Not Quite Normal

Archive of March 2009

Unbricking a WRT54G v1.0 March 31

I've been trying to unbrick a Linksys WRT54G v1.0 for a few days now, mainly using guides over on but none of them described the symptoms I was seeing. While they were all mentioning flashing power or diag lights I was seeing power and diag lights constantly on.

The solution was from this howto and involved shorting pin 16 of the flash ram chip (which isn't an Intel one in v1.0) to ground while plugging it in (steady hands needed) - the diag light should then flash quickly and then more slowly.  You should be able to ping the router then and tftp up a good firmware image.  At this stage mine would only accept official linksys firmware - I had to wait until that was on there before using the web interface to flash the dd-wrt image.  As a side note, the WRT54G v1.0 needs the vintage series of dd-wrt firmware - the standard one will brick it.

CATaLOG talk and progress March 30

I'll be giving a talk on the CATaLOG project at the Ignite Cardiff event on Wednesday 8th April.  The format is somewhat like a lightning talk - 20 slides, each slide auto advanced after 15 seconds, 5 minutes in total.  Looking forward to it :)

The project itself is almost complete.  I built the power supply and interface circuitry at the weekend which has made the whole thing a lot neater and more stable. There is a minor bug where the minutes component of the time a cat has been outside rolls into the thousands after a few hours, but I expect that will be easy to fix.

After that I'll need to machine the housing, flash a WRT54g to get a wireless network bridge and fit the IR beams so the system can actually detect the direction of the cat instead of simply flipping a boolean.

Graze box March 24

My first Graze box arrived today from


It was very tasty.  I chose the 'grazeenergy' box and got fresh pineapple, roasted pistachios and a roasted seed mix.  I was particular impressed with the strange bamboo tuning fork shaped thing that can be used to eat the fruit and doubles as a scoop for the seeds. I think now I bring my own lunch to work I might treat myself to one of these a week as at £2.99 delivered it's less than I was spending per day on lunch.

If you're in the UK and want to try one for free and get your second half price, use the code FH3HWB5 when you sign up and I'll get £1 off my next one :)

CATaLOG gets a mouth March 23

I've added an LCD to CATaLOG :)


I've updated the project page with a new Adding an LCD section, with details of how I went about it.

CATaLOG now talking to Twitter March 15

The CATaLOG project is coming along nicely and now talking to Twitter... :)


I've updated the project page with the general process of programming the Arduino and getting it to send the tweets.

You can follow the cats over on their Twitter page, though there is just test data there at the moment.

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