Monday, August 30, 2010

Fix for the "Upgrade are failed" error when upgrading Linksys firmware

Almost everyone I know - even those that I don't really know - are shocked when they find out that I don't have an Internet connection at home. The responses span the gamut from, "What kind of techie are you?" to "How do you survive?" Let me tell you this - not only have I survived, but I have thrived. I am no longer an insomniac, I don't wake up more tired than I was when I went to bed, and I don't think I have read as many books in my life as I did these past 17 months. In my eyes, this experiment was a resounding success.

Alas, like all experiments, this one has to come to an end. The process of returning back to being online started with me finding a roommate who is perennially oncall. To facilitate his work, I picked up a Clear Internet connection device from my friend Shari's store in Bellevue at the start of August. Given how much he needs the Internet and that my Wireless router was with Jyot, I let him have the wired connection in his room. I thought I'd hold out for a little longer...

It all ends today. That's right ladies and gents, I am once again among the online netizens of the world. Being offline is dead. Long live being offline! Like everything else this past month, the transition wasn't without its share of trials and tribulations. I plugged my Linksys WRT54G in, reset the settings, and setup my wireless network with the right security settings. At this point, it was brought to my attention that the firmware on my router was a few years old. Old isn't good, right? Like a good techie, I downloaded the latest firmware, and pointed the router to the new firmware file using my trusty Firefox installation. Bad idea!!

Here's why:
1. Firefox is known to cause firmware upgrade issues for Linksys routers. Avoid using it at all costs
2. If you get an error message that says, "Upgrade are failed", searching through the Linksys forums will not provide you with any answers to fix your router. The most dire news you can get is that you have officially bricked your router. Don't believe the hype, or in this case, the bad news. This is just opinion, not fact!

After spending an hour trawling the web for information, I got what I needed at a Linksys "jailbreaking"/modding site. In hindsight, I should've started my search there because these guys surely know what their doing. So, here is the fix:

1. Download the appropriate firmware for your router's version. My router is a Linksys WRT54G V8. The V8 is KEY.
2. Connect your computer via an Ethernet cable to port 1 of your router (the order of the buttons and ports from the Left is: Reset Button, Internet (Connection to your modem), Port 1, Port 2, 3, 4, Power).
3. Manually configure the connected computer's IP settings to be:
  IP Address:
  Subnet Mask:
  No DHCP configuration
4. Unplug your router's power cord
5. Unplug the cable that connects the router to the modem
6. With a pen, press down on the Reset button. The button is recessed, so please ensure that the button is actually pressed.
7. Plug the router's power cord back in
8. Keep the Reset button pressed for about 25 seconds
9. Open up Safari or Internet Explorer
10. Browse to

You should be presented with a screen that says "Management Mode Firmware Upgrade". Follow the prompts and upgrade your router's firmware with the downloaded .bin file's contents!

If you need images or have any other questions, follow the more detailed instructions :here:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Working week: Day -1: Flying to my destination

The samba beat ringing true in my ears, I sit in a tiny cafe by the beach. A long walk on the beach with the warm sun baking the sand was exactly the change I needed from a hectic two months of ceaseless and unrelenting pressure at work. Moving to a new team is hard, but none of my moves in the past have been anything like this one.

The flow of events changed when I touched down in Dallas. Nishant is a great host and an able partner in crime, and this meeting didn't disappoint. The craziness started on the ride back to his place, continued at this really cool bar a stone's throw from his apartment, sputtered through the taqueria food we chowed down while inebriated, and ended with a viewing of The Soup. Juggy style driving was on full display, and being back in The Lone Star State reminded why I love it so much. Texans are proud of who they are, comfortable in their skin, and extremely friendly. That part about Southern Hospitality: it's true.

Back to the present. The positive energy emanated by the people of this place is recharging my cells. I had completely stopped writing; the rigors of my routine taking a toll on my ability to look at things as an observer rather than a participant. People are milling about without a care on their minds, going in and out of conversation with complete strangers with ease and abandon. Nothing seems scripted or orchestrated here, and best of all, I am not worried about responding to the next pressing email from someone, anyone!

My tendency to take things as they come has been an aid through my travels this past year. My last trip to the East Coast, my sojourn in India and now this journey; the unexpected is at every corner if you expect just the basics. My aim is to embrace the unexpected, mingle with the local folk wherever I go, and make merry as the sun shines. Who knows when I'll be back to gray skies in Seattle...