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20Nov/170

Review of OpenWRT and LEDE Routers Available on Amazon

If your looking for a well supported OpenWRT or LEDE router available from Amazon this is a list of my findings and opinions.

Historically the Linksys WRT AC1200 has been my router of choice for projects but with prices remaining around 150 USD it has become less desirable for small projects. My ideal router pick would be:

  • Under 100 USD
  • 2.4 and 5 Ghz support
  • Good OpenWRT / LEDE support
  • Available from common retailer sources

My current findings  and reviews ordered based on preference

Current Favorites

GL.iNet GL-AR750

Con

  • Travel router
  • Not explicitly listed on the LEDE supported hardware page (as of 2017-11-20)

Pro

  • Price
  • 5Ghz support

GL.iNet Brand - General

Con

  • Mostly travel routers.
  • No 5Ghz support (as of 2017-11-20)

Pro

 

Linksys WRT AC1200

Con

  • Price. Currently $145 as of 2017-11-20

Pro

 


Don't bother with these

 

NETGEAR N750 - WNDR4300v1

Con

  • ONLY V1 is supported and Amazon doesn't clarify what is sold.

Pro

NETGEAR N600 - WNDR3400v3

Con

  • Amazon doesn't clarify if version 3 is sold
  • Memory a little less than N750

Pro

 

NETGEAR N750 - WNDR4300v2

Con

  • V2 is not supported.

Pro

Kasda AC1200

Con

  • Isn't listed on the OpenWRT or LEDE as a supported router (as of 2017-11-20)
  • Contain a customized version of OpenWRT based on review.

Pro

  • Good price

NETGREAR WNR3500L

Con

  • No 5 Ghz support

Pro

 

TP-Link Brand

Prior to the Linksys WRT series of OpenSource routers this was my preferred brand but then TP-Link started locking their firmware images making it difficult to upgrade from a stock image to OpenWRT / LEDE

Con

  • TP-Link locked the firmware to prevent OpenWRT / LEDE upgrades
  • No longer easy to upgrade

Pro

  • Decent prices

 

 

Filed under: Review No Comments
31Aug/122

Installing Windows 8 on an Acer One A0751H Netbook

This is my experience installing Windows 8 RTM on my Acer One A0751H netbook. There are a lot of complaints about the interface changes in Windows 8 and although I happen to agree with most of them I was intrigued by claims that it uses less memory and performs better than Windows 7. What better test than to install it on my netbook than was originally designed for Windows XP Home. Although the netbook is several years old  and  not certified for Windows 8 I had success using Windows 7 on it and decided to test the claims about performance.

Installation Process

  1. Download Windows 8 RTM from Technet
  2. Burn download ISO to DVD
  3. Connect USB DVD drive to netbook and boot Windows 8 installation DVD
  4. Follow installation prompts and remain patient
  5. Install the Windows 7 Intel GMA 500 graphics driver
Out of the box the Windows 8 installation had basic drivers for all the system components. To utilize the full 1366x768 display resolution the graphics card was capable of I had to install the Windows 7 version of the driver. Thanks to a posting on this forum for a download link and instructions. The Windows 7 Intel GMA 500 graphics driver will install in Windows 8 if you set the compatibility option for the driver's setup.exe file.

 Conclusion

It works. The screen display reacts slower than Windows 7 but considering the netbook's early generation Atom CPU is hardly fast enough to play YouTube videos and wasn't designed for Windows 8 I really can't complain. Start-up and navigation is acceptable and seems to add to the netbook's mobility and usability despite the hit in performance from using an unrecommended graphics driver.

Further reviews on Windows 8 to follow...

 

Filed under: Review, tech 2 Comments
24Aug/110

Fixing a Wondermedia WM8650 Android Tablet Stuck at Uberoid Load Screen

My MID 80003W Android Tablet (Wondermedia WM8650 according to the device about screen) rooted with Uberoid stopped working when I attempted to reset it to factory defaults. It would hang during the "Uberoid" load screen during device start-up. This post walks through the steps I followed to resolve the problem. Please note, I am not an Uberoid expert and am only sharing my experiences with my specific device.

  1. Download Uberoid WM8650 1.3.0 HYBRiD HoneyCombMOD v6 FiNAL from the forum posting. You'll find the link right before the FAQ. Free registration required for forum access.
  2. Locate FAQ #1 just below the download link and follow the directions listed.
    Tip - In FAQ step #4  my device was item 6, a M80003W 8".

After re-rooting the device with the latest Uberoid package the tablet booted past the Uberoid load screen and now works better than ever.

If your tablet fails to load past the Uberoid screen I hope these steps help clear your problem. If not, I suggest you researching the HcH TechKnow forum.

Unfortunately my MID (Mobile Internet Device) 80003W is still a glorified ebook reader because it doesn't meet my particular needs. Anyone interested in buying it already rooted with the latest Uberoid mod? You can read about my original review here along with my experiences rooting it. I see Geeks.com has the MID 80003W listed as out of stock and I'm doubtful they will get more.

7May/1119

Rooting the MID M80003W WonderMedia WM8650 Android Tablet

 

Update August, 24 2011: If you are attempting to root your tablet please check out the latest Uberoid mod instead of the one listed in this review. You can read about my experiences with the update on this blog entry along with links to the latest mod.

Original Article:This is my review of a MID 80003W android tablet purchased from Geeks.com and my experiences rooting it. It's a no name MID (Mobile Internet Device) that comes up as model Wondermedia WM8650 when I check the device's about screen.

The device was of particular interest because it boasted 3G, 8" screen, and Android 2.2. Unfortunately I struck out on all three features. The 3G connectivity wasn't compatible with my AT&T SIM card because it doesn't have a SIM slot. The device does have a 8" screen but it is a low quality resistive surface which is more compatible with finger taps and a stylus instead of finger presses that a quality capacitive screen can sense. The tablet does have Android 2.2 but it was loaded with an unlicensed Android OS and filled with sketchy Chinese apps. Apparently an unlicensed OS can't access the official Android Market. The user interface was slow and applications were very unsettling. For a more comprehensive review check out this OSnews article on the device.

Two features that are usually standard were surprisingly missing; a USB interface for connection to a computer and a head phone jack!

There isn't anything I can do about the 3G and screen but rooting the device turned it into a half usable tablet. Unfortunately there is a lack of clear directions on rooting it and what ROM to use so below is the procedure I followed. You'll need a micro SD card, Windows computer, and several downloads.

  1. Download Uberoid_WM8650_2.2_v1.2.2_NL_v20110414-HcH Uberoid ROM from TechKnow.
    Note: To access the download you must be logged into the TechKnow forum. Free registration.
  2. Download SD Formatter and install it on a windows.
  3. Connect the SD card and use the SD formatter to create an empty FAT32 volume.
  4. Unzip the Uberoid download and copy the files onto the SD card. The wmt_scriptcmd file and FirmwareInstall folder should be on the root of the card.
  5. With the android tablet turned off, insert the SD card, and turn it back on.
  6. During startup the android tablet will read the SD card and install the firmware. It took about 4 minutes for the process to complete before the device rebooted into the new OS. Watch the screen because the SD card must be ejected when the firmware installation completes or the upgrade will run again after the device restarts.
  7. The final step was to blunder my way through the menu to calibrate the screen.

Overall the process was straightforward and worthwhile. The device now runs faster and user interactions are more fluent.  The sketchy Chinese apps are gone and the official Android Market is available.

 

Filed under: tech 19 Comments
16Jul/100

Review of ‘Pioneer One’ BitTorrent Movie

According to my personal rating standards sci-fi movies either fall into one of three categories, great, horrible, and fancy eye candy that flopped. Hollywood has a subtle way of transforming potentially great sci-fi into sub-standard, watered down sci-fi in an attempt to make it appeal to the masses. Sub-standard and watered down how? Take your pick; cookie cutter plots, stereotypical characters, old stories with new technology mixed in, predictable endings, etc.

I find myself lowering standards on some sci-fi so it will fall into the great category just because it is unique. Other movies that have great production and effects but are mutilated by the Hollywood syndrome and generally get put in the 'fancy eye candy that flopped' category because it's worth watching even though the story is disappointing. If you don't like sci-fi then your standards are probably high and everything that a I would bend the rules on you may put into the horrible category.

Hungry for some new and original sci-fi I watched the Pioneer One pilot episode that was featured on a recent Slashdot posting. Once the preconception of it being a low budget film was overcome I was surprised at the story and professional content. The story is original and sets the stage for a drama that is realistic and can incorporate some fascinating sci-fi themes. I've seen my share of horrible sci-fi movies but the pilot episode of Pioneer One easily falls into my great category despite being low budget.

Download the pilot via BitTorrent for free and decide for yourself.  More download options and movie information is available on the VODO Pioneer One site. Well worth checking out if you like sci-fi.

I've already donated to the project, what about you? Do you think it's worth $5 to see the story unfold?

Filed under: Entertainment No Comments