Successfully Debricked WT54G V5, Drilling Limestone and Annoying Know-It-Alls, Turning off UAC Notification in Vista Windows Security Center

What?! You say, two blog entries in two days?

Successfully Debricked WT54G V5

Well, a few hours was all it took… Hours better spent making money or working on finishing our house or something.

Basically, this was the second WT54G router I got for our long-distance broadband Internet experiment. Version 5 of this router. For those who know about the WRT54G’s you’re probably mumbling “piece of junk” or something similar under your breath.

Why would Linksys take an infinitely customizable unit like the WT54G and half the memory and put on OS on it that was limited and couldn’t easily be re-burned with a new one?

I don’t know, but I was really happy when someone figured out how to do it. I had burned the micro version of DD-WRT onto this router and it worked fine. But one day while doing some experimenting it turned up dead. All lights on, wouldn’t reset even with the hard reset method. No pings to it, and scanning it with a network scanner and packet sniffer showed nothing.


So I put it on a back shelf until I had the time to mess with it.

When I did get a chance to screwed around with it I again tried the same reset methods I did earlier, with no luck. So I took a deep breath and popped it open. After identifying the correct chip (why did Linksys feel the need to keep changing the board around? Oh yea; so they could limit the amount of memory it used – seems pretty deliberate when considering the small price difference and the number of people who customize these things) I found the correct two connections to short. Pretty risky stuff but it’s dead anyway…

So that didn’t work. I proceeded to the next step, ground out one of the afore-mentioned pins to the board’s ground.

Boom! As soon as I did I started getting pings from its default IP address (you have to remember to add the “-t” to the ping command so it doesn’t stop after four).

Then it was a quick upload via Linksys’s TFTP program (Windows has a built-in command line one also). At first I was going to put the original firmware back on but this didn’t seem to work. Hmmm, I forgot – it uploads quickly but takes a few minutes (maybe five) to burn it.

No matter – I’d rather put the DD-WRT software back on it. I got the updated version – hoping the reason it frigged up before was an older version of the Micro that might have had bugs or some such.

The micro version went on fine, a few minutes for it to burn itself, and then it reset and everything was back to normal again.

A quick set up of WPA AES, changing the default IP (and switching my computer’s IP back to its previous – the computer’s IP has to be changed to access the web-interface for the router. Unless, of course, your network is in the “192.168.1.? range as a default), the password, turning off loopback, and some other settings and back in biz.

Oh yea, and bumping the power up above the manufacturer’s default.

I’m experimenting with a NAT proxy and needed the router for this.

Drilling Limestone and Annoying Know-It-Alls

Ugh. Drilling into stone. We’re wrapping up our dining room remodel and want to put a mantle on. The old one came up from the floor and wasn’t attached real well. I guess you can’t blame the guys who built the house. Way back then it had to be days of effort just to drill a large hole in stone.

But it still takes awhile nowadays. Not that I could go full-blast and drill some holes quicker. But a little research on the limestone our house is made up, and some common sense – says that a little time needs to be taken with it.

Otherwise I’ll have what is all over the exterior of the house – spiderwebs of cracked stones from the heat and vibration of the drilling that people did.

I’ve had people give me lots of (un-informed usually) advice on this sort of thing.

Why is it that people who have built things, even a number of things, think that makes them an expert in it? And especially in something specific like limestone?

There was one person who physically got up and walked out the room when I was telling him about how I had taken my time to drill the large holes for the satellite dish mount, because I didn’t want to damage the stones. This particularly person apparently thought I should have come to him for advice before hand, and that I hadn’t done it the best way. But if I had followed the advice of others right about now I’d be seeing the stone cracks appearing.

I should go out and take a few pics of the holes that were drilled by previous tenants in this house, and the damage they did versus the older holes that were drilled by those who knew what the were doing. But it’s just too damn cold and windy and snowy now 😉

What is it with people sometimes anyway?

Just because they’ve done something, maybe even a number of times – they think they’re an expert on that particular subject?

I see it all the time with our dogs. Outside of a vet or other professional who deals with dogs – what makes someone think they know more about our dogs then we do?

Someone who sees the dogs a few times a year or someone who’s with the dogs almost every waking moment?

It bugs me, and it shouldn’t matter but it does.

I see the same thing with other people and their kids. There’s always someone giving people advice on their kids, many times unwarranted or un-asked for.

Then there’s the other thing, along the same lines, that bugs me even more.

Sure, it’s annoying when someone comes up to you and begins to tell you how you should do something with an air of superiority. Annoying, overbearing, etc.

Of course there’s those who keep it to themselves, or tell others how you should be doing something, or whatever.

But the worse, at least for me, is another animal altogether. Those who don’t have the balls to tell you something face-to-face, yet don’t have the civility to keep it to themselves.

I’ve sure you’ve run across them. The ones who stand a little behind you, or off to the side, somewhere where they know they are in your earshot but not talking directly to you – and offer up their opinions on your life, how you should take care of your dogs, raise your kids, wash your car; you name it. Usually confronting them gives you a “What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” or a wave of the hand. Now that’s low, cowardly, and just not polite.

Some people are such ignorant, holier-than-thou, know-it-alls sometimes.

How did I get from drilling holes to this? Heh. Anyway, enough ranting for one day…

Turning off UAC Notification in Vista Windows Security Center

For those who have turned off User Account Control or UAC in Windows Vista you also may want to turn off the Windows Security Center’s notification of this. Otherwise it’s always going to show a big red warning and pop up a balloon each time Windows loads. Unless you turn off the security center altogether (something I do sometimes for some).

Unfortunately Microsoft didn’t allow you the option of whether to monitor it or not, at least in some of the Vista versions.

For that (if you’re comfortable using the registry editor – which looks the same as XP’s) you can go to the entry: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center” and make the entry “UacDisableNotify” a ‘1’. Reset your computer and it shouldn’t show up anymore.

Marc M

I am a web developer and fitness geek, but I have a heck of a lot of differing interests.  Biking, the Internet, technology, movies, fitness, running and walking and hiking, science fiction, photography, graphics, WordPress, flying and aircrafts, pets and animals, history, and much more.  I like to stay very fit but I don’t mind sitting at my computer for work and play either.  I live in upstate New York (that’s far from New York City) in a rural area, yet close to a small city, with my beautiful awesome wife, a bunch of beloved cats and dogs and chickens in a very old multi-century house.

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