TP-Link TL-WA801ND: Nice

I just installed one of these at home, and it’s great. It reminds me of OpenWRT, the open source router firmware, in that it allows you to turn the router into a WiFi client, a wireless bridge, an access point, or a range extender. It’s super-cheap at around $25, and extremely easy to configure with the provided configuration wizard.

Anyone who knows what the different modes are, and how to configure an access point, can set it up in ten minutes.

It even does VLANs! Well, not really – it allows up to four SSIDs and will send each one to a different VLAN. That’s the bare minimum needed to set up access points with guest and private networks. So you can combine that with a lower-end smart switch, and do a little enterprise-style WiFi on a small budget.

It even supports “Passive POE”, which is just a power injector device. The device doesn’t support any of the standard power-over-ethernet standards.

When Does the PageRank Patent Expire? January 9, 2018

January 9, 1998: Google’s filed for its PageRank patent on that day. Patents expire 20 years after the filing date, or January 9, 2018 for this patent.

Shortly thereafter, all the search engines will probably deploy some kind of PageRank algorithm. This will start the slow erosion of Google as the top dog of search engines. PageRank isn’t the only determinant of search result quality, but PageRank made Google.

A Small Large Network

Several years ago, I wrote a series of article about implementing a small network that has some “enterprise” network features. For the most part, these aren’t necessary, but I believe, as we deal with more mobile devices and IOT devices, we will want to isolate our networks into segments, and implement firewalls between the segments, even for small LANs. Fortunately, our phones are somewhat safe — Windows hacking over the LAN in the late 1990s taught everyone a lesson. That said, there are a lot of camera, sensors, and other devices that are on LANs, running with default passwords, and subject to sniffing.

The original articles are here.

WP’s Backbone-like Templating Language

In yesterday’s post, I talked about fixing up old PHP code to be safer.

There’s another anti-pattern common in old PHP code, and that’s mixing the display logic with the output logic. While some of this is inevitable, nowadays, the rule is to use a templating system like Twig to separate out even small bits of HTML code from the logic.

WordPress does this on the front end via Underscore templates, but configured to use Handlebars-like syntax.

This is a PHP class that does the same thing with PHP. I wrote it so I could use the same, or similar, templates on both the client and server side.
Continue reading WP’s Backbone-like Templating Language

The New Site

I’ve been doing a lot of WP hacking, but my website was on a very old copy of Drupal (version 6!) so I thought it best to transition to using WP for my personal blog.

The old site is here.

They’re both good platforms, but the WP market just seems to be dominating, especially for lower-cost sites.

WP’s core code is still a maze.

Every time I get a grip on one part of the codebase, I go into another part, and it’s completely different.  The code quality has improved, though, so, it’s pleasant.