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Geek, Geek, Geek!

Okay, it’s the kind of thing that just plain happens every once in a while, with no real predictability, other than the knowledge that it is, in fact, inevitable.   This applies to a lot of things in the life of a geek, of course, but this time, it is referring specifically to the death of my wireless-b router.  It was only the second router I’ve ever owned, and the only wireless one.  The wired router that I still have didn’t die on me, but I faced the realization that the forty or so bucks that the thing cost after rebate (and I have to admit to being a person who can actually get those little cards filled out and mailed in) was a lot less than the time and money it would cost me to put holes in all the walls, not to mention all the little leashes and tethers that would be running all over the house.

So anyway, after a long and fruitful life, the old blue box had finally given up the ghost, just as I was about to leave the house for a four-day trip.  I’ve come to look at the death of a four year-old piece of equipment as a nice opportunity for upgrade, especially when the possibility exists to find something more grand to “Grow into”.  So I spent a good part of my layovers on that trip researching the latest and greatest in wireless routers.  I also, regrettably, said goodbye to my comfortable old price point.  After all, my laptop now had wireless-n, so I would be losing all that extra potential speed and streaming ability!  There are still forty-buck routers, but what’s the point of just replacing a router with the same thing? There’s truly nothing better than watching old episodes of M*A*S*H, curled up in bed with the laptop, and nothing ruins the moment like seeing the whole thing come to a screeching halt when the stream gets all choppy…

So, in the course of researching routers, I find out about the open source firmware that really opens the horizon up for a router-hacking geek like me.  Of course, this project is Linux-based.  I’ve been trying really, really hard to back away from Windows for years, but it always seems that there is some application that I desperately need to use, that only works with Redmond-ware.  So my forays into the wonderful world of Linux have ultimately been temporary.  Of course, a new router and new firmware seems like a perfect excuse for another go…

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