking where I live now is somewhat dangerous, but NH drivers are very polite, at least in the four days’ experience I had with them recently.

  4. Hmmm I can’t remember having any problem with the WRT54GL. You want to send it to me and I will flash it for you and send it back? I am using OpenWRT (older version) for my systems… the Windows, Linux, and Mac all talk with it. Actually I found the signal/noise was much better after I went to OpenWRT.

  5. @Stephen Smoogen: Thanks for the offer smooge! John Poelstra and I were talking about this earlier. I haven’t flashed it yet but was going to try it this weekend after using it for a while with the “as-shipped” Linksys firmware. I may still very well do that, but it’s going to have to wait until I have some free cycles. I look forward to the learning experience. 😉

  6. I just put in a WRT-54GL at my place to replace an old (5yrs+) LinkSys 802.11b router. I didn’t have to use Windows at all to set it up. I just plugged in with a cable, picked up my IP address, quickly configured the wireless to be sure the router was functional. Then set it to the factory default settings and loaded dd-wrt on it. I’ve been using dd-wrt on some other wireless routers and it has been rock solid stable with those other devices. No issues so far from my WRT-54GL either.

    This link might prove helpful for putting dd-wrt on it:


  7. I’ve had a WRT54G for several years. I had been running DD-WRT on it for the longest time, and was happy with it. I heard about Tomato a few months ago, and decided to give it a shot (it has really purdy QoS graphs). I haven’t looked back since.

    In January I bought my mom a WRT54GL and set it up for her with her Macbook in about 10 minutes. No Windows involved.


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