Gray Flannel Dwarf

7/30/2006

W^HGeekend

So today’s project was to figure out how to get two wireles routers to talk to each other. My wife has been complaining about the occasional drop in service to her laptop in the other room, and with the re-arrangement we’ll be doing here soon, the existing WRT54G will be even further away, I decided to drop the $$ to get another one and learn how to bridge them.

It wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it would be, but after several attempts, I got it going.

Attempt one: Try bridging via a WET11 bridge I already had. In other words…

(Internet)–Modem ::eth:: WRT54G#1 ::wireless:: WET11 ::eth:: WRT54G#2

I thought, “huh, this bridge (WET11) can connect to my old router, I can just plug that into the outgoing traffic port on the new one, right?” I went ahead and upgraded my old router to a newer, cooler firmware. I chose HyperWRT Thibor, which turned out to be a pretty cool upgrade from my previous HyperWRT firmware.

After trying for quite some time, however — including trying to get the WET11 back to a usable state from whence it had previously existed in a modified configuration for another network — I gave up on that approach. Besides, the WET11 is only 802.11b, I think, so that wouldn’t be the most desirable configuration.

Next I decided to try what I found here. This didn’t seem to be too bad. I did download a new flash — but opted for DD-WRT instead of the Sveasoft crap they’d mentioned. For anyone reading, if you want to go this route, a flash different from the stock linksys firmware is required, as you need something else to give you a place to change the gateway address. Anyway, this took a while — upgrading the WRT54g v4 or higher requires, at least initially, a three-part flashing process. Afterwards, though, following those instructions were just as easy, and this gave what appeared to be:

(Internet)–Modem ::eth:: WRT54G#1 ::wireless:: WRT54G#2 ::wireless:: Wife’s computer

However, in reality the aforementioned configuration only grants wired access to the second router. In other words:

(Internet)–Modem ::eth:: WRT54G#1 ::wireless:: WRT54G#2 ::eth:: Wife’s computer

Now, this isn’t what I wanted either. So, trying to figure out what I could do, I began flipping through the tabs in the DD-WRT configuration panel when I found the help page for WDS (more info here).

And then the lightbulb went on.

From here, it was pretty easy following the instructions in the aforementioned DD-WRT help panel. The only caveats are:

  • Read it carefully and follow the directions carefully to assure you get the wireless MAC addresses for each WRT54G — not the regular ones.
  • Where the instructions say “Make sure you are using the same Wireless Settings on both routers” — you don’t want the same wireless settings, at least not down to the IP. Having both set to 192.168.1.1 didn’t work. Setting the remote one in the other room to something else did work, however.
  • When linking the MAC addresses on two routers with the differing firmwares, it should be noted that the DD-WRT config does have a much nicer WDS page, more convenient help making it overall easier/more confident in set up, at least moreso than the Thibor. Regardless, as long as you paste the wireless MAC in the right place on the Thibor page, you shouldn’t have to worry too much.

In any case — things seem to be working well now. Plus, now I know how to set up WDS, so this should be easier in the future.

Oh, and re: DD-WRT, I will probably upgrade my old router (version 2) to it eventually, but I was noticing problems with Firefox during the all-important flash process on the new one. Not a time you want your browser to flake out, so swallowed my pride, used IE to configure the one in that room. Anyway, I’ll probably wait till they work some of those kinks out before I flash the old one to DD-WRT.


Tags: , , , , , , , , — cswiii @ 7:10 pm

7/28/2006

This is what overzealous “national security” gets us.

Marshals: Innocent People Placed On ‘Watch List’ To Meet Quota

From the article:

“Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft … and they did nothing wrong,” said one federal air marshal.

“That could have serious impact … They could be placed on a watch list. They could wind up on databases that identify them as potential terrorists or a threat to an aircraft. It could be very serious,” said Don Strange, a former agent in charge of air marshals in Atlanta. He lost his job attempting to change policies inside the agency.

Boy, intended or not,  that sure sounds nothing like our own little cultural revolution, does it?  Tell you what, let’s step it up, let’s have our own Hundred Flowers Campaign, too!  Let’s make sure that once’s some has a mark on their name, legit or not, that it’s indelible.  Tell you what, while we’re at it, let’s even infiltrate popular dissent in the name of national security!

Oh wait, we’ve already taken that step.

God, I love the smell of authoritarianism!


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:37 am

7/27/2006

Sneaky, Sneaky, DirecTV

Well, you thought you could fool me, eh?

Thanks for the advance warning on my statement…

06/28 7/27 NFL Sunday Ticket 2006 Season Renewal Notice: No Payment Due
07/28 8/27 NFL Sunday Ticket 2006 Season Renewal Notice: No Payment Due

In addition to just assuming I would want to renew my NFL Sunday Ticket package — which I suspected, but wouldn’t have known for sure if I didn’t call you up — thank you for telling me, when I said that I didn’t want to renew, that “Okay, since your billing cycle starts on the 28th, you wouldn’t begin to get charged.”

So let me get this straight… I got my bill today, got my two “alert notices” for separate months on one bill and if I hadn’t called today, I woulda started getting charged since the billing would begin tomorrow?

Not very nice, DirecTV. I guess it’s a shame, then, that I didn’t renew, eh?


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 5:03 pm

7/26/2006

Web2.0z0rz

This collection of parody Web 2.0 corporate logos is the bestest.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:27 am

7/19/2006

Another log on the fire

Thank you, John Dean, for stating that which I’ve been saying for years; you have some weight to throw around, I don’t.

For more than 40 years I have considered myself a “Goldwater conservative,” and am thoroughly familiar with the movement’s canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon “imperial presidency” on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.

Today’s Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik’s classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham’s guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in “conserving” this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.

Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede — usually only when not speaking for attribution — that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.

Today’s GOP does not hoist any true “conservative” values, much less any of the classic Republican planks. To think, back when I was in high school and college, that which bothered me most about the GOP was its reliance on “guns, tobacco, and the Christian right”. Oddly enough, those hardly seem like the biggest of the party’s problems right now, except say, maybe the rhetoric we keep hearing from the Dobsonites.


Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 8:24 am

7/16/2006

I CUP

Last night I spent three hours of my life trying to figure something out. Three hours that I’ll never get back. Three hours on something that should’ve only taken five minutes.

Simply put: I tried to get network printing to work via CUPS. I did finally figure the finicky thing out… and hopefully people who are having the same problems that I did will see this and it’ll help em.
The Background: A few months ago, I took the printer connected to my wife’s old desktop and connected it to my Fedora Core 5 linux box. No problems there — printing worked just fine. I was unable to share it, however…. trying to connect to the printer across the network failed. I tried for a little while, to no avail. Meanwhile, I knew that years ago, at the old company, I had set up CUPS to access our network printers, and never had any problems… So last night, with new resolve, I tried again.

So tracing back, I thought of everything I had done. I made my changes to /etc/cups/cupsd.conf to allow remote connections… everything seemed kosher there. First thing I thought of doing that I know I didn’t do before was to open up a port on my local firewall. Specifically, port 631. To do this in FC5, I went to “System | Administration | Security Level and Firewall” in the user menu. At the UI, I went to “Other ports” dropdown and added “631″ TCP and UDP.

Such a simple issue — I surely thought I had resolved my problem. Trying to print returned nothing however — no jobs appearing in the queue. Looking at my error log, I found something akin to the following appearing everytime I tried to print from the remote computer:

Hint: Do you have the raw file printing rules enabled?

I no longer have the full error message readily available (it seems my CUPS log has already been truncated), but that’s the gist of it. So I looked up the message above on Google and found this page posted by an equally-frustrated person. I took his suggestions and made them on my own system. So, (Hint #1) make the following changes:

In /etc/cups/mime.convs, Uncomment…

application/octet-stream     application/vnd.cups-raw        0       -

In /etc/cups/mime.types, Uncomment…

mime.types:application/octet-stream

Fix them, and restart cups:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/cups restart

I actually made a mistake in here, but for continuity’s sake, I will indicate it at the end. You probably won’t make the same mistake and following the above steps may resolve your issue. But read on, regardless — there’s some other stuff you will want to know…

In any case, so I made the changes… still got the same error. So I start fiddling with the settings in CUPS. Running out of options, I decide to check out the Gnome printer configuration tool… and there’s what we will call Mistake #1: As I read elsewhere, find a tool and stick with it. If you use CUPS, don’t use the UI tool. They conflict with each other. Seriously – don’t mix this stuff at all. Before I knew it, my local sample print page output was nothing but one big black inky box, and everytime i tried to print anything, I got the same thing. Also, my print driver would never stay correct. So, in fact — I will recommend using yum (or yumex — it’s easier) to (Hint #2) completely remove the package system-config-printer. That is, remove that if you’re going to use CUPS all the time. If you use something else, you’re on your own. Also, if you’ve been promiscuous with your printer tools, you may find some of those uncommented lines recommented again. Fix them and restart CUPS.

Now — if you’ve gone and made the same dumb mistakes that I have, you’ll probably find that your print setup is in an overall pretty confused state. I resolved this by also (Hint #3) removing the foomatic package and reinstalling it. I was going to remove CUPS and reinstall it if I had to, but I didn’t — and thank God — CUPS is tied to way too much stuff in FC5 to easily remove it, although I guess you could manually rpm –force it. Regardless, uninstalling and reinstalling foomatic did the trick. Once again, you may check those files above to make sure they are uncommented, because while I don’t think foomatic messed with those, I can’t be sure right now. Anyway, you know the drill.

So at this point I am pretty damned sure I have things fixed. I go to the other computer, send a test page and… same error.

I was stymied and a bit frustrated. I began looking at all my stuff again, and then found the biggest idiocy of the whole issue. I had made Mistake #2: When you uncomment, be sure you actually uncomment. What I mean is — when I removed the ‘#’ I had somehow slipped a single leading space character amidst the newly fixed line in mime.convs.

One. Single. Space. I removed the space, restarted CUPS, and three hours later down the road, had out the issue resolved.

So there you have it. What should’ve been a simple configuration took several hours due to both mistakes on my part and idiosyncracies in Linux printing. I should also note, as a postscript, that while retracing my steps, somewhere along the way, the lines where I opened up in my firewall for printing got changed from referencing the port number (“631″) to the actual service itself (“ipp” – internet printing protocol). I am guessing this occurred during the foomatic fix..?


Tags: , , , , , , , — cswiii @ 12:52 pm

7/11/2006

RIP, Syd

Shine on, you crazy diamond.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:58 am