*/ ?>

Using the La Fonera Router from Fon as a Wireless Bridge

Filed Under Gadgets & Hardware, Hacks and Mods | 2008-09-26, 18:43

(If you haven’t hacked DD-WRT onto your Fon router yet, you probably want to read this article: Hacking the La Fonera Fon Router with DD-WRT)

So you’ve got a Fon router with one ethernet port and wireless hardware, what do you do with it? Well you could use it for a number of things thanks to the flexibility of DD-WRT, but I’m going to tell you how to use it as a wireless bridge to connect a device with an ethernet port to your wireless network. This is assuming you’ve already flashed DD-WRT v24 RC7 onto your Fon router.

Plug the Fon router into your laptop/desktop using an ethernet cable. (You’ll probably want to disconnect your machine from any wireless or wired connections while working on this to avoid confusion)
On your computer, set your IP address to manual and set it as something like Anything in the 192.168.1 subdomain will work though.
Open a web browser and connect to the Fonera web interface ( Username: root Password: admin)

Under the Wireless tab, set the Wireless Mode to “Client Bridge”.
Set the Wireless Network Name (SSID) to match the SSID of the router you want to bridge.
Set the Wireless Network Mode to match the router too (probably just leave it at Mixed)

Under Wireless->Wireless Security, setup your security settings like WPA, keys, etc. These should match the router you’re bridging
Then you should check under Status->Wireless and you should see that you are connected to the SSID of the access point you specified.
Go to Setup->Basic Setup and under “WAN Connection Type” set Connection Type to Static IP and manually give your Fon an IP that matches the subnet of your network, i.e.
Set the Gateway and Static DNS 1 to your main router’s ip (mine is
Also change the Network Setup to match these settings.
Change the DHCP Type to “DHCP Forwarder” and the DHCP Server to your main router’s IP address. (This is all of course assuming you’re using DHCP on your router.)

Under Setup->Advanced Routing, change Operating Mode to RIP2 Router

Check under Status->Wireless and you should still be connected to your main router.

Reboot the Fon router (under Administration->Management, at the bottom), unplug and replug the ethernet cable, and reconnect to the web interface, this time using (or whatever IP you set the Fon router to be). Be patient as the Fon may take awhile to reboot.

Test your internet connection and connection to other local machines on your network, making sure you’re using the ethernet connection to the Fon router. If everything went well, you should be all set!

You should now be able to use the tiny Fon router to hook up one device via ethernet. This could be a Playstation 3, or an Xbox/Xbox 360, or maybe a single computer in a different room that you couldn’t run CAT5 cable to. It’s up to you!

Information via


Flying over the English Channel with a JetPack

Filed Under Geek, Video | 2008-09-25, 16:07

The future is here. Swiss adventurer/pilot Yves Rossy will be testing your jetpack tomorrow morning. He’s going to attempt to fly over the English channel (a 23mile journey) with nothing but a pair of jets strapped to a wing on his back. He controls the throttle and steers with his body. National Geographic has been following his story and will be broadcasting the (hopefully successful) attempt on Friday, Sept 26th at 7:30am ET. Way too early for my blood to get up, but you guys on the east coast might be able to catch it. You can catch the documentary of the JetMan on National Geographic already. More info (and jaw dropping videos) over on the official site: Flight of the Jet Man.

Leave a Comment

Hacking the La Fonera Fon Router with DD-WRT

Filed Under Gadgets & Hardware, Hacks and Mods | 2008-09-24, 21:47

I live across the street from a friend and we thought it would be handy to be able to connect to each other’s machines in order to transfer files back and forth. Rather than just connect to each other’s networks as needed, we figured it’d be easier just to setup a third “across-the-street” network. This means that we both need endpoints to connect to the other. For me, I chose to use an old Fon “La Fonera” router that I had stuffed away in a box months ago. Unfortunately the firmware that ships with the Fon router doesn’t have support to do anything like this. Luckily there are free, open-source firmwares out there like DD-WRT that are robust enough to meet our needs. The first major step was to actually get DD-WRT on this router. Here’s how I did it and how you can too:

You’re first going to need some tools:
– An ethernet cable and a laptop/desktop to use. I also recommend having a second machine that you can use just for an internet connection in case you run into trouble.
– Telnet and SSH clients (putty on windows, built-in on OS X)
– A TFTP server setup with the latest release of DD-WRT:
— For Windows, you can use Simple TFTP server
— For OS X, you can use the built-in TFTP server with the following commands:

sudo mkdir /private/tftpboot
sudo /sbin/service tftp start

To test your TFTP connection put a file in /private/tftpboot and try the following:

tftp localhost
get filename

If TFTP is working, great, go grab the v24 RC7 version of the linux.bin file for DD-WRT here and drop it into /private/tftpboot since we’ll need this later. Just in case, I’ve mirrored a copy of linux.bin.

Ok great, your initial things are setup and ready. The first real step is to get SSH enabled, and this proved to be the most challenging as I tried to piece together information from various sites on various methods. Luckily it should be easy for you. How to go about this is different depending on the firmware you have on your Fon router. I had 0.7.1 r2 so I couldn’t use the html form injection method and had to use what is called the Kolofonium hack. Basically it means you set the Fon router to use manual network settings and set the DNS server to Then plug the router in and it will attempt to connect to a Fon server to update. The new DNS server you’ve specified is special though, and will redirect this request to a different server, which will provide different firmware that will then have SSH enabled on the device. This should work for most devices. Once this is done, you’ll need to SSH into the device (ssh with username of “root” and password of “admin”) and enable it permanently by executing the following:

mv /etc/init.d/dropbear /etc/init.d/S50dropbear

Great, SSH is now enabled permanently. Next up, flashing the firmware. Connect via SSH to the LaFonera, and execute the following commands:

cd /tmp
wget http://fonera.info/camicia/openwrt-ar531x-2.4-vmlinux-CAMICIA.lzma
mtd -e vmlinux.bin.l7 write openwrt-ar531x-2.4-vmlinux-CAMICIA.lzma vmlinux.bin.l7

After a few seconds to allow the Fon to reboot, reconnect over SSH and execute the following:

cd /tmp
wget http://fonera.info/camicia/out.hex
mtd -e “RedBoot config” write out.hex “RedBoot config”

At this point the Fon router will not be able to boot fully, but don’t worry. We’ll be connecting to it via Telnet. You’ll want to manually configure your machine’s network to be on the 192.168.1.* subnet, I used as the IP for my laptop. Then plug the Fon router in via ethernet and connect via telnet on port 9000, aka “telnet 9000”. Once you connect, you may have to hit enter, but then you should see a “RedBoot>” prompt.

Now is the time to use that TFTP server you setup earlier. At the RedBoot> prompt on the Fon router, execute the following:

ip_address -l -h

If you didn’t setup your computer to, replace that with whatever IP address you did use.

Now execute the following:

fis init
load-r -b 0x80041000 linux.bin
fis create linux

The last step (fis create linux) may take awhile. Go make a turkey pot pie or something. Mine took about 20 minutes. When that is done, don’t reboot yet, we still need to set a few things for the Fonera to boot correctly. At the RedBoot> prompt, type “fconfig” and hit enter. Then hit enter (or type the following) as you go through the boot script setup:

Run script at boot: true
Boot script:
.. fis load -l vmlinux.bin.l7
.. exec
Enter script, terminate with empty line
>> fis load -l linux
>> exec
Boot script timeout (1000ms resolution): 10
Use BOOTP for network configuration: false
Gateway IP address:
Local IP address:
Local IP address mask:
Default server IP address:
Console baud rate: 9600
GDB connection port: 9000
Force console for special debug messages: false
Network debug at boot time: false
Update RedBoot non-volatile configuration – continue (y/n)? y
… Erase from 0xa87e0000-0xa87f0000: .
… Program from 0x80ff0000-0x81000000 at 0xa87e0000: .

Great, now your Fon router should be rebooting. Unplug the ethernet and connect to the wireless AP named “dd-wrt” (login is root/admin if it asks). You should be seeing the DD-WRT control panel in your browser and you are now connected to your Fon router running DD-WRT! Congrats!

Next time, I’ll post how to get your Fon router to act as a wireless bridge to extend your wireless coverage to another device that has an ethernet port, like an XBox or Playstation 3.

A lot of this info came from various sources. I have rewritten and reposted it here in the spirit of propagating the information. In my research I came across some sites and files that were necessary (for old methods) that were no longer available. I didn’t want anyone else to run into this problem. The information above is from my own experience and the combination of bits and pieces from the sites below. Note however that some of these sites may have outdated information, but may be useful if you have older firmware or something:

The Kolofonium Hack (information on how the old and new methods of enabling SSH on the Fonera work. Interesting if you want to know what vulnerabilities are being used to hack this router)
DD-WRT Wiki page on hacking the La Fonera
Hacking the La Fonera (the old method of enabling SSH on old versions of the Fon firmware)


My 3,000th Tweet: Juno Reactor

Filed Under Movies and Music, Twitter | 2008-09-24, 12:01

Last night while watching Juno Reactor at The Independent here in San Francisco I hit my 3,000th tweet. The comment was in regards to the completely unexpected Juno Reactor show. I had never seen them live, and had only heard the music in soundtracks or on my ipod. They came out with an intense energy and an interesting stage show with only the performers. The music felt like The Matrix, the female vocalist looked like Pris (Daryl Hannah) from Bladerunner, and there was a definite tribal feel as horns (real ones, not brass) were played amidst unbelievable drumming.

If you want to follow me on Twitter and be there for my 4,000th tweet, my twitter name is edrabbit

1 Comment

Pabitra Kumar returns!

Filed Under SEO Callout | 2008-09-15, 12:00

Pabitra, the not-so-good SEO, is back and this time he has a new approach.

from pabitra to admin@[SITE].com
date Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:11 AM
subject SMO Service

I am Pabitra Kumar, Marketing Manager

Advertising in online world is one of most inexpensive and highly effective way of promoting a business.

Along with SEO, we use social media to increase the sales exponentially and improve the image of our clients i.e. brand, re-brand there products/services. This would include optimizing the website and at the same time writing Articles, Reviews for the company and submit it to various places.

The benefit of Social marketing is that the stimulus comes from social networks rather than traditional marketing sources. Arriving this way, it bypasses the many filters we have developed to tune out commercial messages. Research has shown that a positive mention on a network can be much more powerful than any number of ads or commercial messages.

You’ll be surprised to see the Returns on investments. Each and every penny spent is calculable along with the amount of returns it generated.

Let me know if you are interested and I’ll present you with a proposal that would not only improve sales of your company but also brand your products.

Feel free to contact me in case of any enquiry.


Name :Pabitra Kumar
Post :Marketing Manager

“Please avoid taking printouts of the mails .Minimise paper, use E-mails.”
Fight against global warming.

Disclaimer: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them.

The above mail is in accordance to the Can Spam act of 2003: There are no deceptive subject lines and is a manual process through our efforts on World wide web. You can opt out by sending mail to pabitra.mosaic@gmail.com and we ensure you will not receive any such mails.

Apparently the SEO market was not lucrative enough for him, so now he’s in the SMO, Social Media Optimization. He thinks that he can help me sell more things that I give away for free. It’s pretty apparent that this is a form email and that he hasn’t actually looked at my site. Or if he has, he’s horribly mistaken about it’s purpose and how it runs day-to-day. He mentions the benefits of “social marketing” and how it bypasses “filters”. Sure, that’s true to some extent, but many people these days can tell a fake social interaction online from a mile away. Besides, the site he is emailing about grew entirely out of social interaction amongst users online. It has been popular because I am part of the community it serves, I know the users, they enjoy the site, they tell their friends, they post links on their MySpace pages, etc. It’s an organic growth and not this sort of artificial social-marketing that Pabitra is promising.

It only takes one look at the domain that Pabitra’s email is from to see that this is not someone who has your user’s best interests in mind. It is filled with links to completely unrelated sites that are just trying to get better search engine rankings. He’s trying to game the system, and I hope Google cracks down on him.

I also like the nice touch at the end of his disclaimer that says this “is a manual process through our efforts on World wide web”. Sure, maybe you’re hitting “Send” manually, but I’m sure you just got my email address from a database that crawled whois information.

The next day he sent me a follow-up email:

Hope you are doing well.

Haven’t heard back from you, just wondering if you are interested in our services or not.

Let me know if you are interested and we can discuss this further.

I sent him an email back letting him know I’m interested in hearing about his “proposal that would not only improve sales of my company but also brand my products”. It should be interesting. I’m really hoping he comes back and says that he can offer me TMO (Twitter Marketing Optimization).


Burning Man and Communication: Cell phones on the playa

Filed Under Burning Man, Geek | 2008-09-11, 11:21

For those that aren’t familiar, Black Rock City is the temporary city that is built every year in the Black Rock Desert for Burning Man. I’ve been a couple times, skipped this year, but will probably be back in 2009 with Interpretive Arson. This year marked a strange year of communication from BRC. Those of us not out in the desert could watch live video streams, read twitters, look at photos uploaded to the Burning Man map on Flickr, and in some cases even talk to people on the playa. Much of this has been around in the past, with the wireless internet being available but spotty for a couple years, but it’s definitely starting to increase exponentially.

This year marked the first year that you could actually make and receive cell phone calls on the playa. This, like most everything on the playa, was of course not an official effort by the Burning Man Org. It was the work of the Open BTS Project. The Open BTS Project is “an effort to construct an open-source Unix application that uses the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to present a GSM air interface (“Um”) to standard GSM handset and uses the Asterisk software PBX to connect calls”. In other words, open source software to run your own cell network. The purpose of this is admirable. A cheap and (eventually) easy way to setup cell networks in locations where they are needed. For more information, or to get involved, check out their page. What I love most about this project is that it is individuals putting together something that can be replicated without any corporations controlling the information. It’s a step towards side-stepping the huge telecommunications monopoly in order to provide communication for people who otherwise wouldn’t have it.

Of course this kind of project requires testing in order to know how it works. Black Rock City seemed to be the most appropriate location as it was in a remote area that didn’t have cell service, there were a large number of people, and a large percentage of these people had cell phones. On the flip-side, Black Rock Desert is also a challenging environment due to dust/heat/remoteness, and if you can get something working out on the playa, getting it to work in other environments can sometimes seem like child’s play.

Getting the service up and running was no easy task, and many problems were encountered. Generally the first thing I do when I arrive on the playa is to make sure my cell phone is off, I was surprised to hear that one of the problems that the OpenBTS guys ran into was people’s cell phones attempting to register with their tower. Eventually they started accepting phones onto the network rather than blocking them and due to some bugs they later found out that people were able to make outgoing calls simply by prefixing a 1 in front of the number they were dialing. A number of people figured this out and call logs showed about 120 phone calls to 95 different phone numbers all over the US. The service was finally shutdown around 10pm on Saturday night for the Man burn, and then packed up the next day.

While this probably gets all of us geeks and tech-heads excited about its success, the OpenBTS guys did not forget to touch on an important aspect of implementing this technology in a place where it was previously not available. The social aspect of having cell service on the playa is one that will change things a great deal. They relate a story of someone receiving a call while hanging out at Hookahdome and the rudeness of the interruption. Based on this and further reflection, it looks like in the future they will be focusing more on SMS functionality, and will ask people to turn off their audible ringers. However, having provisions to be able to connect voice calls could be useful for some people as it seems like hurricanes appear to strike elsewhere in the US while Burning Man happens.

Personally, from a geek standpoint I think this is awesome. However from a “Burner” perspective, Black Rock City is changing. Whether for better or worse is up to the individual to decide.


Too Many Domain Names

Filed Under Funny, Video | 2008-09-07, 22:00

I usually resist posting funny YouTube videos, but I figured this one might have some more widespread appeal since everyone knows my obsession with domain names (230+ and counting). Oops, just registered another one thanks to Rubin

via Self Made Minds