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Alienware 5620P Laptop

Posted: March 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Tech | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I received my first “fast” computer in 2002 as a high school graduation gift. It was amazing for about 3 years.
The Alienware Area 51-m 5620P was an amazing laptop when it came out in 2002.
-2.4GHz P4
-512MB PC2100 DDR
-40GB 5400 RPM hard drive
-Dual batteries
-ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 64MB

I could really Pwn on Counterstrike with this thing. :)
I hate to let this machine go to waste after 9 years, so I decided to bring it back to life.

Current problems:
-CMOS battery is bad as of about 5 years ago. This means every time it boots, the BIOS is reset, Date, boot settings = annoying.
-CD/DVD Drive no longer reads any media
-Battery no longer holds a charge
-512MB ram = :( …We need at least a gig now
-Power brick is melted from the sheathing wearing away. Almost started a fire.
-No wireless built-in. Definitely need a PCMCIA wireless card.

I ordered:
-Refurbished CD/DVD Drive
-New OEM Battery
-1 GB PC 2100 RAM (512×2)
-New power brick
-802.11g 54mbps PCMCIA Wireless Card

I got the memory from newegg.com for $50, and the rest on Amazon for less than $200.

CMOS BATTERY
I looked around and there aren’t any good guides to show where the CMOS battery is in this thing. I took apart the laptop about 80% of the way to figure everything out.
I had taken it apart about 5 years ago to add artic silver and reseat the heatsink.
If you turn it upside-down, you will see the four compartments. Take out the bottom right one (battery). It should slide out to reveal an adhesive cover.
Peel away the cover, and you have a neatly-wrapped CMOS battery. You can find a cheap replacement at Walgreens are almost anywhere else.

While I had it apart, I snapped a few pics to save other people time:

I should have the rest of the parts by next week. But this post wasn’t about the end-result, it was about saving other people time if they are pulling their hair out trying to locate the CMOS battery, HD, memory, or anything else.


Tomato Router Config – Backup Script

Posted: March 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Linux, Tech | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I recently was given the task to automate the backups of several remote routers that we manage that run tomato firmware.
Here is the Tomato developer’s site: www.polarcloud.com/tomato
The main goals were:

  • To use https
  • To be automated (Cron)’d later
  • To scale from 1 to 1XXX routers

I tested it on Tomato Firmware 1.28 using my ASUS RT-N16 router, but it should work for any Tomato-firmware router.
There will be some slight modifications to run in cron, but let me know and I’ll be glad to help.
Download the .zip file here: tomatobackup1405

Extract the file so the full path will be /root/tomatobackup1405
Read the README inside the folder
chmod +x tomatobackup1405.sh
Add your hosts to the tomatobackup1405_hosts.cfg file
Run it!

If successful, you will see a subfolder with the date YYYYMMDD and the file with CoName-tomato_v_.cfg
If there are connection problems, you’ll see an error message.

EDIT: There was a python rewrite by Sam@orgraphone.org
Feel free to check it out here

Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions.
-Gregg