The Screensavers

August 6, 2004
tech film

So I’ve been pretty religiously watching The Screensavers on G4/TechTV since I noticed the cable company added it to the lineup. Pretty entertaining show, and they sometimes have some cool bits on there. This past week they had a Best of: Free and Cheap episode detailing a number of free/cheap downloads and tips. I found a couple of segments of particular interest:

  • Linksys WRT54G - a lot of the Linksys network hardware runs Linux, and so they’ve had to release the source under GPL. Turns out, there’s a bug in the software for the Linksys WRT54G wireless router (which I just happen to have now) that allows you to drop in arbitrary firmware. So people have started hacking on the source and adding all sorts of other features to the router. They’ve added a variety of things, but one of the more interesting is the inclusion of an ssh daemon. You can now set it up so that you can control it via ssh and transfer files into the ramdisk. As such, you can add in all sorts of stuff like wireless sniffers, network loggers, etc. Haven’t tried it out yet, but looks promising.
  • Synergy - when I first heard the blurb about this on the show, I thought it was just going to be a knock-off on VNC. Turns out, it’s even more interesting. Rig up a single keyboad/mouse setup connected to a single computer. Set up monitors on several computers including the one with the keyboard/mouse. Set up Synergy, and you can control all of the computers just like you were using multi-head or something. As you move the cursor off the side of the screen, it pops over onto the desktop for the machine to that side, and you’re now controlling that one. Pretty wild. You can even copy and paste text across the different machines this way. Definitely going to have to check that one out.