Authors rant: it’s 2:00 am – decided to update my blog with articles I‘ve been wanting to add (indulging myself with a pot of freshly brewed coffee) .
What I wanted to do:
Way back, I carried a laptop to work everyday. Terribly inefficient – I live obscenely close. The total time it takes turning it off and on, unplugging and plugging, and putting it in the bag and taking it out of the bag – is greater than my commute time.
I had this situation resolved by getting a heavy duty desktop at home and VPN(ning) from the home to the office, for files I needed. And setting up an “OpenVPN” so I can VPN from the office to home and retrieve files I might have forgotten.
Life was grand – I left the laptop at work.
Then came the iPad. My wife got the first generation – a surprised gift from my generous brother-in-law (and sister-in-law) on my wife’s birthday. After observing her using this (“iPadding”) I then saw it’s potential. I toyed around the idea of getting one but the timing was not right – had a super busy schedule (2010 was not my year for “iPadding”).
2011 – I got the iPad2 – aside from it’s regular use as email, scheduling, entertainment center, demo device etc. I wanted to use it to Login to my home network, sign into a virtual machine, use Visual Studio from Microsoft, do some code changes and submit these. I wanted to be “Laptopless”.
For the iPad2 to connect to my home network I needed to trash my “OpenVPN” and use standard PPTP. Note, you can use OpenVPN but you need to Jailbreak the iPad2. I am sorry but I do not have the patience for jailbreaking that is my pet peeve. Anyway, I have to replace my WRT54G router with a new one that is compatible with the latest Tomato USB firmware.
The first router of choice:
One of the supported routers listed in tomato usb firmware documentation.
I did not researched on how easy it was to flash this baby. According to various links – you simply first have to flash it with DD-WRT and then finally the “tomato usb router firmware”. I did not question this additional process I just thought I could follow the steps and have a router baked with “tomato usb firmware”.
I did the flashing process.
Begin Hubris – (“this is not my first flash so am confident” !).
Started with the DD-WRT firmware. Flashed, it works. Next came the Tomato firmware. Ooops, I flashed it with the tomato usb firmware albeit the wrong one hence bricked it. (Bricked in layman’s terms means rendering something useless).
End Hubris – (“this is my first brick – confidence has left the building”).
Note, I do not blame the manufacturer or the firmware guys – this is completely my fault. Having said this I went to the process of unbricking the darn thing .. details are given in this link "How-To-Debrick-Your-NETGEAR-WNR3500L-Using-A-USB-TTL-Cable-on-Windows"
opening the patient
the heart … (note the drivers are installed on COM5 on my machine)
clamping the patient and making sure that all wires are in place.
The last stage of death – Acceptance:
I was able to go as far as the recovery screen and able to interrogate the patient. The Ethernet modules are completely dead I even tried shortening some pins. So, finally gave up, reordered another router. This time I made sure that this router needs to be flashed directly with the tomato firmware – that story in the next round.