I’ve spent the day working on home tech projects; we’re paring down, getting rid of excess tech accumulation. Part of that is to eliminate one Airport Extreme by meshing the other one with a new Linksys WRT54G we’d bought a few weeks ago. According to this post at rgbdream.com, we should be able to just mesh them, no muss, no fuss. No dice, either. I spent hours sniffing networks and trying to understand why, but it just didn’t work out.

Then I found out about dd-wrt.org and their firmware for the WRT54G; they’re based on openwrt.org’s work and are one of many implementations. (I chose to avoid sveasoft’s implementation as there seem to be questions about their adherence to the GPL. Icky.) Bummer, though – the new WRT54G is v5, which is no longer an embedded Linux device. This makes it an inhospitable environment for the various open source firmware projects.

The old WRT54G is v1 — yay! — and is now reflashed according to the advice of Swimmer on testmy.net and, with very little problem, there’s now just one wireless net in the house (yes, there were two before – WRT and the Extremes ;p). It’s amazing what the dd-wrt firmware enables. I can ssh into the router now. I can set up a hotspot, complete with http redirect to a login page (and easy ChillSpot setup, whatever that is). I can set up fixed MAC address to IP associations for DHCP, which means that I can actually have decent internal DNS without needing a separate DHCP and DNS server. Most of all, it’s nice streaming Twang-Twang-Shock-A-Boom through iTunes to the stereo knowing there’s far less hardware in the mix.

Anyone need an extra Airport Extreme? I’ll trade for a pre-v5 WRT54G …

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25 March 2006