Freifunky - Harz Edition

I have recently changed my hometown, and am now living somewhere in the wopwops. While the Freifunk community thrives all around here, the same cannot be said for the little town where I will possibly spend a significant part of my remaining days.

Obviously that had to change! Unlike last time, I was unwilling to modify my main router. That ended up being rather unstable, and - to put it bluntly - updates where a bitch.

Thus I bought myself a TP-Link TL-WR841N for amazingly cheap 15€ and followed the instructions.

Quite frankly - there's not much more to say. It really was that simple.

1&1 USB Surfstick with OpenWRT

Due to my new provider being somewhat slower at connecting my phone line than expected I currently do not have a wired internet connection. As not having internet is no longer an option in my household, I managed to convince customer support to send me a surf-stick (3g USB dongle) to bridge the gap until my landline goes live. (Interestingly enough no one at my household seems to care about the fact that we do not have a landline telephone to use. Apparently that is no longer an issue in 2015...)

Of course these sticks are only supposed to be used on a single WIndows PC, forcing some crap software with a horrible UI on the user. As I am definitely not alone in the household and tend to have more than one device online at any one time, that was certainly not an option for me.

Thus I tried plugging it into my OpenWRT Router.

The good news - It almost works out of the box with OpenWRT. That is, it works once you get the stick to actually act as a 3g dongle and stop pretending to be a CD-drive, The bad news is - for some reason it isn't recognized by USB-Modeswitch and thus it never stops pretending.

On the box it says it is a ZTE-MF190v - and that small 'v' at the end means its not quite as well known as the MF190. If you stick into a Linux Mint 17 PC usb-modeswitch simply will not react at all. The Vendor ID 0x19d2 and Product ID 0x2000 are apparently not known.

Even trying the most similar configuration (for the ZTE MF620 which has the same Product ID in USB Mode), found here ( has no effect.

Thus I was forced to install the USB stick on my partners PC (the last Windows PC left in the household). Then I followed the instructions given here:
and issued the following AT command using putty.




That command disables the 'pretend' CD-mode that simply wouldn't go away on my linux box.

The end result - the stick works beautifully as a 3g dongle. It also has a micro-sd card slot that is recognized just fine. Installing it on OpenWRT works just as explained in the instructions here:

Although I recommend not even bothering with the usb_serial_generic driver as using the usb_serial_option driver did the trick for me!

OpenWRT - Secure your DDNS!

If you happen to use OpenWRT on your router and also use a dynamic DNS provider to connect to your network from outside, just a quick heads-up.

OpenWRT does NOT use a secure connection to update your IP by default. I happened to stumble on this, as DDNS was disabled after an upgrade, and I ended up using the command line to reconfigure it instead of luci - as I usually would.

For some reason Luci does not even provide the option to secure the connection between your router and your DDNS provider - which is why I never noticed.

The instructions are here: 

Note: You will almost certainly have to enable SSL3 - or you should change your DDNS-Provider.

Programming Quotes as Posters

A while back a colleague of mine found the classic 'six stages of debugging' somewhere on the web. As our office is currently pretty bare we decided the quote would be perfect as a poster. As neither of us is much of a graphic designer we kinda hoped someone else would have had the same genius idea, and would make money of us, by selling us such a poster.

Either my google-fu is weak, or indeed no one has yet created a poster for pretty much any good programming quotes. (On an aside - apparently Mike W. Cremer came up with the six stages "after a particularly frustrating DMA debugging session".) So I decided to fix that.

Lo and behold - some posters to decorate the office with. The full versions are in the gallery.

six stages of debugging
- Quote by Mike W. Cremer
software and wells cathedral
- Quote by Samuel T. Redwine, Jr, Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
keep calm and keep coding
- Quote by unknown, Design 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON' - United Kingdom Government