While we’re on an OpenWRT kick, let me mention that Amazon has the guaranteed flashable WRT-54GL for less than $50 again. I won’t even provide a non-referral link, so as not to raise eyebrows at wordpress.[non-]com[mercial]. I’m sure you could find it.

Possibly the best reason someone who’s not interested in getting to know their network or doing fun things with it is the possibility to use just one OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato device (along with any standard wireless router) to extend internet connectivity to another part of the house without running wires or using shaky (and unencrypted) Power-Over-Ethernet.

On my list of future projects to waste my money on, though, is a set of cheap 802.11n devices, replacing the “G” bridges I’ve had for the last few years. Apparently, that day is near or already here. Of course “N” speeds only matter if you’re concerned with moving data between machines in the home. For a normal residence, any available residential networking technology is faster (in most cases orders of magnitude faster) than even the best of the universally crappy available residential internet connections, and so the bottleneck will always be at the WAN side (especially for upload.) Of course these days, most small businesses are actually paying more for even crappier Internet service. But I digress…

On a last OpenWRT note, if I had known about this contest in time, I definitely would have put together a team and devoted a few months. Maybe it really does pay to read Slashdot.


Wired today offers up 12 (broad categories) of hacks to improve IQ and mental performance, and a few related articles. It’s nice to know that caffeine is better for you in small frequent doses, though I’m a little bothered by the apparent suggestion to supplement this with prescription pharmaceuticals. One supplement takes on myths about brain health: fish, crosswords, supplements, hand-eye coordination building through video games, and gum are out, though this quote suggests the author may be a little out of touch:

School principals may scoff, but the notion that gum enhances alertness dates to World War I, when sticks were slipped into soldiers’ rations.

I don’t think there are principals scoffing; these days schools pump kids with gum and candy before and during standardized testing. It’s all part of No Child’s Teeth Left Behind. Of course this is not based on the “myth” being here renounced – that the act of chewing “activates” the brain, but rather on the “fact” which Wired embraces in true geek style that a dose of sugar along with your caffeine boosts your brain power.
Someone should have chewed a few pieces of Bazooka or at least looked at a map before they wrote this, though:

You’ve mastered Africa. Now you’re ready for a real geographic challenge: Central Asia from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

That is, after memorizing all 47 nations in Africa, you should move on to the real challenge of memorizing the three countries (inclusive) and one sea from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

Google officially and belatedly commemorated Tom Lehrer’s 80th birthday. I think this may be the best tribute:


April 3, 2008


ZYGO SCRABBLE is a charitable society, established for propagation of the game of Scrabble in India.

This being summer vacation in India, they’ve got “‘Word Camps’ for school children in April and May to initiate children into Scrabble, Creative Writing etc.” all over the Twin Cities. Schedule.

Memorial Day Techfun

May 23, 2007

In addition to remembering the fallen, this weekend may be – should be – the time when I finally get around to doing two things:

  1. Install Feisty
  2. I’ve been putting it off because I couldn’t afford the downtime. Not that I expect any problems, but it does take time to get everything set up to my liking. Also, I’ll probably install the GNOME version and play around this weekend, then go back to Xubuntu before settling in.

  3. Play around with Hackety Hack
  4. Read the rest of this entry »

Play instant messaging games with your kids

This also introduced me to parenthacks.

A few months ago I moved all of my personal stuff into a subversion repository. My goals were to impose yet another layer of organization, while at the same time making sure there was a fall-back copy of everything for when I slipped out of that organization. It’s also a much better way to ensure redundancy in my personal file storage. Unfortunately Subversion’s powers only extend so far. There are so many things – say, the template for what you’re seeing – where it’s just too easy to edit it on the production server. I really wish I didn’t do that, but it’s a constant struggle to remind myself. I’m OK with client work or anything that generates revenue, but this is pure recreation, right? Of course, when something goes wrong I’ll be just as perturbed. Now why don’t I maintain this using svn (as a client, not the host?) Can I come up with a good excuse? Not really. I guess I’ll have to do it. Do you think Subversion could pick up my son from school? I’m sure I’ll want to rollback my parenting mistakes at some point anyway.