dcomic 535

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Well first I guess congrats to J for actually posting something. I didn’t actually think he’d do it even after I was like “aye, just post something… anything”. So gg. Anyway, onto what I’ve written.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve touched upon the untimely death of my WRT54G (so well known it has its own Wiki page!). I don’t remember how long ago I bought the thing, but it must have been at least three years ago, as I remember setting it up with my old 500m.

Back then, the relevant network was using an old Netgear wireless router, and it would crap out under heavy loads (“heavy” is really relative here; even a couple hundred kb/s of torrents would often be enough to take it down – but most torrents were so slow back then that this was still somewhat rare. I could go on and on about downloading Cowboy Bebop for 2 weeks at 5kb/s, but I digress…), and I finally got fed up.

The infamous Generalachoo, staunch defender of ThinkPads and messy rooms, recommended that I pick up the WRT54G, which was supposed to be pretty much the best wireless router money could buy.

And so I’m sure I went down to Frys and picked this thing up; I’m guessing it was probably $50 to $60, but that isn’t bad if it’d just freaking work. If you work the numbers, that comes out to be 5.4 cents per day over the device’s three-year lifetime. I think it’s been worth it for the most part. There were initial hiccups (like the stock firmware not supporting some what I thought were basic features), but after flashing DDWRT shortly after purchase, it was doing great…

Until early last week.

I guess it might have been Monday, as I lost access to Colette on Monday. I initially assumed it was the ATT modem in front of the WRT54G that was having issues; it’s been pretty good for now, but at one time it was notorious for dropping the ball. Strange things like disconnecting and reconnecting the cable between it and the WRT54G usually fix its issues… but when I saw the two boxes on Wednesday, everything looked normal.

The WRT54G was still broadcasting, but I couldn’t connect to it. So it looked like that was the source of the problem. I power cycled the device… and it didn’t work. It looked like it was booting properly, but all of the status lights would stay on, and it just didn’t do anything. And it dawned on me then that I was probably looking at yet another fancy paperweight.

I could’ve temporarily setup all my infrastrucutre to use the old Netgear router, which is now upstairs connected to the Comcast line, while I looked around for a good deal on another WRT54G, but it’s kind of a pain, and I didn’t think it worth it. So I poked around online, and on Saturday, I drove to Frys and bought a WRT160N (which is not special enough to have its own wiki page). It was expensive. $75. I’m still debating whether or not that was worthwhile, but I wanted a replacement fast…

But the WRT160N is called the WRT160N for a reason. Obviously it supports wireless N. Which is great. No more silly 1mb/s transfers across the wireless network. Except that none of my infrastucture supports wireless N. Drop in cards for the desktop(s) are about double the cost of PCI G cards (though that’s still “only” about $25 for a generic device), and the TC4200 will probably never support it. I have picked up an older Dell 1500 draft N card in my eBay travels which will most probably work with the E6400, but that’s one of four.

So I suppose it’s in the cards now to eventually upgrade those desktop cards… eventually. It really will be nice to have those faster transfer speeds. I really wouldn’t care if our house had built-in Ethernet, but what do you expect from something built in the early 70s…

So far the WRT160N seems to be working great. Even with the standard firmware and without and silly tweaking. So I’ll leave it at that for now…

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