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Repurposed Monitor

Just wanted to pop in and post a quick update to my little repurposed laptop LCD screen project. Quite frankly I’ve become disillusioned with this whole “blogging thing” in general, and so I’ve changed the motivation behind it. But enough of that, here’s what’s going on:
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Well it’s finally here. Took longer than I anticipated, but that’s mostly because of budget constraints. I finally got around to ordering it on 7/20/2012, and it arrived in about 2 weeks. Not at all unreasonable, considering it shipped all the way from Shenzhen China. In my original post,
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Success! After a month of trial and error (and more error), I’ve finally found a way to reliably turn on Trinity over the internet. Wake-on-LAN—you know, that feature where your computer’s onboard ethernet adapter listens to the internet for a magic packet of data telling it to wake up your computer. Why do I want to do this? I want to access Trinity on the go and on command via LogMeIn, without running her 24/7. That wouldn’t be very green now would it? I was really close after reading a guide on lifehacker, but somehow I couldn’t crack it. I could only achieve my goal from within my own wireless network at home, not very useful when I cross the pond. It seems after a period of about thirty minutes, dormant devices disappear from the router’s ARP cache, making it invisible to magic packet bursts sent from the outside of your home network (or so I’ve read). The solution? I needed better tools.

The stock Linksys firmware of my WRT54GS2 is ok, but it lacks several advanced features, mainly WOL. TomatoUSB is free*, open source firmware, written by third parties giving you greater control of your router’s settings and capabilities. I’ve heard good things about DD-WRT, it seems to reign in popularity, but TomatoUSB is a bit simpler to install so—yea, I went with TomatoUSB. The great thing about it is there’s a WOL feature built right into the interface. Simply log into the router, click the “WOL” heading, find your machine, and click on it to wake it up. Easy peasy. It seems the trick to doing this from outside your network is setting up remote access to your router. Doing so requires knowing your external IP address, the one given to you by your ISP [You can check it at whatsmyip.org]. The other problem with that is, sometimes they change it without telling you, and if you’re not at home to spot the address change you’ll be essentially locked out. No matter, that problem has been solved.

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I haven’t posted anything on it (yet), but following some work I did on Silvia, I took on the task of rehabilitating my girlfriend’s old Dell Inspiron 1150, which was a mess to say the least: missing keys, a broken headphone jack, dead speakers, and a decapitated display. I did my best to bring it back from the grave but sadly it’s still a mute (speakers still dead). It does run with a tad bit more pep, and sports a few new coats of paint. My biggest triumph was repairing the headphone jack. Out of that project I acquired an extra LCD screen because, as it turned out, all I needed was a new converter cable, hinges, and cosmetic plastic covers to fix the display. The ill fated replacement was also the wrong size at 15″, though somewhat compatible (eBay burn). That extra screen has been sitting in “the workshop” dreaming of a day it would once again have purpose. Welp, it seems that day has finally come. Read the rest of this entry »

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