I swapped out the 80mm fan in the router, it had been making weird noises. It’s a Dell box, and the fan was encased in this weird plastic mounting thing. It has cylinders that go through each hole and connect to a grill on the back with “Dell” written on it. I got it off by wedging a small screwdriver in between the fan and the front at the corners – when I did so the front started to click loose. I got the new fan in there easily enough, and slid it into its slots in the case. The green plastic air duct thing snapped on to the CPU heatsink.

My Linksys router is now running DD-WRT. I downloaded my stuff from here, as it’s a WRT54GS Version 6, and followed this handy guide. I haven’t had connection problems since using it, which is nice, although I’m not entirely sure that’s because of the firmware, as I’ve changed other things as well. I wasn’t aiming for a scientific experiment, I just wanted my connections to stop dropping intermittently.

The other thing I did was print out this parabolic antenna. It looks kinda funny stuck onto my wireless antenna, and the downside is then that you have to aim it and sacrifice omnidirectional connectivity, but this might also be helping.

I had installed fresh drivers to see if I could get my D-Link DWL-520+ to support anything better than WEP. No such luck. The applet the driver installed didn’t even recognize my card, although the card still worked. It was strange because even though the icon said it was not connected to a wireless network, I could browse just fine. I uninstalled the D-Link Air Plus stuff, and the card was recognized and configured automatically, at which point things once again became sane.

When Mr. Smith talks about current events, he usually brings up listening to NPR in the morning. It occured to me that I would like very much to listen to NPR in the morning, so I set up mplayer to first play a tapered 440Hz sine wave, in case the connection doesn’t work, then connect to the URL conveniently listed here.

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