Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Code and Hacks Upgrading Belkin F5D7231-4 v2000 router to dd-wrt firmware

Posted by Admin • Monday, November 23. 2009 • Category: Code and Hacks

As the dd-wrt hardware database claims that this router is supported, I was happy to attempt this installation. Only the micro edition will fit on its tiny 2MB of flash. The dd-wrt page suggests that only tftp flash procedure will work, and so I grabbed their tftp.exe - to no avail. This router seems to have a lot of upgrading threads dedicated to it, but most of the How-To's I was able to find did not work for me. Some said that in order to get the firmware to load on this device you need to catch the perfect second during its reset cycle where the ping TTL's (you have to ping it) are 100, and launch the tftp upload at that exact time. I was never able to achieve any part of this.

Fortunately after nearly giving up I found this thread which offers alternate (windows only) utility called "Sercomm" to load an alternate (I'm honestly not sure where it came from) .bin image onto the router - I can only assume that it's the dd-wrt image converted to sercomm format. The image you get from dd-wrt will not work with this loader. I loaded this yesterday (2009/11/22) and got the latest (dd-wrt v24 SP2) on my router, and it even works great (so far).

That said, there is one caveat to the instructions provided in the Readme.txt file: I first loaded the dd-wrt image (two are provided: dd-wrt and original Belkin), and the router failed to reboot or respond. I then loaded the Belkin image, it worked correctly as per instructions. Then I was able to load the dd-wrt image successfully. Naturally the IP address changed to instead of

Linux Disabling X server autostart (gdm) on Ubuntu Karmic (9.10)

Posted by Admin • Monday, November 16. 2009 • Category: Linux

There are many reasons one may wish to do this - running their desktop installation as a sever (temporarily perhaps), solving some video issues... or just doing it to get that facet of control back. I, for instance, prefer to run X with "startx" when I'm ready to do so. I do not enjoy a black screen when the latest intel video driver doesn't work - I'd rather Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and fix it.

Anyway, so Karmic (and apparently certain installs before Karmic, as well) uses an init system called "Upstart". If you've tried messing with update-rc and noticed that disabling /etc/init.d/gdm doesn't work, this is why. Oh sure, you can run /etc/init.d/gdm stop, but it's only temporary, assuming that works for you at all - for me it does not - my console does not recover and I get a black screen.

To get it to stop permanently the proper way is apparently to work with upstart. You'll notice some definitions in /etc/init (no, not /etc/init.d). These work somewhat like the Gentoo init.d scripts - you can define dependencies, events, phases, etc. So looking at /etc/init/gdm.conf I see:

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Linux Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala breaks X (xorg) on intel driver on 945G chipset

Posted by Admin • Monday, November 2. 2009 • Category: Linux

After upgrading my IBM desktop with "82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller" X stopped working entirely, regardless of any changes to xorg.conf. Running startx manually revealed an error like this:

(EE) Failed to load module "i810" (module does not exist, 0)
(EE) open /dev/fb0: No such file or directory
(EE) intel(0): [drm] Failed to open DRM device for : No such file or directory
(EE) intel(0): Failed to become DRM master.

Took me a little while to figure out how to get me my machine back:

Continue reading "Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala breaks X (xorg) on intel driver on 945G chipset"