Archive for the ‘Q & A’ category

Question : What is Tomato?

February 10, 2013

Answer:

a partially free (GPL license) linux core
firmware distribution for use on a range of
Broadcom chipset wireless routers.

such as Linksys wrt54G, Buffalo Station, Asus
Routers and Netgears wnr3500L.

The UI is based on AJAX as well as a an XML
based graphical bandwidth monitor.

It was a firmware project for the Linksys
WRT54G and WRT54GS wireless routers based on
the stock linksys firmware.

Tomato is based on the GPL source code
released by Linksys, but includes proprietary
binary modules from the chipset manufacturer
Broadcom. Portions of the code are licensed
under the GNU General Public License, but the
source code for the user interface is under a
more restrictive license, which forbids use
without the author’s permission.

The original purpose of the HyperWRT project
was to add some features (like power boosting)
to the latest linux based linksys firmware,
thereby extending it’s possbilities but at the
same time staying close to the official
firmware.

Over time though, it continued to be updated
with newer Linksys firmware and added many
more features that are usually found in
enterprise routing equipment.

Now, like most other third-party firmware,
HyperWRT is not compatible with the later
(2006) WRT54G v5.0 (“CDFB” serial number
prefix) and WRT54GS v5.0 (“CGN7” serial number
prefix).

These model versions do not run Linux by
default, although you may use vxworks-killer
firmware images to run stripped down linux
versions like “dd-wrt.v24_micro_generic” or
replace the flash memory 2MB chip with 4MB.

Linksys currently produces WRT54GL for running
3rd party firmwares.

The original HyperWRT project was started in
2004 by Timothy Jans (aka Avenger 2.0), with
continued development into early 2005. Another
programmer called Rupan then continued

HyperWRT development by integrating newer
Linksys code as it was released.

Tomato is the direct upgrade path from
HyperWRT.

What is it?
Simply put a network monitoring software that is more extensive than most consumer gateways.
It has more features than your standard firmware has in the way of options. It’s for people who wish to have more enterprise functionality on their routers.

It’s partially free and an update of the original HyperWRT project as mentioned above. The link below has articles that describe rules on installation if your interested in downloading it and taking it for a spin.

Please note though: it seems that these are one of those tricky installation processes. Please be sure to approach with caution. They say do not install (upgrade) on a wireless connection to your router because any information that is lost or corrupted may brick your router. Proceed at your own risk, preferably with an old router.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Tomato_Firmware/Installation_and_Configuration

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What is Raspberry Pi?

February 10, 2013

What is Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sizedraspberry pi
single-board computer developed in the UK by
the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention
of promoting the teaching of basic computer
science in schools.

The Raspberry Pi is manufactured through
licensed manufacturing deals with Element
14/Premier Farnell and RS Components. Both of
these companies sell the Raspberry Pi online.

The Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 systemRaspberryPi1

on a chip (SoC), which includes an
ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor (The firmware
includes a number of “Turbo” modes so that the
user can attempt overclocking, up-to 1 GHz,
without affecting the warranty), VideoCore IV
GPU, and originally shipped with 256 megabytes
of RAM, later upgraded to 512MB.
It does not, however,  include a built-in hard disk or
solid-state drive, but uses an SD card for
booting and long-term storage.

The Foundation’s goal is to offer two versions,
priced at US$25 and US$35. The Foundation
started accepting orders for the higher priced
model B on 29 February 2012. and the lower
cost model A on February 4, 2013

The Foundation provides Debian and Arch Linux
ARM distributions for download. Also planned
are tools for supporting Python as the main
programming language, with support for BBC
BASIC, (via the RISC OS image or the “Brandy
Basic” clone for Linux), C, and Perl.

On 17 December 2012 the Raspberry Pi
Foundation, in collaboration with IndieCity
and Velocix, opened the “Pi Store”, as a
“one-stop shop for all your Raspberry Pi
(software) needs”. Using an application
included in Raspbian, users can browse through
several categories and download what they
want. Software can also be uploaded for
moderation and release.

It’s the smallest working personal computer in
the world today. It’s obviously very portable,
it’s obviously very minimal.

Can you take this computer anywhere?
You still have to have a power hook up and a
monitor and keyboard and mouse. You have to
know how to install and use Debian and/or Arch
linux to use this device.

Which makes sense, since the linux OSs are known for minimal use.

The SD card acts as the hard drive on the
device for long term storage.

Think about it, it’s the slimmest, smallest
working personal computer in the world today.

Will you be playing WoW or Crysis on it?
No.

Will you be editing RAW video on it?
Nope.

Will you be able to send and receive an emails
with it?
Yes. definitely.

It’s a very minimal use computer.

Why all the rage?

Raspberry Pi has a tremendous following.  Because of it’s size and mobility.
The applications for this type of device are
abundant. If your a DIY geek, that is.

Why would someone want this device?
Once again, this is for a particular crowd if
your going to sell it in bulk. However,
perhaps the applications for this particular
device range further for special applications
needs. Such as security or portability.
That’s just off the top of my head though.
Obviously the open source and linux community
are drooling right now because of the
amazement of such a device.
it’s small and it runs their favorite OS.

So there you have it. That is my limited knowledge and explanation on Raspberry Pi.
Simply to introduce the Raspberry Pi to those reading this blog.

Fortuneately you can gain more insight to this wonderful modern technology by checking out a few
convenient webpages:

Check out the official webpage:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/about

Check out the wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi_Foundation

Check out the wikipedia page on what is Raspberry Pi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi

Question : What is a modular power supply?

October 30, 2011

Answer:
Simply put, a modular power supply has ports instead of wires.

A modular power supply doesn’t have wires soldered to it like a non modular power supply. It has ports instead. With the modular power supply comes the power cable connections for all of it’s possible ports. The idea is to clean up the inside of the PC, by not having all those wires unnecessarily hanging about. So you only connect the device you will be using to the port on the power supply. For example, instead of having 6 sata power wires hanging out the power supply when you are only using 2, you can clear 4 of those wires with a modular power supply and decrease the clutter inside. That’s it’s point.

Question: Can I fit DDR3 RAM in a DDR2 slot on my older motherboard?

October 30, 2011

Answer:
No.

The key card notch is physically different. Therefore you won’t be able to fit it in the slot.

If your motherboard is designed for DDR2 RAM, it would be wise to get DDR2 RAM for it. If you have DDR3 RAM available to you, you may want to look into getting a motherboard that supports it.

This applies to desktops as well as laptops/notebooks/portables(apple)

Question : Would it be best to turn off the SSID when configuring a wireless router?

October 30, 2011

Answer:
No.
It doesn’t do anything in reality for those who are looking for networks. You can easily spot wifi networks and IDs with any radar program available today. Turning off the SSID isn’t really going to matter. Mac Filtering isn’t really going to matter, because you can spoof Mac address’s today very easily.

What you should try to do, is create layers and make things more complex and therefor more time consuming. That sounds like a joke, but it’s seriously the only thing you can do. For example, turn off the SSID, turn mac filtering on, create a VPN with secure handshaking and limit the range of the router itself.

These things by themselves are basically pointless. But if you have layers, it’s more time consuming to those who want to break into your system. Think aboiut it like this, a car alarm is probably pointless on it’s own. It’s just annoying and most people ignore it anyways. However, a car alarm with a low jack and a steering wheel lock and an engine disabler. Now it’s gonna be real tricky and time consuming to get into that car. Now you step back and wonder if it’s worth the effort. That’s all.

Or if you like, another example would be the movie Entrapment. Having all those layers is like having those invisible laser beams of security. It’s very complex and time consuming to get to the jewel. So it has to be worth getting the jewel to go through all that madness.

Question : Can I use an AGP 8x video card in a computer that only has an older AGP slot on it?

October 26, 2011

Answer:
http://www.playtool.com/pages/agpcompat/agp.html

Question : What’s the difference between an active heatsink and a passive one?

October 26, 2011

Answer:
An active heat sink has a fan attached to it, to actively pull heat away from the heat sink and chip that lies underneath it.

A passive heat sink is just a heat sink, a piece of flat metal with fins on top that directs heat away from the chip set it is installed on.

An example of an active heat sink would be the heat sinks installed on top of today’s processors, Intel and AMD. They are big heat sinks with fans attached to them.

Another example would be a video card. Today’s modern video cards GPUs (Graphic Processor Unit) have heat sinks and fans installed on them because of their required workload.

An example of a passive heat sink would be a north bridge or math co processor chip set heat sink. These don’t tend to have fans on top of them because their work load doesn’t require it (yet).