Project 2011: December
Less than a day.
- Transparency in branding
- Shoe Polish photo in header with minor touch-up work to blend into main content
- Child and sibling selectors to hide the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th twitter updates and the follow link
- Twitter update incorporated into banner photo
- As Tall As Lions farewell show photo in footer, fading in from main content
I've come to realize December's a really busy month for me. At first, I had an overabundance of material to go through, but I made a special effort to get through it all. A short while later, I had the perfect combination of elements. I hate to sound "artsy", but these photos spoke to me in a very real way. I've always wanted to "bookend" a style like this and they just popped out. As for the rest, I wanted to try a few small tricks I picked up recently.
I'm glad I finished this project on a high note. December's a keeper.
Project 2011: November
Done in 5 days and that's with theme research. Starting to realize this blog might be a bit long in the tooth. There's simply not enough content on the front page to style.
As for November - it's a bit of a shock that I can't remember a single thing about any November since this blog started. In seven years, the only one that sticks out in my mind is last year's. Of course the reason for that being it was a return to my grand tradition of waking up in Brooklyn with a monstrous hangover. Entirely different part of Brooklyn, but Brooklyn nonetheless. The picture above is of the Chauncey Street station. Believe me when I say the reflection off the train above the stoplight almost caused me to pass out. It was that bad.
Project 2011: August-October
Not much to say about August. It was a boring month filled with boring non-events, though I can't blame it. After the tumult in June and July, the bar was set pretty high. In retrospect, it makes sense why I went with that scheme. Just tried messing around with different colors and structure. It turned out alright.
I can't even remember September. Honestly, I'd have no idea how it turned out were it not for the tiny thumbnail in the Projects link for October. I'll either vastly remodel it or leave it on the cutting room floor. Can't believe that's the first time I've used transparency on the main content...
I think October might be my favorite design yet. It bears some resemblance to the Middle of the Road design I had up for years e.g. the differently colored section headings. However, I decided to go with the sketch and marked-up look this time around to show what happens when I'm absolutely stuck on a design and frustration takes over. Sure, it's a little meta. Ok-it's really meta, but I like how it turned out. It's more organic than most of the other stuff I do, while still maintaining that 960 pixel grid structure. A few tweaks here and there should do it. I'll revisit it after the year is over.
So that's it. Two months left. Time for that last big push.
Project 2011: August - December
Still going. Been super busy. It's gonna get done.
Project 2011: July
I'd be lying if I said I came up with this sober. Let's just say it was a rush job that should've been done weeks ago. Overall though, I'm happy with how it turned out. Maybe I'll come back and work on the typography later. Right now, I'm excited about working on August. It's a good month.
It's not Just Ugly. It's ooglay!
So the last day in July came and went and in true form, I am once again looking at a half-finished page. Now why is that? Too much other shit going on. Some good. Some bad. Nothing terrible (this is as close to optimism as you're gonna get from me for a while).
First, there's the move. Then the new side-work. There's also the iPhone appli...best I keep that one under wraps for now. Not to mention picking up crazy hours at my job and it's pretty clear I don't have much time to work on soul-searching and finding creative energy. Then again, it's been a while since I went to the city. Perhaps a sit on the Brooklyn Promenade will clear my head and ease a troubled spirit; maybe a trip to Grimaldi's for another slice of their famous pizza? Who knows?
Or perhaps a ride down Park Avenue? It's entirely possible all three could happen; both July and August have a special place in my heart. We'll see.
Know what? Haven't been to Europe in a while. Maybe a travel partner is in my future...
Project 2011: June
June. Where to begin...
For starters, the style was finished on June 24th. By finished, I mean the concept and general layout were completed. Since the idea behind this whole project was to make getting over the “conceptualizing” part easier, final touches and artistic styling are going to be done later. Besides, I was in a bit of a rush to get it done by midnight of the 24th, for reasons that'll become apparent below.
Before anything else though, please forgive me in advance if this post is all over the place. I'm underfed, boat-lagged (if such a thing exists), and a little fried from four straight days of mourning/celebratory drinking. Just came back from a much-needed cruise to Bermuda where most of my time was spent forgetting the 24th of June, both present and past. That day now has the distinction of starting off well and ending in complete disaster two years running. Last year, it was the day I got up at 4 AM to spend many hours on line eagerly awaiting the new iPhone 4. It was also the day I got the call that my Grandfather died. Not the happiest of times.
This year, it was the day my vacation was supposed to start. Eleven days away from the single greatest source of stress in my life, marked with a celebration. Instead, it turned into another day of mourning, as a comrade fell in a fight against injustice and incompetence; a victim of corruption and evil. I got the same few predictable reactions, too: “You're overreacting!”, “Well, what're you gonna do?”, or “Just be glad it wasn't you!”. That last one's my favorite one. If it had been me, I know for a fact I'd be feeling a whole lot better about the next 24 hours...and the 24 after that, and so on. Again, sorry for the cryptic nature of it all, but I'm not quite settled yet.
Aside from the day of days, the rest of last month was wholly unspectacular. Just the usual grind: work, gym, more work, sleep. After a while, I'll get tired of writing about bad shit and go back to happy drunken escapades. But this just wasn't the month for it.
Happy Birthday America. Or whatever you call yourself now.
Project 2011: March, April, and May Done!
The site lives on! You can take my word for it; the last update was done at 11:58 on May 31st, 2011. With 9 days wasted, leaving me a scant 36 hours, how did this happen?
Well, I rediscovered my muse. Let me explain (warning, I'm about to get a little personal here):
Way back in 2005, I wrote the first version of the CMS system this site runs on in a quiet café. I needed a creative outlet at the time and although it occasionally got me in trouble, building and updating this website was a welcome respite from moping around, feeling sorry for myself, and destroying my relationship. I'd spend many nights hammering away on a tiny 12-inch Powerbook G4 until staffers would close up shop and send me home, where I'd get back to work, finally falling asleep at 4 AM only to be awake and ready for work five hours later. If anyone were to ask me now how long it took me or what I did to create this thing, I couldn't tell them. Ah, the joys of late-night coding. But I had done it. I had a website running on a custom-built CMS with all the trimmings on which to spout off about anything my immature little heart desired. I had my outlet, life went on, and the site helped me get a lot of stuff off my chest. Then, in January of 2008, all that changed.
There was a breakup. Although I can't say it was totally unexpected, it was still shitty nonetheless. Then, shortly afterwards, the very café which had once provided me that perfect atmosphere for creativity and outlet closed its doors. Talk about bad timing. Rather than repeating the events of the past, I threw myself into work and my personal blog became a repository for “professional” writing that would have earned me a solid D in college. Half-hearted attempts at writing anything from the heart ended in frustration as I tried to find another home for chaseds.net. All that was needed was the right environment, and everything would snap back into place, right? Turns out, there are no Deus Ex Machinas in real life. There'll never be another café like that one, that girlfriend isn't in the picture anymore, and I'm good at writing and making websites, damnit. If I wanted things to change, I had to change things.
So I made a New Year's Resolution: create a new CSS design for every month of 2011 that captured something about that month. I did January and February (rushed, I might add), but work took over March and April. Then May came and I caught myself slipping into old habits. So I made a decision. Look, life's too short to spend it not doing what you love, so why put it off any longer? I put out the challenge, followed through, and regained my mojo. I'd like to sum up with something deep and a life-affirming lesson, but this isn't a PBS special and I've got more work to do.
February Style Close to Completed
Posted: 2011-03-09Finishing up small details here and there, but I'm happy with it for the most part. Fitting for the space and it's a different layout. Starting on March.
Posted: 2011-03-02The February style didn't quite pan out the way I'd hoped. Working on a new one alongside the March style.
Project 2011: January
So far, so good! The Style for January is up!
The inspiration for this style came from the Ommwriter Dana default theme. Ommwriter Dana is an amazing and simple writing program from Herraiz Soto & Co. and I've been using it much these past few weeks to help gather thoughts and ideas. Also, the ambiance in the software can't be beat. It's amazing how well it works to block out distractions and help you focus on what's inside your head. Highly recommended.
As for the style, the focus was on using less hard borders and concentrating more on grid design and columns. Very little markup was changed; I removed the project div from the front page as part of a larger decision to focus more on writing and presentation. I also used the Phark image replacement method on the feed link at the bottom of the page.
CSS3 makes a brief appearance in the form of rounded corners for the branding and archive/search boxes.
Overall, I really like the feeling and direction of this style and will continue to refine it as I work on the next one.
Posted: 2011-01-24In exactly one week, this site will look nothing like it does now.
UPDATED- How To: Install OpenVPN Server on a WRT54G Router
Project Difficulty: 3/5.
Project Scope: Installing a personal VPN server with only 1 client connection at a time. Knowledge of your equipment and router flashing necessary -This tutorial will not teach you how to log onto your router.
Advantages: Quick, simple to deploy, cheap and secure connection between two locations.
Disadvantages: Only one active connection at a time, system can be compromised through discovery of static key.
Still interested? Good.
Step 0: Prerequisites
The first thing you should know is this: this won't work on the regular WRT54G if the hardware version (found on the sticker on the underside of the device) is 5.0 or later. Starting with 5.0, Linksys halved the amount of RAM in their router from 16MB to 8MB, which isn't enough to hold everything needed to run the VPN server without it locking up. If a WRT54G isn't available, a WRT54GS or WRT54GL can be used instead. For the purposes of this tutorial, a WRT54G v.3 was used.
Next, a crucial step is performed on a Windows XP machine. Plan accordingly. Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.
Step 1: Software Requirements: Download TomatoVPN and OpenVPN
TomatoVPN can be found here: link
. At the time of writing, the latest version was 1.27vpn3.6
It'll be compressed in .7z format. Use your favorite extraction program to unzip it into a folder containing a .trx file and .bin files for every model WRT54G. The .bin to use for the WRT54G will have WRT54G_WRT54GL in the name.
Note: Do Not Extract the .bin Files!
Now, download OpenVPN from the following link: here
. It will be in the Downloads
section, on the Community Software
page. Grab the Windows Installer
file -currently openvpn-2.1.2-install.exe. Remember the download location for later.
Step 2: Flash the Router and Log In
Now that the appropriate files are ready, log onto the router using a Cat5 (network) cable connection.Note: It isn't absolutely necessary to do this with a cable and it can be done wirelessly, but is inherently riskier.
Once in the firmware, click on the Administration
tab on the top, then on Firmware Upgrade
underneath that. Browse to the .bin file for the right hardware (in this case, WRT54G_WRT54GL.bin) and select it. Click on the Upgrade
button to begin flashing. This may take a few minutes.
Once that's done, unplug the router, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Once the startup routine has finished (about a minute), log onto the new firmware. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the TomatoVPN firmware. It's powerful stuff. Now would be a good time to set up the wireless network and router/wireless security settings too.
Step 3: Install OpenVPN and Generate Static Key
First, find the openvpn file downloaded at the beginning of the tutorial and double-click the .exe to run the installer, clicking through the default selections. This will create Desktop and Start Menu shortcuts and install OpenVPN Server to C:\Program Files\OpenVPN
. Now, to generate a static key, click on the Start button, then All Programs, OpenVPN, Utilities, and finally click on Generate a static OpenVPN key
. This brings up a command-line box with a message displaying the location of the newly generated key. By default, it's in C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config\key.txt
. Copy this to a USB key if not on the same computer used to configure the router or just remember where it is for later. It's necessary for setting up the server and client.
Step 4: Set Up The OpenVPN Server
Log into the router and click on the VPN Tunneling
link on the left. Change the following settings:
- Start with WAN: Unchecked
- Interface Type: TAP
- Protocol: TCP
- Port: Enter port here. Default is 1194.
- Firewall: Automatic
- Authorization Mode: Static Key
Click on the Save
button. Now, go to the Keys
tab and copy the entire contents
of the static.key file generated beforehand into the Static Key
field. Click Save
again, and then click the Start
button under the Static Key field. This will start the server.
Step 5: Setting Up the Client
Note: The following instructions apply to Tunnelblick for Mac, a GUI OpenVPN client. The major points still apply to the OpenVPN clients for Windows/Linux
First, download Tunnelblick from here: Tunnelblick
(currently: Tunnelblick_3.0.dmg) and install it. Launch Tunnelblick after the install finishes via the dialog window.
Note: a dialog box may pop up asking for an Administrator password pertaining to permissions. Enter the Administrator password.
Click on the option to install and edit sample configuration file
. This creates a file, openvpn.conf
in the ~/Library/Application Support/Tunnelblick/Configurations folder on the hard drive. Erase the contents of the file and copy the following in:
- dev tap
- proto tcp-client
- remote server's external address port from server config
- secret static.key
- ifconfig ip address subnet mask
Save and close the config file. Also, copy the static.key file to the Configurations
directory, so that it resides in the same place as the config file. That should be all that's required for the client-side setup.
Step 6: Connect
Click on the Tunnelblick menu item, then click Connect 'openvpn'
. To troubleshoot any potential issues, click on Details…
, then click on the Connect
button to see the output.
That should be it. Questions? Comments? Dude, wtf it doesn't work ur gay's? Leave a message and no one will answer in a timely fashion. Cheers.
A-MAIZE-ing Grillin' Times
So with the end of summer nigh and weighing heavily on my heart, I bring to you this recipe for the utmost amazing sweet corn on the cob you'll ever eat. Evar. But first, a hat tip to Three Panel Soul
for the base recipe behind this heavenly fusion of man and starch (link myah
Prep: You know that's the female part, right?
You may want to trim the longest part of the silk (usually the brown part) for appearance's sake. I usually do but don't see any negative to leaving it on unless it hits the coals or burners. More on that later.
Step 1: Submerge! Dive! Dive!
Fill a big pot or other vessel with cold water and completely submerge the corn, husks and all with the silk side down, for about 20-30 minutes. Feel free to make submarine noises in the privacy of your own home. You want it to absorb as much water as possible. This is muy importante.
Step 2: Like mah gree-ulz?
While the corn is soaking, get the grill nice and hot. I don't know what it is in "Mississippi's", but I turn my gas grill up to medium/medium-high. Yours may be better at just medium-high. Your mileage may vary.
Step 3: DIAF o'clock
Move the corn from the water directly to your hot grill (do NOT under any circumstances drain the water from the corn before you do this!). Give it a quarter-turn once every few minutes to evenly distribute the heat for 25-30 minutes depending on how hot your grill is. The outside of the husks will burn/brown. This is ok.
Step 4: Optional, but why would you EVER not want to do this?!
Remove the husks from the grill and bring your piping hot corn over to the table.
PEEL - The charred, lifeless husks off of the cobs!
GASP - at the perfectly. steamed. corn inside!
RESIST! - the urge to bite that mofo immediately because it's about to get better.
Remove the husks and silk from those succulent cobs and rub them with some butter (unsalted works best). Then, give them a light sprinkling of garlic salt and serve.
Final Step: OM NOM NOM
(Sorry, I had to.)
So there you have it: Perfect corn on the cob.Fin
Installing OS X on a Dell Mini 9
Brace yourself for the following statement:
I have a 9-inch.....Mac laptop.
“How is this possible?”, you ask?
It's simple, relatively inexpensive, and will probably take a little suspension of disbelief.
.....and I'm in no mood to type out the entire procedure when it's all right here
, thanks to the wonderful people at Gizmodo!
Before you click on that link however, you should be aware of a few points and issues I ran into during the course of my install.
- (This is more of a "duh" point, but if you haven't already done so, go to NewEgg and get yourself a 2GB SO-DIMM of Kingston RAM. PC5300. It's not totally necessary, but your Mac Mini 9 will run MUCH smoother!)
- First, you'd have to be nuts to buy a removable DVD drive just to do this, so do what I did and pick up a Geek Squad brand 8GB thumb drive from Best Buy for all of $40.
- Second, it's much easier to just search around for the Type11 software by entering the full file name into a google search.
- Third, there's a slash at the end of the path when you copy the mach_kernel to the OSXDVD volume on the thumb drive. Thus, the command is:
sudo cp /mach_kernel /Volumes/OSXDVD/
- and finally, when you restart after you first install the Operating System, make sure to hit escape while having the FIRST option highlighted (boot unknown OS) and then type in 81 for the hex code. After, start up with -f to load the .kexts
Some pics of the process (and of the famous last step!):
So, there you have it. Mac OS X on a Dell Mini 9 for under $600. As for performance, this thing easily feels as snappy as one of the first Intel Macbooks, barring you trying to run something like Photoshop CS4 on it. Then, it might explode, and I take no responsibility for that. Now, go show off your new Mac Mini 9!
Here's the project support page: BierCalc
and the iTunes store link:
And you all thought I was kidding! After many months spent reading, cursing, taking notes, cursing, programming, cursing, and testing (while cursing), BierCalc was made available on the iTunes App Store the morning of January 16, 2009.
From the first moment back on July 29th last year to when I submitted the app on January 13th was an exercise in control and patience as I slowly learned how to reuse parts of my brain that had atrophied after I left college. After a relatively short development period (less than a week of actual coding), the initial coding was completed and testing had to be done. With a few short surveys for input, the kinks in the program were ironed out and BierCalc was finally ready for submission. (A quick note to all you developers out there: never again will I under-appreciate the time and work you put into the programs I use. Writing programs truly is a test of mental acumen and willpower as I've never been so close to throwing my computer out a window as when I was writing BierCalc.)
Since app review horror stories are abundant on the iPhone Developer forums, I really wasn't expecting all the paperwork and the review process to be done within the span of 5 days so kudos to Apple and the iPhone App review team for helping to make this program a reality. I also want to thank those people who I asked for help. Without your input, this app never would've gotten off the ground.
Head on over to the BierCalc support page for more information on the app!
Useful AppleScripts for the Home
This project has been put on hold as I am now learning Objective-C in order to write applications for the iPhone. Seriously, I am.
This space will hold a collection of AppleScripts I write as I learn the language.
The Many Faces of ChaseDS.net Part Deux
See part one here
Well, it's basically done. I've managed to find a somewhat
uniform theme that works on all major web browsers. The style switcher is also located in the upper-right corner under the search area on the home page. Right now, there are only two items; the main "road" style and a holiday "brick" style. The style switcher sets a cookie on your system though, so make sure you can accept cookies if you want to see this work. The only things that have changed are the images and colors in the new style, but I'm experimenting with changing layout too. Stay tuned!
How to Remove a Stuck DVD from a Macbook
Ran into an unusual problem over the weekend and figured I'd share my experience with anyone looking to avoid opening up their Macbook and voiding their warranty. First a little background:
(If you want the quick and dirty answer, click here
I tried getting Windows Vista Business to install on my laptop via Boot Camp. After running the Boot Camp Assistant and partitioning the hard drive, I inserted the Vista DVD (a not quite legal version I was using until my licensed copy arrived in the mail...within the 30 day trial period mind you) and noticed it took a bit longer than usual to mount on the desktop. I paid it no mind (BRRRRRAP! MISTAKE #1).
After my laptop rebooted, I noticed it seemed to try booting off the Vista DVD. After a few minutes of making the same "oh crap I can't read this P.O.S. you put in here!" sound, I figure something's up. Here's where the nightmare begins.
I go "hmm that's odd", reboot, and do the usual Command + "O"
key combination after the bootup sound to select the hard drive. Nothing. Oh well. From there it's calling to arrange a Genius Bar appointment with Apple. Lucky for me this happened on a Thursday night and the local Apple store was all booked up Friday AND halfway into Saturday. Shit. Then I try the 'ol hold the Mac sideways and try to get it to rejecta-pwn that disc out. Still no luck. I take out the hard drive because I know
I'm about to get violent and I don't want to lose all the stuff on there. Coupla slaps to show the ho who's boss, but still nothing. It's trying to read that disc like an NFL defensive linebacker reading a middle-school-level novel (and having about as much success). Oh BALLS.
Next stop is a MULTITUDE of message boards all offering the same solution I've come to expect from the Apple-loving masses: Call Apple and send it back to the mothership!
...pardon my French, but fuck that
noise. I didn't spend four years in college studying how to roll over and play the bitch
. I'm gonna take that thing apart and pry that crap disc from the lifeless fangs of my Superdrive, then Franken-zap that shit back to life and smack it for scaring me like that.
But this just begs the question: "How, Chris? How are you going to take apart a Macbook when you have no knowledge whatsoever of the medieval spookery used to build these things?" Easy, chum. MacFixIt.com
my good man. From there, it was a few hours of Appletinis ("heavy on the Apple
, light on the tini
") and working up the nerve to submit my baby to open-heart surgery.
Fast forward to the next morning and a slight headache. Cracked that bitch open and got to work digging around until I realized I had no clue what the unholy fuck
I was doing and put it back together with only a gouge in the case to show for all of it. I had all but given up hope when I found one last message online:
Ever have a problem with a CD/DVD stuck in your offline MacBook Pro and it doesn't allow you to boot up OS X? Apple mentioned the solution is to press and hold the trackpad button when booting your MBP. You tried that, but still fails? Another possible fix is the credit card/knife trick that sometimes works, but it just sounds not right?
OK, now there is an easy way to do it: Just power up your MBP and leave it alone for about 10 minutes. It will eventually boot up and the CD/DVD will automatically eject (make sure your power cable is plugged in, though!).
-Taken without permission from MacOSXHints.com
A.K.A. My new Best-fucking-friends.
I start the computer up, walk away for 15 minutes and when I get back, there's a flashing folder icon with a question mark where the Apple usually goes and the drive is still trying to read that satan-shit DVD. Now where have I seen that before? OH YEAH! In my rush to play God, I forgot to put the hard drive back in. Pop the back, slap the drive in, rinse and repeat. 15 minutes later, I'm greeted by the friendly log-in box and I'm re-enacting the rain scene from The Notebook
with the Macbook. 30 seconds after that, it's Goodfellas
time like that DVD just told me to get my fuckin' shine box.
ANSWER: So there you have it: Just leave the thing alone for 15 minutes. Go get a sandwich. Take a cold shower. If your laptop keeps trying to read the DVD and it's not working, then (barring a mechanical error) leaving it alone for 15 minutes will abort the bootup sequence from the DVD and boot from the hard drive instead. As always, your mileage may vary. Results not typical. Weight loss not guaranteed.
The Many Faces of ChaseDS.net
If you've been around this crap website as much as I have, then you've no doubt seen it go through what amounts to no less than six different looks. Well, I basically said "enough!" with the last iteration, bit the bullet, and re-tooled the whole site. Function (PHP/HTML) on one side, decoration (CSS) on the other. I've successfully separated the peanut butter from the chocolate after all this time. Of course, this leads to all kinds of nifty project ideas.
Goals for this project:
- Get a uniform look going on the four major browsers (IE 7, Safari, Firefox, and Opera)
- Publish different style sheets as I come up with them
- Create a style-sheet picker (think CSS Zen Garden)
So there you have it. New project. New goals. Let's see how long this sucker takes.
How to set up a secure VPN Router for under $70.00 USD
Just finished this one and it took about two days to go from zip to a fully-functioning Linksys VPN router with a 2048-bit key. So I present this abridged version to you, so it'll probably take about an hour and lots less coffee and cursing.
Step 1: Set up your router.
First, you're going to need to set up the OpenVPN server. In this case, I used a Linksys WRT54GL ($62.99 on NewEgg
) however you can also use a WRT54G as long as the hardware version is before 5.0. To check the hardware version on the WRT54G box, refer to the methods here
Once you've got your new router all shiny and new, it's time to flash it with third-party firmware. Firmware is software programmed into non-volatile memory. That means it sticks around even after a reboot. For my setup, I used DD-WRT version 23 sp2 with VPN (found here
under the downloads
, then stable
sections). Follow the steps in the documentation to flash your router with that firmware.
Step 2: Generate a Static Key.
Now, here's where I had to enlist the help of my trusty Parallels
-run Windows XP machine. If you have access to a Windows XP machine, download and install the OpenVPN client (found here
) then click on the Start
button, All Programs
, then Generate A Static OpenVPN Key
. That will create a file in the "C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config" folder named "key.txt". Copy that file (via USB or other secure method not involving a network connection) onto your computer. The contents of that file contain your key, which is what the server and client will use to authenticate. You wanna keep that safe for later.
Step 3: Customize and initialize OpenVPN Server
Now that you have your key, it's time to put it to good use. Copy the below text:
openvpn --mktun --dev tap0
brctl addif br0 tap0
ifconfig tap0 0.0.0.0 promisc up
-----BEGIN OpenVPN Static key V1-----
INSERT YOUR KEY HERE!
-----END OpenVPN Static key V1-----
" > /tmp/static.key
ln -s /usr/sbin/openvpn /tmp/myvpn
/tmp/myvpn --dev tap0 --secret /tmp/static.key --comp-lzo --port 1194 --proto tcp-server --verb 3 --daemon
into a blank notepad or textedit file. Now, take note of the "INSERT YOUR KEY HERE!" field. Remember that key you generated? You get the idea. Open that file in notepad and copy the contents of that file (between the comments) into the area above.
Now, copy and paste your brand spanking new startup script (what we did in the new notepad file) into the commands box in the DD-WRT firmware. This means you must be logged into your router firmware and in the DD-WRT interface. The commands box can be found under the Administration
tab and the Commands
subtab. Once it's pasted into the box, scroll down and click on the "Save Startup" button. This will save the script so it executes every time your router reboots. Now, copy this:
iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 1194 -j ACCEPT
into the box once it's reloaded and click the "Save Firewall" button. That sets up a rule in the firewall on your router so it'll let you connect from outside your network. Reboot your router.
Step 4: Configure your OpenVPN client
Now, this step is tricky. Basically, you want your client to use this config file:
# Use the following for simple connections:
Also, don't forget to rename that static key file to "static.key" and place it in the folder your OpenVPN client looks for the static key. In my case, since I used TunnelBlick
, I put it in the ~/Library/openvpn
Step 5: Connect!
For this step, you'll need to get out of your house and off your network. The easiest way to do this (assuming you have a laptop of course), is to head to the nearest Starbucks or your favorite local coffee house and use their wifi (also, be nice and buy a cup of coffee. It helps pay for that wireless you're using). Open your VPN client and connect to your VPN. It should work the first time without any problems.
Congratulations! You just set up a secure VPN for only the cost of a router (if you didn't already have one) and about an hour of your time!
For more reading, and an admittedly longer and more in-depth setup guide, check out the OpenVPN setup Wiki, courtesy of DD-WRT at this link
. (All script samples taken from the OpenVPN - WRT Wiki and available under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2