狗年旺旺!

Today is the first day of the lunar new year. This year is the year of the dog.

Last night we had a big new year’s dinner with lots of different foods, such as chicken soup, soba noodles, sashimi, sushi rolls, mushroom noodles, asparagus and cream cheese wrapped with smoked salmon, etc. For wine we had a 2001 Ridge Dusi Ranch Zinfandel, Moet Chandon Rose Champagne, and then at midnight R. Renaudin Champagne.

There’s been a fairly steady drizzle outside, so it’s been one of the quietest new years I’ve had here when it comes to firecrackers. That’s good for me! On a dry year we’ll have firecrackers going off until well after 1am, and then again starting around 5am. Yikes.

I’ve been playing around a lot with my OpenWRT router. I’ve got it set up to build a VPN to my network in Santa Clara, and ntpclient and cron are setup to sync the clock. The router I got is the Asus WL-500G Deluxe. It comes with 802.11g wireless, 5-port switch, 2 USB2 ports, 4MB of flash, 32MB of RAM, and a 200mhz CPU. It also has two serial ports built-in though there aren’t external connectors, so you would have to install those yourself. The USB ports can be used for a variety of purposes such as disk/flash, webcam, etc. This model is one of the best equipped routers that supports OpenWRT currently. Looks like it goes for around US$100 in the US, though I got mine for US$83 in Taiwan.

One of the interesting things about these routers is that there’s really nothing special about the ‘WAN’ port on them. All the ports are on the same internal switch and then VLANs are built so that the WAN port is on one VLAN and the LAN ports are on another VLAN. For example, on my router it has a 6 port switch built in. One port is for the wireless, one port for the WAN VLAN and four ports for the LAN VLAN. The default is that the LAN and wireless ports are bridged together. But the interesting thing with OpenWRT is that you can setup the VLANs however you want to segregate different nets, use a different port for WAN, or in the case of using it as an AP or a wireless bridge, you can make the WAN port a regular LAN port.

Anyways, it’s a fun toy to play around with.

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