On Linksys WRT54GC v2.0

I think this is the first time I will be reviewing a hardware component. I am just happy that I could again share my Internet connection between my desktop and notebook. I have borrowed a router from my uncle before, but he already took it back for use on their home. I’ve only used [that] one router other than the WRT54GC that I currently am using.

Since the bigger WRT54G has dual antennas, it has an expectable wider signal range[1] than the compact with only one.[2] It provides a high speed Wi-Fi connection of [close to, if not] 54 Mbps with the notebook and the access point approximately 15 meters away from each other,[3] while the compact could only provide approximately 11–24 Mbps under the same conditions even though the Windows XP Wireless Network Connection manager usually reports Very Good signal strength.

That may be a good compensation for its bulkiness, but I have had problems with the Linksys WRT54G when using the BitTorrent protocol.[4] As answered in the µTorrent FAQ, this router[5] has severe problems with P2P applications using a lot of connections. Also answered on the above linked FAQ entry is a fix, which includes installing one of two third-party firmwares. Remember that the router wasn’t mine in the first place. Besides, installing and/or upgrading firmware risks the router being bricked, and add to that the fact the software recommended was made by hardware hackers and wasn’t official.[6]

Linksys WRT54GC v2.0

I have been trying to borrow the router from my uncle again, but he came to our house with a Linksys WRT54GC v2.0 instead. Of course, I was surprised, but I still do not know if he will give me this one or sell it to me.[7] I’ve installed it immediately, and I’ve been testing it using µTorrent with a huge download task and several seeding tasks for three days almost continuously already.

The only problem I’ve had with the Compact Wireless-G Broadband Router is its Static DHCP feature, which should take care of Static IP addresses without configuring the client manually. I really want to utilize the said feature for Port Forwarding since I use BitTorrent and it has to have an open port for incoming connections. The problem is that whenever I place my computer on the list of clients with static IPs, and change the DHCP IP range to something excluding the static IPs, it still gives the client an IP within the DHCP range and not the listed static IP.

With the hopes of having no slowdowns like the experience I’ve had during the WRT54G period, I’ve searched for responses from WRT54GC users on various fora. Thankfully, I’ve found no significant problem other than users trying to get the version 2.0 external antenna to be replaced by a High Gain Antenna. But I still haven’t encountered an unambiguous response to one question[8] I would have asked myself, so I stopped searching and continued testing. Through the past three days of downloading 6 GiB of data, I’ve encountered minor slowdowns more possibly linked to an ISP issue rather than a router issue. The last two afternoons were probably the best evidences I could offer regarding the performance of this product—the download speed reached 85 kB/s[9] when I was connected to a nearby peer. Therefore, no signs of slowdowns due to high amount of connections were exhibited—a sickness, I may say, about the stock WRT54G/GL/GS.

Other features of the Linksys WRT54GC includes [among others]:

  • Compact and portable design: approximately 4″×4″×1″.
  • 4-port wired Ethernet switch; Wireless Access Point for 802.11b/g devices.
  • High security with WPA/WPA2 Personal, Wireless MAC address filter, SPI firewall.

Disclaimer: The above Linksys WRT54GC v2.0 photo was taken from the official product information page without permission.

Update note: Photo from the official Linksys Web site was taken down and replaced with my own shot of the router to avoid copyright issues.

Footnotes:

  1. ^ Our neighbor two houses away across the street claimed to have received my SSID broadcast.
  2. ^ The C in WRT54GC stands for compact; version 1.0 of the compact has no built-in external antenna, only an internal one—I am using a version 2.0.
  3. ^ With concrete and wooden walls, and everything else in between.
  4. ^ And when I say, using, I mean always.
  5. ^ Along with similar routers, WRT54GL and —GS.
  6. ^ But, responses to the alternative firmwares were mostly positive.
  7. ^ I really, really hope for the former.
  8. ^ The question of how it would perform on a lot of connections.
  9. ^ I’m on a 384 kbps connection [as advertised], so my theoretical maximum download speed is 46.875 kB/s.

Musing #0010

Would you like reading Tagalog language translations in global-scope Web sites even though you understand the standard and default English language version?

Not Only WP 2.2 will be Delayed

You’ve probably read that Matt Mullenweg announced a delay to the WP 2.2 release, which was previously due in 4 days, on your Dashboard already, but it still is worth blogging. As I am creating my new theme—now at a rough estimate of 75% completion after five [half] days of work—I think it would be better to delay the release of AjaLapus.com 4.0 as well.

New features from WP 2.2, including core Widgets support, integrated tagging system[1] and Atom 1.0 standard syndication feeds, would most probably make me revise my theme a lot more since I am planning to use them anyway. And since I still haven’t tried using nightlies, nor do I have time and patience to install AMP again on either my Linux or Windows installations to test and develop on a nightly, it’d probably be best if I would wait the couple of weeks out for the new WordPress to be released.

So far, I have the following completion percentages for the templates of the upcoming theme before I delay working on it:

  • Header, Footer, and Single post templates and styles at 100%
  • Homepage, Quasi-static Pages, and Sidebar templates and styles at about 90%
  • Archives [including Tag, Date, Category and Search pages], 404 page, and Page-specific templates at 0%

And, btw, I’ve already consulted Shari and Lexie about the theme and they seem to like it so far. That was a relief since Shari immediately turned down the first one I’ve made. Well, not that it all depends on them—I really just like positive feedback.

For those who were browsing yesterday late at night and have been [403] Forbidden from viewing any page, that was most probably be me doing some tests. Ugh. I really need a local LAMP/WAMP installation.

And, about the issue of ad serving using Google AdSense, I decided to stick to HTML-compatible XHTML Strict since I’ve encountered a FAQ from Google stating that AdSense code within an <iframe> would lead to PSAs or less targeted ads [probably the same case an <object> tag would produce] even though that method was approved by Google.

So, there you have it—just lame updates. I’m getting busy at school since I’m taking up my Math 321 this summer vacation.[2] I still do hope I’d have more fun before the vacation ends.

Footnotes:

  1. ^ As Dougal Campbell pointed out, it was pushed to 2.3 milestone—I wasn’t reading the wp-hackers list as well.
  2. ^ If you can’t remember, it’s because of this little problem.

Those Little Interconnected Things

Ok. Now I’ve had my six days of fame.[1] Better get back to the regular blogging programming and routine. 😛 But, let me ask you first: How does a Web event, an impending increase in domain name prices, browser incompatibilities, and advertising limitations result to me having to think of making a new WordPress theme for my site?

During the time before the 2nd CSS Naked Day, I decided to make a plugin for WordPress that would strip every piece of stylesheet information from a Web page. It was somehow successful given that I was only receiving 50–100 unique visitors a day prior to the creation of that plugin, which in turn made my statistics plugin jump to receiving 200–300 unique visitors a day. In addition to the plugin, Dustin‘s pun resulted to a lot more SERP referrals. More visitors equal higher rankings; my Alexa rank turned from above 3 Million to just above 700 thousand in 10 days.

Since Text Link Ads consider Alexa as one basis for accepting ad publishers, I thought it would be better for me. And with the impending increase in .com domain name prices, I’m starting to think I really need the money. But, still, I haven’t had ad placements since I’ve reinstalled TLA on my theme,[2] so I think it would be better to go back to [or at least serve it at the same time with] Google AdSense which I have used even before TLA. I was just frustrated that AdSense won’t serve XML-compatible scripts or at least a <noscript> fallback for those who don’t want to or cannot display scripts of document.write nature.

Since it’s equally hard to modify a theme to contain ad spaces than to make one from scratch, I thought it was better to move to a Version 4 for the site. And because WordPress have deprecated some functions since 2.1, and WordPress 2.2 is just around the corner, I think I’m better off making a new one.

I then thought of the need to create a theme served only with Content-Type: text/html, since Windows Internet Explorer 7 also has no intention of accepting true XHTML. But, I’m having doubts of doing so since I’ve been a fan of XML rules[3] imposed on HTML since the time I’ve learned them. I’ve also read articles on how to use AdSense with true XHTML pages.[4] So, I would most probably stick to my current content negotiation scheme.

I’ve actually started making a template with a Web 2.0-ish theme a week ago based on some tutorials I found on the Web. Although, upon showing it to Shari, she told me it was a bit too bright. So, I guess it would have to be redesigned since I don’t want my handful of regular readers straining their eyes, and to be looking at [or rather getting distracted by] the design more than they do at the content of my articles.

So, I guess you just have to wait for the next version of this site. I am finally going to a pool to swim tomorrow, so don’t expect it to be that soon. *excited* 😛

Footnotes:

  1. ^ April 1–6 recorded ~2500 hits from human visitors only—more than half of what each previous month’s worth of page views even without Bad Behavior blocking robots.
  2. ^ Maybe because of the irrelevant keywords? IDK. I just hope not.
  3. ^ Must be well-formed, lowercase, etc. Therefore, cleaner and more readable.
  4. ^ One from Keystone Websites, and another from CSSplay thanks to Sir Regnard.

Now Showing: Naked <body>

As you may notice, this site has been stripped off of its stylesheets. Don’t worry, nothing is broken—and it will last only until the end of the 5th of April 2007 in the whole world.[1] I’m just participating in this year’s CSS Naked Day like what I did last year. Cheers to Dustin Diaz—More than 1200 sites are currently signed up! I never actually thought it’d pass the 763 sites signed up last year as it was only 500+ or so when I last checked the list before my site got naked.

Now, onto the topic …

I’m somehow surprised to have been getting a lot more visitors this April compared to any other month since this site has started tracking hits. The first and obvious reason is that my CSS Naked Day WordPress plugin has been featured on the Official event page—that I’m not surprised about. The second, more surprising reason? Keywords. Dustin sure has a knack for naming something—in his case, the event he founded—as he’s also famous for the Topless Cameron Diaz photo. 😛

SERPs referring to this site indicate more searches with the keywords naked and some about stripping getting to my site lately. No wonder Shari‘s been getting thousands of unique visitors a month![2] All she talks about is sex, and even more of it—oh, and sex toys [she dubs them acsexsories], as well—even if the blog awards[3] was the topic.

Another thing more surprising is that, according to Pinoy Money Talk, Filipinos are more interested in sex than money.[4] Now I really think poverty and overpopulation are not because of lack of good governance—but that would be better for another entry.

Oh—just so you guys know—I will never, and I mean never, be turning this blog to be about sex just as Shari did to hers. 😆

Footnotes:

  1. ^ 6 April 2007, 00:00 GMT-12 or 20:00 PhT
  2. ^ As disclosed in her recent article.
  3. ^ Or anything else unrelated.
  4. ^ As reported by Google Trends.