Despite my initial enthusiam for my last Belkin ADSL router the excitement soon turned sour and over the past year I’ve expended too much energy in swearing at it, resetting it and returning it to the shop.
So yesterday I decided to treat myself to a new router and got a web-price on a Linksys WAG54GS because:
- I quite like linksys kit
- Linksys is now owned by Cisco
- It supposedly runs Linux which would make me feel a lot more comfortable about its reliability
It’s small, simple, worked perfectly out of the box, the firmware is GPL and freely available(!), and best of all it can even give you a shell!
To enable the shell you just go to http://192.168.x.y/setup.cgi?todo=debug
and then you can telnet in and get dumped into a nice busybox root shell.
It’s Linux! It’s got a nice file system, /proc full of fun stuff and the firewalling is iptables! Now, to most people this is not going to matter or be of the slightest interest, but to me this is not only essential – if I don’t have the source I don’t trust the software – but it makes me worryingly excited. If the web front end doesn’t do what you want, you can do it yourself!
As the kids say, “W00t!”
They really need different packaging for different target audiences. The package it came in is covered in pointless logos and vague marketing language like “SPEEDBOOSTER(tm)”, “125 Signal Rate”, “35% FASTER” which is clearly aimed at the regular dullard gamer kids who see bigger numbers as better. They need a separate package for geeks that is just plain white with a list of specs and a “runs Linux” banner. And then for the vast majority terrified home users who know nothing and just want to get on the net, a nice picture of Rolf Harris stroking a recuperating kitten.