Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Was Dying To Go Wii Wii's

So I finally bit the bullet and got myself a Wii. One of the best retail shopping decisions I have made in the past few years.

Not only is this thing fun to play with, but the consoles footprint in the TV Unit is so small you hardly need to move things around to get it in t here. The piano white looks amazing with most of the other hardware in the unit and the Silver plastic of the Wii Bar is the same as my LCD tv so I can't complain.

The games I've played so far:

  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Wii Sports
  • Wii Play
  • Crash Bandicoot Crapola or something like that.

With Mario Kart Wii came a plastic steering wheel shaped housing for the WiiMote, simply slide the WiiMote into the wheel and its like having one of those sensitive just like being there racing wheels. Sure you feel like a bit of a DORK holding this wheel up in the air like you did as a kid pretending to drive, but that soon wavers in favour of the fact you actually interacting with your new gaming machine.

I've also purchased myself a recharging station that plugs into the Wii's power pack. Not only is this solution elegant but it also leaves both USB ports available for controllers and keyboards when required. The bright Blue LED's that indicate when a controller is charging mimic the same colour as the Wii's DVD LED.

Which brings me to my next point. WiiConnect24... An idea that I personally think is fantastic. Why is fantastic? Well imagine that you need to remind yourself of something. Simply setup a email from your email client to be sent in the future at the time required and BOOM the DVD light flashes bright blue to let you know you have a new message to read :D Okay so its not that great, but its a nice feature non the less.

The WiiMote and Nun chuck are an absolute delight to use. Both easy to hold in the hand of a child and an adult, and in use they are very intuitive. The ability to store up to 10 of your Mii's (More on those later) inside the controller also allows playing games on a friends machine as yourself when ever or where ever you are.. Of course, providing you take the WiiMote with you.

Online okay is available for free.. that's right, completely free so you can play your mates whenever you like with no further ongoing costs such as those charge by M$ for their Live service.

At the moment all I'm seeing is pluses for this Console..; if i find a bad point, I'll let you know.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

OpenWRT Backup - Restore

So you've just configured this router just the way you like it. You've installed the required packages and all now its time to safeguard your baby and backup your router completly. (Apart from bootrom & nvram) To do t his couldn't be easier... simply enter the following into an ssh session:
dd if=/dev/mtd/1 of=/tmp/firmware.trx

Now all thats needed to do is SCP the firmware backup to your computer for safe keeping.

So now lets imagine you've done something silly like rm -r -f /jffs/* and now your routers now doing what u like... or maybe you've changed config settings all over the place so much so that u just want to go back to when it worked. Well fear now more, since we've backed up, one simply command and about 3 minutes and we'll be back to normal.

To restore all you need to do is enter the following into an ssh session:
mtd -r write firmware.trx linux

So there you go, all those lost nights sitting up awake scared of router mishaps, now you're safe.. *sigh* night night :p

Saturday, April 05, 2008

X-WRT with TFTPD in minutes

Download X-wrt Whiterussian version.. NOT KAMIKAZE.. I REPEAT.. NOT!~!! (Ignore me, and it wont work.. trust me I tried)

SSH to the router, and copy and paste the following commands one by one.

ipkg update
ipkg install atftp
ipkg install ip
ipkg install kmod-ext2
cd /lib/modules/2.4.30
wget http://www.linuxdingsda.de/mmc.o
echo "0x9c" > /proc/diag/gpiomask
insmod mmc
insmod ext2
mkdir /mnt/sd

echo 'echo "0x9c" > /proc/diag/gpiomask
ifconfig vlan1:0 netmask
ip route add default via dev vlan1 table default
iptables -I INPUT -p udp -i vlan1 -d --sport 1024:65535 --dport 69 -j ACCEPT

iptables -I INPUT -p udp -d --dport 69 -j ACCEPT
iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING 1 -p udp --dport 69 -j DNAT --to

iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 53 -j ACCEPT

atftpd --no-timeout --daemon --port 69 --user root.root /tftpboot' >> /etc/init.d/S95custom-user-startup

then simply scp the files into /tftpboot and robert is your mothers brother.

Hope that helps :D

Friday, April 04, 2008

Setting up a WRT54G as a tftp server

Install SDCard mod
Although this option is not 100% necessary it does make things a lot easier for you in the long run.

Once you have your SDCard modded as per the instructions here, you will need to add a few extra lines to your routers startup configuration.

In the DD-WRT web interface, click on Administration --> Commands
You will need to enter the following into the text box on this page, and then click the Save Startup button.
umount /jffs
mount -o bind /mmc /jffs

Effectivly what these two lines do are quite simple. The first un-mounts the default JFFS2 partition, and the second, well it mounts the sd-card (/mmc) as the /jffs partition.

Install OptWare packages

Now that you have the SDCard functioning, its time to install the OptWare packages. This will be required to allow the installation of Atftpd later in the guide.
The installation is actually quite simple, however most is done via the SSH or TelNet interface of your router.

~ # mkdir /jffs/opt
~ # mount -o bind /jffs/opt /opt

This will first create a new jffs folder for us to use as a virtual mount point, it then uses the bind option of the mount command to "virtual" mount this folder as our new /opt folder. Doing this allows us both read and write access to the /opt folder which is usually marked as read only on the WRT54G's squashFS filesystem.

The next step is to simply use a nice warm and fuzzy script thats been created to setup all the required packages/folders and config files for using OptWare

wget http://pastebin.ca/raw/876251 -O - tr -d '\r' > /tmp/optware-install.sh
sh /tmp/optware-install.sh

Effectively what this does is download the config file to the /tmp folder (Ram) and then runs that file to install optware.

The next step in the process is to add a few extra variables into the routers default path. This can be done with the following line:

export PATH=/opt/bin:/opt/sbin:$PATH

This needs to be put into the Start-up commands folder of your router via the web interface.

Installing ATFTP

Now that we have OptWare installed, its time to finish up by installing tftp.

this quite simple to do. all thats required is to issue the following command:
~ #/opt/bin/ipkg-opt install atftp

once that completes its just a matter of adding some routing and virtual network interfaces to the router to allow a modem to communicate with the router, hence working as its TFTP Server.

Add the following to your Startup Commands and all should be well..

export IPKG_CONF_DIR=/opt/etc
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/bin:/opt/sbin

ifconfig vlan1:0 netmask
ip route add default via dev vlan1 table default
iptables -I INPUT -p udp -i vlan1 -d --sport 1024:65535 --dport 69 -j ACCEPT

iptables -I INPUT -p udp -d --dport 69 -j ACCEPT
iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING 1 -p udp --dport 69 -j DNAT --to

iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 53 -j ACCEPT

Thats all it takes.

Save the startup config, and all as the say.. Is DONE!

How-to: Schedule your speakers to automatically mute overnight

The process is fairly simple. We need to use a free third party utility to allow the mute to take place. There are many utilities you could use for this such as NirCmd or Wizmo, but today to keep things simple I am going to use a program called Mute.

The next step is to set up a scheduled task to enable and disable these utilities. All of these utilities unload themselves from memory once they have run. This means that unmuting can still be controlled through your normal muting methods.

The setup for Vista and XP are slightly different, but you will find all the instructions after the jump

Start off by downloading your desired mute program and save it somewhere you can get to easily.

Windows XP:

Open “Scheduled Tasks” (inside accessories of the start menu)
Double Click “Add Scheduled Task”
Click “Next”
Browse to your utility; E.g. C:\mute.exe
Select when you want it to run. (I chose Daily).
Click “Next”
Select what time you want the task to run; E.g. 12:00am
Enter in your username and password
Click “Next”
Tick the Open Advanced Properties tick box
Click “Finish”
In the Run box, make it “C:\mute.exe on”

You will need to follow the steps above to make a second task to unmute your computer in the morning. You will need to change the name of it to unmute so that it does not conflict with the initial task.
This will need to have the off argument instead of on.

That’s it. Your computer should now mute and unmute itself at the times you specified.

Windows Vista:

The Vista setup is similar to the XP setup, but you get a few more options. You can set it to only occur if the computer has been idle for longer than 10 minutes. This means that your computer game or movie won’t be interrupted.

Open “Task Scheduler” (inside accessories of the start menu)
Click “Create New Task” (not basic)
Give it a name “Mute”
Go to the “Triggers” tab
Click “New” (defaults to schedule)
Enter the frequency and time you want the mute to occur
Click “OK”
Go to the “Actions” tab
Click “New” (defaults to run program)
Browse for your program and put in the necessary arguments; E.g. On
Click “OK”
Go to the “Conditions” tab
Here, define how long you want the computer to be idle before activating the mute.
Click “OK”

You will need to follow the steps above to make a second task to unmute your computer in the morning. You will need to change the name of it to unmute so that it does not conflict with the initial task. This will need to have the off argument instead of on.

That’s it. Your computer should now mute and unmute itself at the times you specified.


As you can see, it is not overly hard to set this up. It is also not very hard to turn your speakers off when you go to bed. I am often forgetful though so this method is ideal for me.

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Check it out.. search for a song... click on the song you want... When the popup window opens (I'm assuming your using firefox) simply press the control key + U and this will pop up the page source.

Simply do a search for .mp3 and you will soon see a rather long link... copy this link and paste it into your web browsers address bar... And BOOM.. the download dialogue appears asking where you would like to save your new mp3. Let it download.. you are now the proud owner of an mp3 you really wanted.. all thanks to Listen77.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


A good friend on mine just sent me this link, not only is it interesting its aboslutly awesome the way this device removes ambiant noise. If only I could afford one. Absolutly fantastic.. me thinks I better start saving :D

Maybe one day, when I get really good at this blogging stuff, I might be allowed to have a review unit. But from the demo, do you really need to review it.. its simply.. AMAZING!

Although said good mate, also just posed a very very very good question.... Will it filter out wives, girlfriends, children, small annoying pets. Who knows.. if you have one.. let me know.


So I've installed the SDCard mod, I'm back to good old faithful DD-WRT and i've got a mount --bind setup for sub /jffs with /mmc/jffs

but when issuing a df command (Disk Usage) I get the following
~ # df
Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 2880 2880 0 100% /
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /mmc
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /opt
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /opt
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /jffs
~ #

So there's two /opt mount points.. how the hell is that even possible.. So.. I try to umount them and get the following

~ # umount -f /opt
~ # df
Filesystem 1k-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 2880 2880 0 100% /
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /mmc
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /opt
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /opt
/dev/mmc/disc0/part1 983771 62686 871095 7% /jffs
~ #

Look at that.. Didn't make a frikkin difference.. Anyone know how to fix this one?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Things I Need To Document

SDCard mod to wrt54g - Followed the guide here.
Installation of DD-WRT - Didn't follow the guide, but here one is
Utilising the SDCard as /jffs - Followed the guide here.
Installing OptWare into /jffs - Followed the guide here.
Installing atftpd
Configuring WAN Interface for second IP Address
Setting up SSH Tunnel to home for unrestricted web browsing.
Started out great, Died in the ass!

So I decided it was time to try getting my hands dirty and installing openWRT on my WRT54G. Started out with DD-wrt and ran through the process of a firmware upgrade. All went very well.

Once the router rebooted I enabled uPNP and tried opening uTorrent. That worked a treat, if anything my torrents seems somewhat faster than ever before. Perhaps this was all my head, perhaps not, it was 2am and I didn't quite care at this point. I had better things to do.

The next step in my router config was to have atfpd load on startup and for the WAN interface to have a second ip address so as to allow it to talk locally to a modem I use for testing.

With DD-WRT i had to worry about settings up jffs on my mmc and setting up the OptWare packages etc, with openWRT because of the small default footprint this firmware has I didn't need to do any of this and it was simply a matter of ipkg install atftp, setting a few config options and firewall settings and BOOM.. was off and racing again with my test modem.

So far so good, I've got better speeds, I've got a much easier to install tftp server... seems to be going well.

Next hurdle, setup dropbear (SSH Server) in the router to listen on port 443 as well as 22. So this is where i couldn't work it out. Seems the simplest thing was stuffing me up. I can change the drop bear config and have it listen on 443, but then do I need to open the firewall to allow this connection through??? I'd tried leaving it at the default port 22 and using port forwarding to get it going, alas this would never frikkin work either.

So its 4am.. and I've had a skin full of this crap, dd-wrt although a lil bulkier due to its one size fits all nature, was all warm and fluffy in its configuation.. do it via the web interface and "OCCASIONALY" use the CLI when you really need to get your hands dirty.

So until the simple things become.. well simple in OpenWRT I'll be sticking with DD-WRT. Also.. just in case. I tried to flash FROM OpenWRT to DD-WRT and it wouldn't work with the default packages. I found the simplest way was to:

  1. Download Tomato firmware from www.polarcloud.com (In the form of a .trx and not the standard .bin file).
  2. Flash upgrade to that firmware
  3. Then Flash Upgrade to DD-WRT v23-VPN (As this is the version I use)
The only problem i had with this process was that I couldn't log into dd-wrt with the standard username=root and password=admin
So I did the following

  1. Log into the router via TELNET (This will be on by default in dd-wrt and the root/admin password combination will work here).
  2. When prompted Username: root and Password: admin
  3. This will then drop you to a command prompt. From here enter the following
  4. nvram set http_passwd="" and press ENTER
  5. next type nvram commit and press ENTER
  6. Without rebooting, try and access the routers web interface ( You should find the username to now be root and the password is blank, meaning.. THERE IS NO PASSWORD TO ENTER JUST LEAVE IT BLANK
  7. Now using the Administration --> Factory Defaults select the Yes radion button and then click Save Settings
  8. After a minute or so, you're router will be back to its pristine factory default state. The username will be root and the password admin.
I hope that helps some unlucky soul when having trouble upgrading to DD-WRT from a diff firmware.