Monthly Archives: March 2010

One less Linksys WRT-54G in the world

Well, actually, no. We still have it. But it’s unplugged. At the next garage sale, we’ll get rid of the carcass.

I replaced my Linksys WRT-54G wireless router with an ASUS WL-520GU. Out of box, the ASUS is a better deal with far superior features. These include using static IPs, so I can permit individual machines rather than allowing all my neighbors to crack my WPA key at their leisure. Another useful feature is meaningful logging. The Linksys and my Westel DSL modem don’t work well together; I have to reboot the pair of them about 2-3 times a week. If the Linksys had logs, I could tell whether the problem was in it or in the Westel modem. Now I can find out.

But that’s the out-of-box firmware. The ASUS router also works with Tomato, an aftermarket firmware upgrade, that provides a slew of additional features. There are similar projects for Linksys routers, but all the Linksys routers I’ve ever found are cost-reduced emasculated versions too lacking in RAM or Flash memory to work with any of the replacement firmware.

So. I’m a happy ASUS customer for three reasons: better out of box features, the potential for even more features when or if I get around to upgrading the firmware, and (best of all) I get to retire a blue Linksys router. What’s not to like?

Wall of Moisture

Wall of Moisture

Driving west on I-10 Sunday, I saw again why California has a desert. The moisture from the coast rarely makes it very far inland. This is at the San Gorgonio pass, about 100 miles E of Los Angeles. See the windmills? They’re there because there is usually an east wind (i.e., westbound). When there’s weather in the Inland Empire and it wants to go east, it can only get this far.

The Lives of Others

I finished watching The Lives of Others. That makes two subtitled foreign films this century! Awesome. It’s the story of a secret policeman with the East German Stasi and a couple he is assigned to investigate.

I’m no good at movie reviews, so I won’t try. I think the story and the characters were both excellent. There is almost no “action” — and yet at moments your heart is pounding because of the intensity. (More like a thriller or old-school horror movie, in that way.) No special effects, no CGI.

The main character is Gerd Wiesler, played by the late Ulrich Mühe. His life story is interesting in its own right.

I’m glad I saw this movie. It’s an excellent critique of the totalitarian state — the best I can remember; perhaps as good as Animal Farm. But it’s also an enjoyable movie to watch.

Child Sacrifice?

This makes me sick:

Argentines Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their children before killing themselves after making an apparent suicide pact over fears about global warming.

(There was, incredibly, a survivor.)