Monthly Archives: September 2008

Crank Ringtone

I saw “Crank” (great action flick with Jason Statham) when it came out in theaters like 2 years ago… But, I hadn’t seen it since then.

It’s a 100% guy movie, and it’s unique enough to be an interesting watch.

Anyway – I re-watched it today because I woke up way too early, and it was available for free on demand. I noticed that Jason Statham’s character, Chev Chelios, has a cell phone with a pretty sweet ringtone.

I’ve been diligently searching for ANY replacement to my “CTU 24” ringtone, but all the ones I’ve tried have ended up being temporary: Metal Gear codec ringtone, GTA4’s mission complete – gg vanlandw, and a couple other random ringers. It’s been difficult to find a suitable replacement, but I’m digging this ringtone and plan on keeping it for the foreseeable future.

If interested:

Or, just click on ‘files’ on the header nav – there’s a couple more ringtones in there. I found a sweet plugin that lets you list out directory contents within the wordpress content. I’ve been meaning to get that installed for awhile now.

Road Trip

So today, as previously posted, I worked. Our bank is trying out new saturday hours where one IT person has to be on staff in case of issues.

Overall a pretty quiet day, and then I misused the shutdown command.

At our Lansing branch, there’s been a computer on for a few days that still has somebody logged in. It’s been throwing tons of account lockout errors into our logs and flooding the crap out of our logging reports. So, I figured I’d do myself a favor and shut that computer off.

I know the microsoft windows shutdown command very well… It can be used to remotely shutdown or restart computers as long as an administrator account is used. Well, I used my admin account and I typed the command so fast and fluidly that I didn’t realize my mistake until it was all over. “shutdown -s -m \\” …Hmm… Wait… the computer IP that I wanted to shut down was .30, not .130… shit… what did i just shut off? Pull up our IP list… Double shit. The Lansing domain controller/print server.

A couple people were working at the Lansing branch, but nobody had the necessary clearance to get into the datacenter. And Lansing being a remote market, I didn’t configure HP’s integrated Lights out on that server. There was simply NO possible way to get that server to turn back on aside from driving two hours round trip.

I drove one hour in pouring rain to arrive at our lansing branch, I pushed a power button, and I drove an hour back to GR in pouring rain. But, I stopped at Arby’s at least.


I’m writing this post from work; since it’s my first time doing a Saturday rotation and there is nobody else around. ūüôā

I’ve known about DD-WRT for a long time. ¬†But, probably not many other people have. ¬†So, let me start with a little background. ¬†DD-WRT is an open-source linux based firmware for consumer grade broadband routers. ¬†The idea is that you install DD-WRT, and in the process, erase the default (linksys, netgear, etc.) firmware. ¬†Normal people might say “Why do you want to do that?” – Well, because. ¬†BECAUSE.

For me, I can’t stop hacking things. ¬†It’s almost an OCD. ¬†I’ve hacked my ipod to put Linux and Rockbox on it. ¬†I’ve hacked my Razr v3m with seem edits, I have a modded Xbox (thanks again JJA), and in general I just like to ‘hack’ at things and see what I can do with them.

But with DD-WRT, there’s more of a benefit than just ‘hacking’ your router. ¬†You can turn a bare-bones wireless router into a much more useful piece of equipment. ¬†Your basic device can be transformed to have VPN capabilities, QoS, Vlans, Bandwidth graphing, SSH access, and enhanced security features.

Now, DD-WRT isn’t a new thing by any means. ¬†But for me, I have hit one of those compulsive phases in my technical life where I simply MUST do this. ¬†I MUST use DD-WRT. ¬†Unfortunately my stupid Netgear WGR614v6 does not agree, and is not supported by any open firmware projects.

So I began shopping on ebay, craigslist,, and any friends I knew that owned a Linksys router.  The Linksys WRT54G is famous for being a hackable device (Linksys actually open sourced the Firmware).  I was simply hell bent on finding a Linsksy WRT54G v4.  Specifically, version 4 is by far the best router to have when looking at DD-WRT because it has 4 megs of flash memory and is not locked down nearly as hard.  In fact, you can upgrade to DD-WRT right from the default Linksys web interface.

After a few hours of looking around, fighting the ebay crowds, and coming up empty overall; I stumbled across an amazing tidbit of information on Wikipedia. ¬†Apparently, there was such a high demand for these WRT54Gv4 models, that Linksys re-released them and still currently sells them. ¬†They just rebranded it and label it as an open source router. ¬†The new model number is WRT54GL (with the L standing for “Linux”). ¬†

I found one of these WRT54GL routers on and it was currently 15 dollars off AND had free shipping.  And, since Vanbergs still owed me a birthday present, I decided to cash it in on a brand new router.

Now I’m just waiting for it to get to my house so I can immediately flash it with DD-WRT.

Anybody need a ‘non hacked’ Netgear wireless router?

HD Cable Surprise

For about the past year, I’ve used a small indoor antenna to pick up local HD channels. ¬†It’s always worked pretty well for me – allowing me to pick up Wood,¬†WZZM, and Fox17 without any trouble. ¬†This has served pretty well for me, especially since I downgraded my Comcast cable to the LOWEST possible level which cost 14 dollars and gives me like 15 channels.

However, there’s always been one issue that’s plagued the entire setup: wireless internet.

As soon as Flo, Vanlandw, and/or Vanbergs would boot up their laptops and connect to my WLAN Рthe HD tv reception just immediately tanks.  I tried changing my wireless to different channels, I tried three different antennas, and overall I messed with the setup WAY too long.

So over the weekend, I decided to try something completely random. ¬†I took my standard Comcast analog cable and plugged directly it into my HD tuner (removing the antenna completely). ¬†I used the HD tuner to rescan the channels… ¬†And, to my sheer surprise, I picked up about 25 channels – and about 6 in pure HD. ¬†I get more HD channels this way than I did with the antenna!

I thought for a minute and tried to figure it out… ¬†But I couldn’t come up with an answer. ¬†How could I possibly be picking up crystal clear HD over an analog cable signal? ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – but at the same time I absolutely hate when I can’t figure something out. ¬†So, I did the inevitable and consulted the smartest man on the planet: ¬†Mickeyvb.

His statements made perfect sense, and I was almost embarrased that I hadn’t thought of it. ¬†But seems like my cable, connected to the telephone pole outside my house, is acting as an antenna and pulling the signals out of the air. ¬†With miles and miles of cable to pick up the signals, the reception is perfect. ¬†Every channel has a perfect and full signal, even with laptops around.¬†

Looks like I can ditch my little indoor antenna for good…

Consolidating Gmails

I’ve been using Gmail for a pretty long time now. ¬†And over the years I’ve accumulated several random gmail addresses (;;,, etc.)

So today I finally took a much needed step to combine all those accounts into my main Gmail account. ¬†First, I set every one of my other gmail addresses to simply forward to (and to delete the original copy). ¬†Then, I used Gmail’s “Send email as” feature to allow me to send email from any of my email addresses from my main account.

Now I can stop managing all these random Gmail accounts I’ve created over the years. ¬† A small step that I should have taken quite awhile ago, but later is better than never I guess.

Google Chrome

While I am not the biggest fan of the name, I am completely sold on Google’s new web browser: Chrome.

I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this sooner, But this morning on FOX17’s morning show I heard “Google is planning to launch a new internet browser… etc.” ¬†And that it was launching TODAY. ¬†How could I have missed that? ¬†How could I not have heard about this? ¬† It was a pretty nice surprise today because I really like Google’s products across the board. ¬†Reader, Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Sync, Browser Sync (formerly), Analytics, Adsense, Maps – The list just goes on and on. ¬† Add to the list, Chrome.

I seriously downloaded this browser the minute that the download page worked (it had redirected to google’s default search homepage) and I instantly installed and began using Chrome at work on my Windows Vista workstation. ¬†

My first impressions are as follows:
The browser has the best layout that I have ever seen in a web browser. ¬†The tabs are placed above the address bar and there is almost no wasted space for the controls. ¬†When the browser is maximized, I almost feel like it’s missing completely, in a good way – The browser itself becomes secondary, to the point where the web content is the only focus. ¬†I caught myself saying “oh, yea… ¬†I’m using a browser’

The bookmarks/favorites functionality is pretty basic and does leave a little bit to be desired. But hopefully future enhancements will include automatic syncing with my google bookmarks.

It’s pretty easy to tell that much of the browsing and plugin engine components are the same as firefox. ¬†Installing a flash plugin really reminded me of the same process that firefox uses. ¬†Not a bad thing by any means.

The configuration and options are fairly vanilla – there’s not alot you can customize or change using this browser. ¬†But, at the same time i don’t find myself wanting to make any changes. ¬†It’s a simple, clean, easy to use web browser that runs very efficiently, is very light weight, and allows you to control each browser related process running inside it.

Overall, I’m very impressed so far with just an hour or so of usage. ¬†I’m pretty sure this browser will be pulling market share pretty significantly in the coming months. ¬†Google is really in a pretty good spot to dent Microsoft hard. ¬†If i were google, i’d be putting a ton of resources into making a lightweight, web-focused operating system. ¬†With the reputation Google has built up, and the quality of the products they have put out continuously, releasing an OS would completely shake up the tech industry at the consumer level.

Keep up the good work Google!