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Wireless Networking Communications The Internet Hardware

Hacking the Linksys WRT54G 213

knightrdr writes "Robert X. Cringely has posted an interesting article on the PBS web site about modifying the Linksys WRT54G wireless G broadband router to build a wireless layer on top of the Internet. He argues that with as little as a $70 investment per node, the Sveasoft WRT54G Firmware could be the first in a line of many wireless devices to enable a giant leap forward for the Internet."
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Hacking the Linksys WRT54G

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  • by Chemicalscum ( 525689 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @07:45AM (#9302054) Journal
    Read it - cool mabe this is the way I will end up getting broadband
  • by Xenna ( 37238 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @08:05AM (#9302126)
    O really, I think my intelligence is being insulted by having to remember something as unmemorable as 802.11b.

    What idiot ever thought of using *that*?

    (Not that Wireless-G is anything to write home about, I vote for Ultra-Wifi ;-)
  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @08:13AM (#9302153) Homepage
    That's only partially true. What you're talking about are pre-release versions of the firmware. Sveasoft has said that release versions will be available to the public completely for free.
    Also, the redistribution clause you're talking about is a little vague. No one "instantly loses access to future versions" as you so carelessly put it. This link helps clarify:
    Sveasoft Faq [sveasoft.com]
    I suspect they don't want people redistributing the source, but pointing to Sveasoft for support issues. It's not an uncommon thing in free software...check out some of the DVD Shrink and VCD Easy support horror stories. Both of these products were included in software packages without the developers' consent, and any support issues were forwarded to the developers.

    With regards to the "restrictive development model," I believe that it became a pain in the ass supporting their pre-release versions for free. People bitched about features not being available, demanded the source code to prereleases (rightly so, according to the GPL, but to hear Sveasoft talk about it, they were rude about it), and in general, were assholes about the software (it's getting pretty typical for people to be jerks about free software, while paying an arm-and-a-leg for Microsoft's software and being complacent..boggles the mind). Anyway, requiring people to pay for the binaries seems to have greatly reduced the amount of crap that goes through the forums. There's now a subscriber-only forum that has fewer demands and accusations in it. The source code is freely available to anyone who pays for the binaries, as is completely allowed by the GPL (you only have to provide the source to people you give the binaries to).
  • This'll you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @08:43AM (#9302293)
    We just ordered two new NIC's for our Cisco load balancer. They cost $1000 (one thousand) each. We needed them, we had the budget, blah blah blah.

    We got them, and we looked at them, and for the life of me, they looked like cheesy $15 PCI no-name-brand NICs.

    We got the FCC approval number, and guess what... they were $15 PCI no-name-brand NICs. We just learned a $2K lesson.

    Won't make that mistake again.
  • Re:Dupe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tigersha ( 151319 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:20AM (#9302467) Homepage
    I sell my bandwidth to my neighbour and we share the costs. Works fine.

    The only problem is, if HE downloads childporn or visits www.osamaforpresident.com or pisses off the RIAA by running Kazaa all day I get the visit from the coppers, not him. So one should be a little careful.
  • by jmcharry ( 608079 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:26AM (#9302506)
    A lot of ISP user agreements prohibit the provision of service to third parties. This violates that restriction, and doesn't attempt to cover it up.
  • by Groove Holmes ( 723834 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:37AM (#9302578)
    I agree with that. I used a VOIP line for a few months out of necessity, but I switched back to landline as soon as I could. VOIP wasn't much cheaper at all, and while it was good, it wasn't perfect. Just enough reliability and quality issues to remind me (and everyone I work with) that I didn't have a "normal" phone line.
  • Re:Cancer? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Klanglor ( 704779 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @09:46AM (#9302632)
    well you are already bombarded by your TV, FM, AM Satelite and other radio frequency, more or less you'll die eventualy.

    Beside, if you are woried about living long and healthy. Well first start with the water and the food. they are morelikely to kill you, with all those GMO, pesticied etc..
  • by aldoman ( 670791 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @10:18AM (#9302870) Homepage
    No, actually thats not what he says. He says 16% (IIRC from the last time slashdot posted this) is needed to be 'edge nodes', ie: internet connected with DSL/cable.

    Also, these mesh protocols are not great (and I doubt they will ever be as good as the current routed internet) and I personally wouldn't like to enjoy 10,000 hop internet from Texas to Michican. Just my 2 cents...
  • Re:This'll you (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @12:15PM (#9304330) Journal

    What you're paying for there is the fact that Cisco warrents that those will work, and if they don't work, you'll have replacements, or an engineer on a plane, within x number of hours.

    Up to you to decide if it's worth it or not.

  • Re:This'll you (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mlrtime ( 520968 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @01:19PM (#9305003)

    That is if you pay for their expensive contracts as well, if you don't pay for the 24x7x4r contract then it doesn't do much good either.

  • by corwinakira ( 784758 ) on Tuesday June 01, 2004 @08:08PM (#9310278) Homepage
    Apropos to the entire GSR-vs-WRT54G concept-- How many packets-per-second does the WRT54G do? Anyone? Anyone? For the same reasons, I rather doubt that those John Deere LT series riding mowers flying off the shelves at Home Depot are threatening the sales of 7000 series ag tractors and square balers. NISM?

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson