Today was my new-every-2 upgrade day -- my nephew recommended the Incredible over the IPhone. I'm liking it! one-click to turn on its built-in wifi hotspot, and now Vicki and I can both surf the web easily.I'm trying out connectbot (free) ssh client. Not bad, but probably wouldn't use unless really in a jam without a laptop handy.Now we are diving into programming the phone... Java, who knew?Naturally they recommend Eclipse. sigh...

I needed to do some VLAN testing and this switch is doing a great job so far!Not only does it handle my VLAN testing needs, but it also has a nice 'port mirroring' feature that lets me run Wireshark and see what is coming and going.The documentation is pretty good too.

I didn't find support for the SD card in the latest U-Boot, but I did find patches on the mailing list -- look for patches on Nov 21, 2010.I grabbed the 'stable' U-Boot from ftp -- 2010.12, and then applied the 3 patch files.The build went fine, so I am also going to try and fit the 'HUSH' shell, because I'd like the ability to run scripts (using 'Source') instead of hand-editing the U-boot environment variables.For some unknown reason, the sd card doesn't seem to work. So I guess I'll give up on this idea for now and go back to an older version without scripts but with reasonable mmc performance.

I wanted to experiment with OpenWRT's VLAN support so I reflashed back to RC4 of Backfire -- svn r24038.

As a stop-gap measure, I managed to get a ramdisk version of OpenWrt modified to boot Debian on the external USB drive. After testing via TFTP a few times, I looked at the U-Boot source from Netgear to find the info on which area of flash to use. The NOR flash made it easy -- just burned the UImage ramdisk image to the place that originally had the Squashfs. -- 0xBf070000As far as getting Debian on to the external USB drive, I used the 'foreign' debootstrap approach. Here's a nice description for the Sheevaplug, but it was pretty close to what I did for the WNDR3700.

Well it's been painful trying to persuade openwrt to boot debian instead. mostly just trying to figure out how to configure the kernel to boot from external hard drive. Also the u-boot is old and doesn't seem to know about usb. this isn't too bad but it basically means the kernel will have to be burned into flash each time we upgrade. not fun but workable. a modern u-boot would have built-in support for booting a file from external usb hard drive directly. Meanwhile, ran across a few links that are encouraging. First, looks like this chip -- AR71XX will be in mainline Linux before too long. check out the mips-linux mailing list and their GIT repository -- the 'queue' repository has a bunch of patches related to this chip.Also, the folks at DebWrt seem to have some sort of build system that pulls from both OpenWrt and Debian.

OpenWRT disabled the FPU emulation in the kernel and build all of the apps with -msoft-float... Not sure why yet. But gonna grab latest 'backfire' from Openwrt and see if we can modify the kernel to enable FPU emulation

This is an easy mod -- except I didn't have a T8 (small!) torx. Radio Shack had a set though. The pcb has a 4-pin male header, so no need to solder. Used an old cell phone 3.3 volt USB data cable that I had previously hacked for NSLU2. See this page for pin-out.

I am thinking of trying Debian on this router, but first I upgraded to the most recent OpenWRT release candidate. It was easy - just scp the binary to the router's /tmp, then log in and run sysupgrade -v filename

It didn't take long to run out of room. I'm gonna try a thumbdrive as rootfs. If that isn't enough then I'll go with an external usb drive.But first I'm gonna switch from the jffs2 to the squashfs which may work out better if/when I need to unplug the thumbdrive or have a problem with the thumbdrive.Oops, I'm missing a module or two from the squashfs so I'll redo the 'make menuconfig'. I am following this guide about using a thumbdrive as root filesystem.Part of the trouble -- I was trying to mix pre-packaged modules from the default internet download site, with my custom-built kernel/squash image - this would be OK, except my kernel version is newer than the one used by the download site. I may just set up my own (local) site to serve up my packages that I built. Or I can just manually copy over the packages I need. So, I may not really need to keep re-building the system every time I run into a missing kernel module.Ok adding a couple of missing modules to the squashfs and now the pivot-root to the usb thumbdrive is working. Now I can move on to adding snort and maybe dansguardian to this new router.But first I ran opkg update and then opkg install luci # the web maintenence interface, then /etc/init.d/uhttp startThen opkg install python # just for fun