April 4

New router with DD-WRT

belkinSo I had to reset my server a few times. With the normal stability of my server needing to restart is really unusual. I normally only need to restart when updating the kernel but I have recently had the system lock up completely. The only change being that I set up my server to act as a wireless access point in February. I think that was one task too many with all the other network intensive tasks I had it doing. So I felt it was time I just purchase a replacement router/wireless access point.

I decided this time around that I would get a router compatible with DD-WRT an open source Linux based firmware for routers and access points. There is a plethora of router firmware projects out there so you have a wide choice if you want to do a similar project. I decided to just go with DD-WRT because it’s one of the most popular and supports a wide variety of hardware. I also took a look at Tomato and OpenWrt but I have to admit I didn’t try either of them out.

As far as hardware I wanted:
1. The device needed DD-WRT support, since that is what I wanted to put on it.
2. Something inexpensive with a good hardware specs to price ratio.
3. Something that supports wireless N. Most of my devices are wireless B/G devices but I have one or two wireless N devices.

ddwrtAfter looking over several reviews I discovered the Belkin N300 Wireless Router F7D3302.The bad reviews on Amazon were all for the stock firmware. All the DD-WRT reviews on Amazon gave it five stars and I also found a post on the DD-WRT forums that spoke well of it. For $20 I figured it was worth a shot. Spec wise the router has: 64 MB of Ram, 8 MB of flash, and a Broadcom BCM4718 @ 480MHz. I downloaded the two firmware files I needed from the DD-WRT Router Database, you just search for the model number to find the correct device. After installation I changed the password and set up wireless security. So far it has been a really solid device. I’m considering connecting my printer to it next because the router has a USB port but I will see. I could also use it as a NAS with a portable HD but my home server does well in that role.

Category: Life, Linux, Technology
March 29

Stone Of Tears

Stone_of_TearsSo I decided to follow up “Wizards First Rule” by reading the next book in the series “Stone of Tears written by Terry Goodkind. This is not a complete review. This is just a few of my thoughts on the book.

1. Warning!!! There are many adult themes in this book. Yes this is the same warning I gave for the last book but Terry Goodkind doubles down on the Dark Fantasy elements. I get the feeling I would not want to live in his fantasy world. It’s a very dark place were rape, torture and murder are highly likely and not necessarily in that order.

2. I read an eBook version. As others have noted the editors have done a horrendous job on pretty much any ebook version. There are several editing errors that I understand the paper books lack.

3. The book could have been named “Wizards Second Rule”. I won’t say any more on that to avoid spoilers.

4. It’s a long book. Most of the books I enjoy are around 1,000 pages so it’s about average for me. If you like shorter books, you might want to look at a different series.

5. I enjoyed the book well enough that I have now started on the third book in the series.

Category: Libraries, Life
March 6

The Iron Circle

REAVERS OF HARKENWOLD – PART 1: THE IRON CIRCLE

INTRODUCTION
We first meet our “heroes” after they have finished their last mercenary contract to the south in Moonstair. The Free Sons of Nerath have heard that mercenary company that double crossed them, The Iron Circle has traveled north. After healing up our adventurers have decided to go get some sweet revenge.

ILYANA’S PLIGHT
You arrive in Harkenwold in the middle of the day. It’s a broad, lightly settled valley between two arms of the Harken Forest. You haven’t traveled more than a mile or two into the valley before trouble appears. Rounding a bend ill the road.,you spy a pillar of smoke climbing into the clear blue sky. The source, hidden by rolling hills, is roughly a mile along a dirt track that intersects the road.

Moving closer you see human brigands and a pair of wolves surroundin8 a farmhouse. The humans all wear black cloaks with a ring device. They’re preparing pitch-soaked torches, laughing and taunting whoever’s inside. They’ve already burned a small outbuilding the source of the smoke column.

The wolves growl a warning. and the brigands face you. One of them scowls and waves his arm. “Move on, you he snarls. “This is Iron Circle business!”

From inside the farmhouse. you hear a woman’s voice shout angrily. “Business? It looks like robbery and murder to me!”

By shouting they are Iron Circle they didn’t realize they were signing their death warrants.

Brun-Hilda, Claw and Naivara charge in. Surina discovers “Confusing Mockery” and Diaerah shoots from afar. Dak-o-do performs the funeral rights for the brigands you kill.

After killing the Iron Circle members you hear the rasping sound of a heavy bolt being) drawn back, and the farmhouse door opens. A half-elfwoman of middle years steps out. She’s carrying) a battered old crossbow. Two boys of fifteen or so follow after her. The woman looks around the farm yard,frowning at the bloodshed, and sighs. “My thanks, strangers,” she says. “Those Iron Circle jackals came to rob us. I barred my door, but they said they’d burn the house down with me and my boys in it, You saved or lives-but who are you?”

You answer her question but then ask a few of your own:

Who are you?
“My name is Ilyana, and these are my sons Jarek and Jarl. This is our farm. The reavers killed my husband Karthen when they invaded the dale. My boys and I have been trying to get by ever since.”

Who attacked you?
“The Iron Circle is full of sellswords and cutthroats who seized Harkenwold over a month ago. They’ve got Baron Stockmer imprisoned in his own keep, and they’ve been plundering the land ever since. They say they’re collecting taxes, but it’s robbery, pure and simple.”

How can we help?
“The folk of Harkenwold are ready to rebel—we just need a spark to set things off. I think you should talk to old Reithann, the druid, or maybe Dar Gremath. They’ll know what needs doing. Reithann lives in the Druid’s Grove to the southwest; you can find Dar just down the road in Albridge. But go carefully.”

Where should we go?
“I would avoid Harken Village. There are too many Iron Circle soldiers there. But Albridge should be safe enough.”

Why should we help?
“Out of plain civil decency? If that won’t do, I’d wager Baron Stockmer will richly reward you if you drive away the reavers and free him.”

Good-bye.
“Take care, strangers. My boys and me’ll hide those who fell here. With luck, the Iron Circle won’t learn what happened here or about you any time soon

TAVERN BRAWL

WAYLAY THE CARAVAN

ENTRY CAVERN

DRAGONSKULL CAVERN

RAIDING PARTY

HUNTED!

THE WOODSINGER ELVES

THE STANDING STONES

WIZARD WORKSHOP

YISARN’S LAIR

Category: Gaming, Life