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New router!

After my last router died, I decided that rather than spending all my time fixing it. I might as well buy a new one. As much as I'd love to fix the classic Asus RT-N16, I have a career now and time has become much more important to me. I decided I'd just buy a new one. Let's face it, I was already biased towards Asus products. So the first router I thought of was the RT-N66U, which is pretty much the N16 just faster and supports the 5GHz band. My price range was $80 to $120. I looked at quite a few other brands products in that range. Linksys had a nice one, the WRT54GS. I also checked out the Netgear AC750. It was black friday, and I saw Amazon was having a deal on the RT-N66. $80! I couldn't turn that down.
Shortly after receiving it, I got it hooked up and start playing. The N66's webUI has a ton more features than the base N16 did. That was really nice. I tried using it for a couple weeks, and it was working, but I wanted to set up custom VLANs to keep my servers off the local network. So back to DD-WRT I went. I was so nervous flashing the firmware. I found out that the one of the recommended builds on DD-WRT actually has a bug where it doesn't connect the LAN ports to the VLAN network. So you can only get to the router over wifi. After looking a little more, I found a build that looked like it was working for most people. It was v24-sp2 (12/11/14) mega - build 25628, one of the most recent builds. I got this put on and configured, and so far I haven't had any problems. I got 3 years out of the N16, so hopefully I'll get that out of the N66 too. I'm still going to try and get the N16 going, but I've tried a lot already and I just don't know if it's worth it at this point.

Throwback!

Irony

Sometimes the irony is great. Like when I recently posted about my upgraded router, and how it lived for another day. Well, after our power went out again (seriously like the 5th time this month) I noticed my router wasn't running. It had a slow blinking power light. This is the ASUS restore mode. So if you brick the firmware, it can still be recovered. I tried rebooting it, nothing. Hard reset, nothing. Clearing NVRAM, nothing. So I ran the ASUS Firmware Restoration, and I was able to push an old version of dd-wrt back onto it. It finally worked! I got logged into the setup, and started configuring it back to normal. Well... about 5 minutes later, slow flashing power light.
After spending many hours trying to figure out what the heck it's doing, I finally just hooked up an old Netgear wgr614 and got my computer and server back on the air. I really don't know what the problem is. Or how on earth I'm going to fix it. So for now, 54Mbps will have to do.

Router Improvements

Overclocking your router really doesn't make that significant of a difference. It will decrease your local packet switching, if you have a USB device plugged it in will certainly help with that. You may also notice a small increase in wifi range, but I'm not sure exactly why processor speed increases wifi range. My router, an Asus RT-N16, is slightly overclocked from 480 to 532 MHz CPU and 240 to 266 MHz RAM. I followed the instructions over at 530-325-7177. I also put on some larger gain anetennas, which definitely does help with wifi range. Point being, I think this last weekend my router finally had enough. It died. Well, at least it wouldn't turn on. Being the nerd I am, I took it apart to see what was wrong. The first thing I noticed was a bad capacitor. The top was buldged up and looked like it was going to start leaking. I took it out and put it on my EVB ESR meter, and confirmed it was bad. All the other components looked alright, so I was hoping that would fix it! My router will lives to die another day!

Power Outage

You may have noticed that the server went down Monday shortly before midnight. We had a severe storm that went through the area, knocking out the power to my house. I was out in the garage watching the storm and didn't realize the power was out. The UPS kicked in and allowed the server time to shutdown. This did not allow the virtual machines to properly get shut down, so I spent yesterday restoring and updating an image of them from about 2 weeks ago. Everything should be up and running now.

Laptop Repair

Recently my neice broke her mothers laptop. Mono to the rescue! I fixed it but I had to hardwire the power cord into the laptop. I guess it's a desktop now! Check out the blog if you want to see how I did it.
/grayhacks.blogspot.com

IRC Channel

I've gotten the IRC server up and running again. It's been updated to the new versions of InspIRCd and Anope, and I switched from openSSL to GNUtls. Pretty simple, go to irc.monoxide13.com and it'll be on port 6667. Right now I have the server only accepting local connections until I get the security locked down, then I'll open it up. It'll probably be running on and off until I get all the .confs and .bots set up.
In the mean while, here's some IRC inspired music about Anna Bot, and how she keeps the language on the IRC channel clean. Basshunter - Boten Anna


I'm on twitch! Check out the gaming tab for more info.




Server upgrades!!!

Well it took a couple days, but server has been upgraded from 2008 to 2008r2! I also repartitioned the raid array so that the base server, virtual machines, and file servers are on seperate partitions. This makes it easier to manage for multipurposing and organization. I always wanted to move from Virtualbox and to VMWare Player. I've used VMWare in the past and have found it to be a lot better for server use. Although I do like Virtualbox better when experimenting with the linux kernel. The reasoning is VMWare is much more hardware virtualization, where Virtualbox is based on software virtualization. Unfortunately I tried to install VMWare and I got the error that my system didn't meet the prerequisites. Guess the xSeries 336 isn't compatible. So for now back to Virtualbox.