it rained all day, the 60mph+ winds howling outside. i was thankful that it wasn't cold enough for snow (though maybe later tonight), which was the case further inland. the folks worst hit were those along the coastline, where storm surges were amplified by a full moon. i didn't go to the supermarket yesterday, figuring it'd be less crowded today. only problem: how to go outside without getting soaked. i brought my umbrella which worked for the most part, until the winds inverted it just as i arrived. i grabbed a jar of tomato sauce and some popcorn. returning home, my umbrella inverted again, as i held it close to my body. weather like this, umbrellas are pretty much useless.

in the late morning i noticed that my sister's router was offline. i called her to see if it was weather related, but she said she wouldn't be home until 1:30pm. she called me back and i walked her through a troubleshoot but it still wouldn't come online. the problem wasn't the router but rather the modem, which was blinking intermittently because it couldn't connect. i called comcast to see if there was any outages and to book a appointment for a technician to come by tomorrow to take a look.

i ended up asking my sister to come and pick me up so i could go over there and take a look. my theory was the splitter - mounted outdoor - finally succumbed to the rain. i was ready to replace it (i had a spare splitter) but when i switched the cablemodem back to the coaxial in my sister's bedroom, it started working again. i still wanted to replace the splitter but i didn't have the right tools to remove the cables, which seemed to be rusted shut onto the old splitter. i decided to do it some other time, since everything was back to normal for the time being. my sister then gave me a ride back home. i brought back a mantou sandwich (with braised beef slices) and ate it for dunch (i had a muffin earlier for lunch).

for dinner i used up some leftover ingredients i defrosted earlier: a container of pozole and a piece of chicken breast. i boiled the chicken and then shredded it before adding it with the pozole and a whole jar of tomato sauce. after it finished heating on the stove, i added some parmesan cheese and scallions. it wasn't bad, and i had enough leftover for seconds (which i'll save for another day).

we have a total of five foscam webcams1 floating around various locations. the very first one was a FI8910W that frances sent me as a birthday gift about 5 years ago.2 it broke back in 2016, couldn't pan anymore, but was still usable, though the image resolution isn't that great compared to newer HD quality webcams. i tried fixing it by buying a replacement stepper motor (twice actually) but it was the wrong size. the camera had been lying in disuse at my parents' place, but i decided to bring it back online. even though it couldn't rotate anymore, it could still function as a stationary webcam. so imagine my surprise when i set it up tonight and the camera was spinning just fine. this even after i completely disassembled the camera a few times, digging through its electronic guts.

afterwards i set i up the asus RT-N12 D1. i've been playing with the cafe's DD-WRT setup all day and i'm really beginning to like it more and more, despite a bare-bone graphical user interface. to top it all off, it's completely free. i was beginning to regret getting the RT-N12 and was actually secretly hoping it couldn't get delivered today because of the rainstorm and shipped back to amazon warehouse. but it was delivered in the afternoon, and when i went down to fix my sister's router, i picked it up and brought it back home. i was thinking i'd just return it unopened, but decided to set it up and see if it was actually any good, maybe keep it for myself. the router itself is actually a lot smaller than i'd imagined; probably because i was basing its size on the RT-AC68U which is a big router. it comes with detachable antennas which is a plus (means you have the option of upgrading to a more robust pair).

i set up the asus by directly plugging into the router from my laptop with an ethernet cable. it automatically launched the browser and opened up the asus setup page. i changed the router password but it didn't take the first time so i did it again, knowing from experience the admin page address is next i set up the wireless SSID and password, as the router reset to make the changes. i unplugged so i could be on wifi and check to see i could get online. i then opened the asus router app on my phone and tried to attach the router to the app. that's when i ran into problems. for some reason it needed to see the default wifi network name ASUS. so i factory reset the router and used the app directly. i connected to the open ASUS network and retried the app. it could see the router this time, but it just wouldn't connect, said there was an error. maybe it was a DDNS issue, so i opened up my macbook and connected to the ASUS network, where it automatically put me back in the setup page. i set up the router once more, and activated the DDNS this time. i went back to the app: it could see the router but still wouldn't connect.

i gave up on trying to get the app to work for now, and went through the admin page, checking out the different features. it's probably because i've experience the more robust RT-AC68U router already that i found the RT-N12 D1 lacking in features. of course you get what you pay for: the RT-AC68U was $136 (purchased from B&H) while the RT-N12 D1 is just $20 (after $10 amazon rebate). one of the things i got the RT-N12 for was the ability to create guest networks. it can do this with the option of setting a countdown timer that erases the network after a certain period of time or a network with no expiration date. unfortunately it can't just easily toggle on/off a guest network, but has to erase it when you want it off. also the guest clients seem to exist on the same subnetwork as the private clients; i don't think that's a security issue since there's an option to prevent guests from seeing the intranet, but it's not as safe as the DD-WRT solution which creates a whole new subnet for the guest network (e.g. private, guest based on this and the fact that i couldn't get the asus router app to work, i'm returning this router.

at some future point i'm going to install DD-WRT on my current TL-WR841ND v9 router as well. i'm also going to convert the spare router (the one i already converted to DD-WRT but has some issues logging into the admin page) into a gateway so i can use the SSID name to broadcast comments to my more tech savvy neighbors.

1 my experience with wireless internet security cameras goes back more than 8 years. the very first one i ever got was a linksys WVC54GCA back in january 2010 (back when linksys was in the webcam game). that was the early days of webcams and this one couldn't even pan/tilt like all the foscams we have (here's a comparison between the linksys and foscam webcams). i don't think foscam the company exists anymore, or the US distributor had some beef with the chinese manufacturer and they ended up forming a new company called amcrest. if i was to get another webcam, i'd want one with an optical zoom.

2 that was a fateful day. i took my father and his friend on a tour of boston (that was a great day, we did much in just a single morning and afternoon) and when we returned to the cafe in the early evening news of the shady hook elementary school massacre was broadcasting on television.