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Hacking the Linksys WRT54G

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the go-forth-and-multiply-them dept.

Wireless Networking 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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213 comments

Yep (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302051)

It can!

first (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302053)

pretty cool mods...

pretty nifty device...

to bad linksys/cisco doesn't put out more creative firmware...

Dumbass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302086)

Linksys and Cisco have nothing to with Creative Labs, they are totally different companies. IDIOT.

Cringely could be right (1, Insightful)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302054)

Read it - cool mabe this is the way I will end up getting broadband

Re:Cringely could be right (4, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302092)

broadband is easy to get. just live in an apartment where there are 3 or 4 unprotected wireless nodes.

Re:Cringely could be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302182)

Okay.... so are you doing it just because you can, or are you just one of life's cheap freeloaders?

Dupe (5, Informative)

tjansen (2845) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302059)

It's a dupe, was posted on friday [slashdot.org] . Still one of the better cringely columns...

WARNING, COPY AND PASTE KARMA WHORE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302119)

This post was copied from the original story. Mod parent down!

Re:Dupe (5, Informative)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302132)

Still one of the better cringely columns...

If you buy his "you can resell your DSL bandwidth" argument which in 90% of cases is not true.

Re:Dupe (2, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302388)

Apart, possibly, from some small print from your upstream ISP, what is to stop you? The ISP isn't going to know. Let's face it they have trouble enough stopping people using their services to spam, they're never going to notice small scale bandwidth reselling going on.

Re:Dupe (4, Insightful)

tigersha (151319) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302467)

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.

Re:Dupe (3, Informative)

Dausha (546002) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302621)

. . . you can resell your DSL bandwidth . . .

Except, this is a violation of the state DCMA laws that are being passed nation wide. In the old days, sharing cable with your neighbor was called "Cable Theft." In Arkansas, they updated that law with the boilerplate DCMA to where it is now a theft of any IT service (telephone, DSL, Cable). So, hacking a router to where you do this is only a felony. Teaching how to hack is also considered a crime in some jurisdictions . . .

Re:Dupe (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302675)

My TOS explicitly allows me to resell my bandwidth, heck, my ISP [speakeasy.net] even has a page explaning what it is and how you can set it up.

Re:Dupe (1)

siphoncolder (533004) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302448)

Yes, but this title screams out to me - I happen to own a WRT54G, and although I can't see myself hacking it in the near future, this article is still a rather interesting one.

Thanks for the dupe, guys. =)

OMFG D00D L@@K AT THIS V!@GRA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302060)

WELCOME TO ICQ

Again (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302061)

How many times do we have to see this article?

openwrt (5, Informative)

thehosh (755582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302062)

back to the roots: openwrt [ksilebo.net] is much more fun!

only a base system, which can be customized for your needs.

Locking away GPL software (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302070)

Please note that Sveasoft uses a very restrictive development model. The firmware is developed by a closed group and only released to paying customers who lose access to future releases the instant they redistribute the firmware.

Re:Locking away GPL software (4, Informative)

rindeee (530084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302113)

Ummmmm...it's GPL'd. They cannot put any restrictions on distribution other than those implied and expressed within the GPL itself (unless my understanding is incorrect). I am a paying Sveasoft subscriber, and all that gets me is access to the betas and pre-releases which aren't available to non-paying. Oh, and I can download the PDF manual.

Re:Locking away GPL software (4, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302199)

They can't put any restrictions on redistribution, but they can revoke your subscription at any time for any reason. Technically, they still have to provide the source to anything they provided you, but revoking your subscription means they don't have to provide you with any more updates.

Re:Locking away GPL software (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302153)

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).

Re:Locking away GPL software (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302433)

With release cycles as long as Sveasoft's, that hardly makes a difference. AFAIK there hasn't been a release ever since Sveasoft switched to the subscription model. At least they're not leaking binary-only releases anymore like they did when people (rightfully) started complaining about unavailable source code. That was a really lame excuse for not releasing source (and violating the GPL): "it's just a prerelease, no source for you".

Re:Locking away GPL software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302667)

There was a lot of other stuff surrounding that as well. Sveasoft used to release all the code whenever a new pre-release version came available. Somehow or another, a pre-release version that had been passed between three developers got out to the public. When some people asked for source to that release, Sveasoft decined, citing potential headaches trying to support a firmware that was very experimental. When a *FEW* people became more asserive, Sveasoft closed up shop for a day, without warning, and starting bashing all the "freeloaders" who just asked for support and never "contributed" (his definition) back to the community. When the forums came back up, certain users found themselves locked out, and several posts were deleted from the forums, and a new subscription service was in place. When a few of us tried to understand and convince Sveasoft to go back to the old model, he would go off on tirades about freeloaders and whatnot. Countless people suggested he solve the problem by hosting on Sourceforge. He still decilned, saying that his model was in line with the GPL, and he didn't want to give anything to people who didn't 1. code, 2. write or translate documentation. This is contrary to the warm, friendly attitude he had just days earlier. It went from a free, spare time, community project with Sveasoft in the lead; to a way for him to support his family. And this all happened overnight. He went from community to business in a few hours.

It's not that he is charging for GPL software that bothers me; it's the sudden overreaction to a few hotheads demaning source that gets me. If he had this model from the beginning, it would have been fine. It's the fact that he switched to it, with no warning, that gets me. (also the fact that for awhile, he was obsessed with keeping "freeloaders" from getting his code.)

Dupe (5, Funny)

Ripplet (591094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302076)

The next article will be ready soon, but Slashdot editors can dupe it early! [slashdot.org]

Just a message to Amazon.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302078)

Godfrey Hobbs is an Asshole. Rich Tsoi is an Asshole

GET SOME PRIORITIES PEOPLE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302082)

There are real problems in the world. This is NOT one of them.

Re:GET SOME PRIORITIES PEOPLE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302088)

Is it? Sure, people who starve need food first. But it won't fix any long-term problems.

Re:GET SOME PRIORITIES PEOPLE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302144)

That's right. There are countries to invade and local towel-heads to torture....oh wait..
Local Iraqi:"Well I for one welcome our cock-smoking American overlords
In Saddam's Iraq, the Army tortures YOU!
BUT In America's Liberated Iraq, the Army tortures...........YOU!
BUSH: "All of your base are belong to us! For Great Justice!"
SADDAM: "What you say! Somebody set us up the bomb!"
BUSH: "HA HA HA"

Slashdot Meme's (-1, Offtopic)

trinity93 (215227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302224)

Local Iraqi:"Well I for one welcome our cock-smoking American overlords
In Saddam's Iraq, the Army tortures YOU!
BUT In America's Liberated Iraq, the Army tortures...........YOU!
BUSH: "All of your base are belong to us! For Great Justice!"
SADDAM: "What you say! Somebody set us up the bomb!"
BUSH: "HA HA HA"


Some one should do a study on the spread and efects of "Meme's" such as these on slashdot and compile a list of uniqe instances as they archived. I think this would make for an interesting read at some future time

.

But can you hack it to prevent dupes?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302084)

Anyone?

Anyone?

Buehler?

TIMOTHY DO YOU READ YOUR OWN WEBSITE? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302090)

I wish I got paid to sit around and post dupes.

Dump question about VOIP (0, Offtopic)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302096)


This may be a dumb question, but if I want to do VOIP (without using a VOIP service provider) how do I do it? We have several offices scattered in different countries, and we could use it internally to reduce costs. We have a mix of Windows, OSX and Linux on the desktop. What headsets would we use, and what software?

Of course being able to use wireless handsets would be even better, especially if we could use the same ones to make normal telephone calls. Is this possible?

Re:Dump question about VOIP (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302111)

Of course being able to use wireless handsets would be even better, especially if we could use the same ones to make normal telephone calls. Is this possible?

Wireless headsets are expensive. If you are looking at cutting your costs wireless headsets might not be the way to go.

Re:Dump question about VOIP (5, Funny)

BrainGumbo (571349) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302147)

You asked the question wrong. On Slashdot, if you wanted to find out how to do VOIP, you have to say:

"VOIP is a dead technology. You can't implement it. There aren't and headsets or software available, and it doesn't scale between countries well."

This will cause the modern geek to feel challenged, and he'll reveal your answers as he rebukes you.

Re:Dump question about VOIP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302165)

1. Install a SIP-capable PBX server like Asterix
2. Install either cheap VOIP telephones like the Grandstream Budgetone, or software SIP clients on the desktops (note that all Windows clients that I have seen are quite bad, i cant recommend any. Linux clients are incredibly bad)

Re:Dump question about VOIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302173)

Should have been Asterisk: www.asterisk.org

Re:Dump question about VOIP (1)

tankbob (633230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302209)

Try Asterisk - www.asteriskpbx.com

Others (5, Informative)

Quixote (154172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302098)

Sveasoft isn't the only game in town (though it is one of the top ones). Others include:
EWRT [portless.net] , from Portless Networks (a fork of Sveasoft)
Wi-Fi Box [sourceforge.net]

Ahh... the wonders of OSS and GPL. :-)

WARNING, COPY AND PASTE KARMA WHORE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302106)

This post was copied from the original story. Do not mod up!

Re:Others (1)

OctaneZ (73357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302256)

nah, it wasn't copied, but here are some more to check out:
OpenWRT's [sf.net] Firwmare; a minimalist installation, supporting add-on extensions.
Seattle Wireless's [seattlewireless.net] extremely informational page on the router.

Wireless G? Wireless B? (4, Funny)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302100)

I feel like my intelligence is being insulted by the pervasive labeling of these devices by Linksys as "Wireless G" and "Wireless B" (as opposed to "802.11g" and "802.11b"). Why can't any technical term ever remain unadulterated by end-users and marketeers? Yeesh. What's next, they'll start referring to the "Linux Kernel 2.6" as "PenguinPopper 2004"?

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (4, Insightful)

Xenna (37238) | more than 10 years ago | (#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 ;-)

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (0)

mr_mozz (658480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302155)

I vote for Ultra-Wifi ;-)

Followed by Ultra-Mega-Uber-Hi-WiFi Fantastico Extended.

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (4, Funny)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302333)

When did Capcom get the job of naming new standards?

(to ruin the joke for clueless moderators: Capcom didn't learn how to count to three for a long time with Street Fighter. Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 2 Championship, SF2 Turbo, SF2 Super, SF2 Hyper, et al)

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302285)

That's probably not the best choice of labels, as the successor to Ultra-Wifi will be even more "Ultra" and then you have a similar problem that USB 2.0 has: high speed, full speed, we all speed for ice speed.

Wifi 2 or something safer would be a better choice. (I'm partial to "Son of Wifi," but that of course would never fly)

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302691)

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*?

IEEE idiots? How hard is 802.11b to remember? Now, 802.3, 802.5, 802.1x, etc. Those get complicated.

The "penguin popper" (1, Funny)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302146)

Tux meets Goatse?

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (5, Funny)

teasea (11940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302154)

Why can't any technical term ever remain unadulterated by end-users and marketeers?

That's an easy one. I am a programmer, and one thing I've learned; while engineers need to create terms to describe new concepts, they should be watched closely. All too often they create bizzarre strings of terms just to make a silly acronym. Worse, they keep inventing new terms so they can claim to have invented a new idea when the idea should come before the name.

I say leave the evolution of the English language in the hands of professionals. The Rap/Hip Hop community!

Let the cheap shots begin.

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (1)

GrassMunk (677765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302188)

Let the cheap shots begin.

What, is it happy hour already?

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (1)

tannable75 (781684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302257)

foshizzle!

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (4, Funny)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302272)

All too often they create bizzarre strings of terms just to make a silly acronym

I named a couple of my projects "Asynchronous Replication System (Experimental)" and "Parallel Implementation for Maximum Performance" but both were caught by my manager before a customer saw them!

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (1)

guy-in-corner (614138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302189)

My understanding is that it was labelled Wireless G because the 802.11g specification wasn't finished yet.

So, until the specification was finished (and Linksys upgraded their firmware to implement the final version), they had to avoid calling it 802.11g.

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302194)

That still doesn't explain "Wireless B".

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302220)

2004? I just upgraded to Penguin Popper 2005

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302221)

Yes. Not a day goes by when my friends and I don't mock those ignorant fools who have taken up calling IEEE 802.3 "Ethernet." Just goes to show we should never let the marketers get their hands on anything.

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (4, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302259)

Not at all.

Who wants to spout eight-oh-two-dot-eleven-gee when they can say "Wireless G".

Do you say "automobile" or "car"?

"Digital versatile disc" or DVD?

Do you tell people "the nerve signals from the trigone indicate that there is a need to toggle the state of the detrusor muscle and equalize hydraulic pressure so that osmotic filtering can maintain its normal rate"
or
"I gotta take a leak."

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302280)

It is elitist attitudes like this that slow down the open source movement. Stupid names for great products hinder acceptance.

Try and go into a Madison Avenue ad agency and tell them that they need to drop Photoshop and replace it with something called "Gimp."

That name just rings confidence.

Re:Wireless G? Wireless B? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302298)

Yeah, go to a shop and ask the clerk if they have a "eighthunderdtwopointeleven-g router", everyone should do that because saying "Wireless G" is SO stupid.

WHEN? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302101)

When is someone at slashdot going to write a script to check for dupes?

This seems like a task ideally suited to computers.

Why is thirty bucks a good deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302109)

I don't quite see why thirty bucks is such a great deal. If customers are going to use WiFI phones, they're going to want the service free or almost free with their DSL and DSL prices can only go down.

Interesting idea, but one small problem... (4, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302125)

From the article, it seems that Cringely perceives this as being an idea which could put your local phone company out of business.

Would this be the same local phone company which provides the ADSL link this would require?

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302137)

Sure, but if you have five people using the same ADSL line rather than five separate ones it definitely changes the economics of it for them.

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302190)

  1. Sure, but if you have five people using the same ADSL line rather than five separate ones it definitely changes the economics of it for them.

I'm in a group house (5 guys) and will soon suggest this as a way to cut internet and phone bills. It goes from expensive to cheap real fast, even adding in the cost of extra "phone numbers".

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302249)

Just remember that with a QoS-enabled router, your 5+ simultaneous pr0n downloads will be deprioritised as soon as someone picks up the phone, and they'll really drop off in the worst-case scenario when you're all calling at the same time. You might want to try dropping to two ADSL lines instead of just one: then you'll have one for voice and one you can dedicate for data without worrying about QoS issues. Set up Asterisk in the house and you can REALLY geek out.

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (1)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302326)

Yeah, they have to put their ADSL charges up.

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (2, Interesting)

GrassMunk (677765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302296)

I find Cringely to be in a bubble sometimes. So i think what he was eventually trying to get at was that you could blanket an entire town ( say New York or Toronto ) with enough wifi spots to have a psuedo-mesh network. The math is WAY over my head but i think the idea that you need one connection for every 3 wireless routers but the more wireless you have the less DSL connections you need.
IE:

wifi<-wifi<-wifi<-ADSL->wifi->wifi->wifi<->wifi->w ifi->wifi->ADSL<-wifi<-wifi<-wifi.

Thats a simple straight diagram and im not doing this much justice but i think you get my point ( i hope? ). So if each DSL connection has two wifi routers, one on each side assuming you paid the extra 5$ for another IP you can have 4 more wifi connections per ADSL. Thats $40/4 = 10 bucks a month for an always on wireless connections + phone.

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (4, Interesting)

Etyenne (4915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302300)

I, for one, would never trade the reliability of a landline for the boinkiness of a few consumer-grade WiFi router, tied to a (relatively) unreliable xDSL or cable net link, operating a best-effort protocol and managed by Joe Random.

How much does a landline cost anyway when you strip out all the useless gadget (CID, call waiting, etc) ? 20$ ? 30$ ? How low can this rigged VoIP-over-WiFi thingy can go ?

Re:Interesting idea, but one small problem... (3, Insightful)

Groove Holmes (723834) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Hey, Not only Linksys guys! (5, Informative)

zoobab (201383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302129)

I would like to say that there is not only Linksys, but all Broadcom based routers (Trendnet TEW-411BRP, Belkin F5D7230, Motorola, Asustek wl300g et wl500g, Buffalo Airstation, Dell Truemobile2300).

See:

http://seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/BroadcomRou te rs

There is also the other APs based on Intersil:

http://isl3893.sf.net

Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (4, Interesting)

lvdrproject (626577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302133)

WISPs are a neat idea, but here's what i found interesting. If these routers provide the basic framework for you to build a Linux router upon, this means that any old Joe has the potential to build an advanced routing OS for this system. With enough toying around (and maybe this depends on Linksys adding in a hundred or two megs more of flash or something), it's possible eventually that somebody could write a Linux system for these cheap $50-to-$120 routers that will have similar functionality to Cisco's IOS, isn't it? I mean, they wouldn't be perfect replacements by any stretch of the imagination, but given a few simple and cheap hardware upgrades to the current routers (i imagine RAM and flash would be the biggest priorities), that type of stuff could really take off.

I'm not alone here in being more interested in stuff like that than in WISPs, am i? A Cisco-like router (at least as far as the interface goes) for $70 or so would be awesome. :,)

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302169)

Linux routers that are comparable to or better than most Cisco edge routers have been around for several years. You can build your own around a discarded Pentium-class system with 2 or more NICs, and it won't cost you more than $10. However, the effort involved in configuring, maintaining and updating a Linux router isn't trivial - this choice isn't for everyone.

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (1)

lvdrproject (626577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302185)

Building routers from old Pentiums is a horrible process. The boxes are clunky, the hardware isn't controlled at all, and the configuration is very very hard. Consumer routers offer an all-in-one and controlled environment for stuff like that.

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302183)

....

Perhaps not too damaging to Cisco - according to http://www.linksys.com/ , Linksys is now "a division of Cisco Systems, Inc."

Buying linksys may have been a strategic move to avoid the exact problem that you are outlining?

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (1)

lvdrproject (626577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302205)

You've lost me. I said damaging to Cisco proper, as in, could Linksys's (the 'child' company's) routers be damaging Cisco's (the parent company's) business, by offering a cheap alternative for some. (It might be far-fetched to expect that a Linksys router has the power to do everything a Cisco router can (at least, i assume so, i'm not 100% positive on the hardware), but not everyone needs all those features. So for a medium-sized office or something, spending $70 on a Linksys router and then flashing the software is a much better alternative to spending $400 on a 'consumer' Cisco router.) :/

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (1)

really? (199452) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302267)

Think support. How much is it worth having your office "off the net" for a day, while you figure out some obscure OSPF issue?

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (1)

lvdrproject (626577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302281)

What've you got to lose? Spend $400 now and get support you might never need, or spend $70 now and save that $330 for when you really do need somebody to fix your OSPF problem. :p

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (1)

really? (199452) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302351)

For my home, if I had to buy something[1], I'd definitely only spend the $70. For my office, the $400.
If something breaks at home I swithch to my dialup wireless while I fix it. At the office I'd have 8 developpers twidling thumbs for the duration. Just not worth my, and, especially, my boss's, peace of mind.[2]
Different tools for different jobs.

[1] My freeBSD running EPIA box is doing all I need for now, and the foreseeable future.
[2] Imagine your boss trying to explain to a customer that your company can't move ahead on project "x" because "Our router with the hacked firmware is acting up."

Re:Damaging to Cisco proper, maybe...? (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302200)

Linux can already compete with Cisco IOS in most routing functions and with the correct hardware you can pretty much match most of their routers. Cisco hardware is insanely overpriced, a stick of ram can run you 2000$ when someone elses would be about $50. But when your in a big business you need the support contracts so when IOS goes ape shit you can have a few cisco engineers track down the bug.

This'll you (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Is this... (-1, Offtopic)

CompWerks (684874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302135)

Groundhog day?

The way to go! (1)

Nightreaver (695006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302140)

Giant leaps have always been better that ordinary leaps, in my opinion.

OpenWRT (5, Informative)

cnf (96794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302164)

Personally, I run OpenWRT (http://openwrt.ksilebo.net/) on my WRT54G. In my opinion, it is better, and my contact with the developers so far on IRC has been wonderfull.

Check it out, and a WRT54G (or the WRT54GS) is a nice investment, even if it was just for its geekyness :-)

Re:OpenWRT (1)

Petronius (515525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302371)

From the FAQ:

12 Does OpenWRT have a web interface?
Not yet.

what are the benefits of OpenWRT?

Re:OpenWRT (5, Informative)

cnf (96794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302597)

It is a core system, very basic. On top of that you can install what you want with ipkg's.

I have running:
SSHd
trafic shaping with iptroute2+tc
custome firewall script
no-ip client
tcpdump
network syslogd

It doesn't run a webinterface (yes, to me that is an advantage.)

Next on the agenda: vpn client to the office. ( so I am always connected from home.)
serial interface so the nids can give instructions to the WRT.

This is exactly what I need, from a 12watt machine (the WRT uses 12V DC, 1A) that makes 0 noice (no moving parts)

And above all, it is a shiny fun geektoy :)

Re:OpenWRT (1)

Petronius (515525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302659)

you ssh into it then?

Actually it's being developped! (5, Interesting)

internet-redstar (552612) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302212)

LinSpot [linspot.com] for WRT54G will be launched soon.

This means a WISP in a box for everyone - and LinSpot handles the roaming between all linspots and fills your PayPal account while you sleep (and while others roam).

I guess it will take the LinSpot crew a couple of weeks to iron the bugs out and release this for your enjoyement.

Re:Actually it's being developped! (1)

phearlez (769961) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302493)

I went and looked at http://www.linspot.com/faq.html [linspot.com] and didn't make it past the first section:

1.1 CAN ONE LINSPOT SERVE MULTIPLE WIRELESS ROUTERS?

Hard to respect a FAQ that shouts at me.

'stealth' nano culture/economy growing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302245)

previously under the 'radar' of the corepirate nazi execrable?

hard to make them buy more&more patentdead garmeNT disstricked BugWear(tm), after they've heard about the gnu (who) stuff?

almost anybody knows mom&pop et AL can produce almost anything that's called for? they've just been (s)trapped with under exposure due to the 'nature' (some say evile) of yOUR very owned 'mainstream media'?

all is not lost.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators.... where getting smaller is not always such a bad idea.

VOIP investment bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302261)

I see a bubble forming, everyone and his dog will be running a VOIP/WiFi ISP company and "making money while they sleep" ...yeahh riight.

Spam - Make money fast with your router!

Not Huuuge news. (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302305)

It's nothing really suprising at all. If you can do it on Linux you can do it on there. The only thing you got to be careful about is the space limitation. If there was a way to mod in a CF card or something, now that would be something!

Numbers ?? (4, Interesting)

mcdade (89483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302366)

I would like to know where he gets the dollar values from at the bottom of the article? He starts to toss out how much money an access point will start to make but no real values to back it up.. come one.. you need some sort of proper accounting..

Almost sounds like a get rich scam, look at how much money you can make by buying this device. Just like the gold rush, very few made money on gold, everyone got rich selling shovel's and supplies to the masses.. :)

Another cringley article that is partially based on facts, partially on fiction..

I'd be a lot more convinced to run one of these... (4, Interesting)

phearlez (769961) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302459)

... if a single damned one of the web pages gave me a good couple of concrete examples of what the payoff is of installing one of these alternatives. That is, beyond whatever disease makes so many linux users desperate to install linux on their toaster, pda and remote control. OpenWRT touts being small with a focus on installable packages, EWRT says what they have up on the others is the captive portal but none of them have an entry in their FAQ that answers "Why would I replace this currently functioning, rarely crashing pre-installed firmware and features with something else? Does it DO anything other than bragging rights at the geek pub?" And yes you troll, I know some have bandwidth shaping and other features but any software that purports to be a solution to a problem might want to identify that problem right off the bat or it should just call itself devTitsOnaBull.

Obligatory... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302472)

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of these...

What about ISP restrictions on reselling? (3, Insightful)

jmcharry (608079) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Hold the phone. (2, Interesting)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302518)

Pun intended. There is a major catch to all of this disruptive technology that Cringley and everyone else seems to be forgetting. The catch, regulatory restrictions.

You see, in the phone business, there are countless regulations and restrictions at the federal, state and local government levels. These restrictions cover everything, 911 location requirements, reliability, coverage, who is authorized to offer service, taxes and a whole lot more.

At the moment, VoIP is excluded from much of this. But, with VoIP threatening the industry, the phone giants will be using their lobbying power to make the restrictions apply to VoIP as well.

An infrastructure such as Cringley describes is technically possible, theoretically. But, if it comes to pass, it will be controlled by today's phone giants.

Of course, for all this to happen and for us to have the reliability of landlines or even cellular service our cities would have to be so heavily blanketed by 802.11 devices that hot dogs would cook themselves once removed from their microwave shielded packaging. Eat it quickly Honey, before it gets too hot.

What would be really cool.. (1)

VC (89143) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302553)

Is if somone ported airsnort to one of these.. Imagine throwing one under a desk for a week, while it cracked the wep key, then having it switch on its radio and broadcast the key as its SSID..

Cancer? (1)

midifarm (666278) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302557)

Does anyone know if any university has done a study on all the wireless technology that's constantly bombarding us and it's effects on health? Don't get me wrong I LOVE the idea of no wires anywhere, but do you think with all the 802.11b's and g's, Bluetooth, cell traffic, IR remotes, etc. that it may have a negative effect on us? Just curious...

Peace

Re:Cancer? (2, Insightful)

Klanglor (704779) | more than 10 years ago | (#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..

The phone companies can easily stop this (1)

AnotherSteve (447030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9302654)

All it takes is one quick Terms of Service update and a DSL price hike, and all economic incentive drains out of this idea.

His entire thesis seems to be that, a bunch of people could make a little bit of money each month on the margin between what the DSL providers charge and what their neighbors would be willing to pay for access. If the DSL provider eats that up with a rate hike, then the money is gone.

VOIP Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9302682)

With the VOIP tax, how do services like XBOX Live get away without paying? Is it because they are a closed system and not extending beyond their own network to land-lines? What constitutes VOIP? I can see a future where it's purely IP Phone to IP Phone ... a somewhat "closed system" like XBOX Live. How can the FCC institute a tax on something like that? (Aside from the usual 'we can do whatever we want argument')

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