This Space for Rent

Faster! Faster! Faster! Or maybe not.

Last week, I snapped and ordered faster networking gear for the home network; a Linksys WAP54G and a couple of (now discontinued, so cheap) Microsoft 802.11g pci cards.

One of the nice things about the WAP54G is that it's a little Linux computer, "just" like the ones I worked on for McAfee, Exit, and my current employer (well, aside from only being one processor and not having 12ghz and 8gb of core, but other than that they're exactly the same) so it's possible to reflash the firmware with one that allows shell access. One of the unnice things about the WAP54G is that it's somewhat difficult to configure with Windows; they ship it with a nice little Windows setup tool (which, as far as I can tell, just tries to launch a browser, but I'm not sure, because ...) which crashes on every Windows machine (3 Windows 2000 boxes, 1 Windows 98 box) I've tried it on. Fortunately, I was able to dig around the Linksys website and find a support page that mentioned an (incorrect, but at least on the same subnet) IP address that the box can be reached at.

The people at Linksys built their Linux kernel to respond to broadcast pings, so I could flood ping the network and get it to ping back, and, after a few missteps (and discovering that their webpages use javascript to validate input, thus ensuring that I can't use w3m to manage it, but had to hand-configure one of the windows boxes onto the 192.168 network to change faster-than-thou so it used DHCP to pick up an (on my network) address, everything was up, running, and no faster than before.

I knew that I'd have to reposition the router so that it's a lot closer to the machines upstairs. It would have been nice to get a bit better bandwidth, though :-(

I'll buy a mess of ethernet cable and run another line up from the basement, and hopefully ithat will do the trick.