I am in radio contact!

May 01, 2007

For the past couple of days, the Linksys 802.11b wireless access point that I've been using since my days in Pittsburgh has steadily been going downhill, much to my chagrin. I got about four years out of it, which isn't bad for an access point, but now it's making work difficult and so it's become a liability. Seeing as how I just got my paycheque I decided that while I was out and about I'd run down to the geek's equivelent of Wal-Mart and pick myself up a new access point, a Linksys WRT54G v6, to be precise.

Right out of the box it seems a bit more stable, which is to say it only had to POST (power on self-test) once before I could log into it (default IP address, no username, password 'admin') and start configuring everything.

My only complaint is that I can't configure it to act as a pure wireless access point - it's designed to be a router and it more or less has to be used as a router if you're going to use it at all. Seeing as how I went to the trouble to fence off a block of RFC 1918 IP addresses (well, no trouble really, but it's the principle of the thing) and set up a DHCP server on my lab network, I'm a little peeved. Then again, it's one less thing to worry about in the long run. What I wound up doing was setting up a second network behind the 54G and letting it act as a NATting router into the lab network with transparent forwarding of everything active. Setting up WPA took only a few minutes; transferring the list of MAC addresses to permit took longer.

After tweaking Windbringer's configuration a little bit, I was up and running from my couch home office and writing this update. Not a bad use of $50us, if I do say so myself.

Next up: Run emerge --sync and see how long it takes Windbringer to pull down updates.