[svlug] SOHO router spiced up was: Sheevaplug ?

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Fri Oct 23 08:13:26 PDT 2009

On Fri, 23 Oct 2009 07:42:44 -0700
Marco Walther <marco at sonic.net> wrote:

> On Thursday 22 October 2009 15:36, Ivan Sergio Borgonovo wrote:
> > On Thu, 22 Oct 2009 14:40:58 -0700
> >
> > Marco Walther <marco at sonic.net> wrote:
> > > for OpenWRT, ASUS boxes are still around work well for me;-)
> > > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320011
> >
> > This belong to the list of "we pretend to be open" (actually not
> > exactly...).
> > You've to run 2.4 kernel because it is the only one containing a
> > binary version for the wifi broadcom card. Plus it seems that
> > currently n mode is unsupported.

> Actually, the WL-500w comes supposedly with a mini-PCI WiFi card,
> which you could exchange for an Atheros based one with open
> drivers. I did not look, I'm happy as it is;-) I was more
> interested in the USB ports;-)

I think swapping the card
a) will double the cost of the router
b) could increase the cost of software maintenance... even if up to
my understanding openwrt will autoload the correct module so I could
use a stock image...

> Most of those SOHO routers do not have mini-PCI cards any more.

Technically that wouldn't be a problem if... most of the router will
end in using the same SoC and one part of the drivers will continue
to be closed source.

> But even just swapping a mini-PCI board would also mean
> maintaining a new firmware image line forever. Remember, probably
> 99.99% of their users will rely on the stock firmware. 

Still I can't understand the commercial reasons they are keeping
part of the firmware closed.
eg. if it was open... now we would have support for wifi in 2.6 for
most of those routers.

I don't think asus, dlink, netgear etc... risk to cut their own
market of higher price routers.

Considering you could have a netbook for less than 300 Euro here
and a wl500w costs more than 100, I can't understand why there is no
one entering the market with a competitive product that is really

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo

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