Port forwarding on Smart RG SR505N

if you follow my twits, you may have noticed I switched up internet connection from adsl to vdsl thus needing a new modem. Unfortunately my ISP only recommends this little guy and as a matter of fact it sucks for 2 reasons:

  1. it sucks better that’s the only option
  2. it sucks because it doesn’t do NATing if you are fancy
  3. (ok that’s 3) it sucks because Teksavvy doesn’t support its recommended modem

I have been trying to setup port forwarding through the Advanced Setup/nat/Virtual Servers interface for several hours now and I have not succeeded. No matter what Virtual Server, what ports, it would give me the same error: “invalid server”.

The thing is that I am fancy, and decided to 1. to restrict the dhcp scope, 2. changed the IP of the modem/router. Apparently if you are fancy and do those 2, NATing doesn’t work!

So if you get that modem and want to use port forwarding, please do not be fancy.

XBMC on Chromebox by Asus

I’ve had a boxee for 4 years now serving my multimedia content from my Synology NAS. Somehow, it failed me the other day.

Looking for a replacement, I decided on a Asus Chromebox m004u. Apparently a great chromeOS box with BT, Wifi and small SSD for under $200 on which it is easy to install xbmc or at least openelec.

So I went on xbmc.com and follow the very easy instruction for setting up a dual boot: ChromeOs and Openelec

All went fine until the final reboot, I am left with a blank screen with …well… nothing at all. ctrl-c,d,i,l nothing to allow me to select the other boot partition or move on to anything else.

After an hour of fiddling around I decide to recover.

Using the google chrome recovery process from Google, I would also get stuck at “booting the kernel” right after it said it successfully recovered from the recovery media.

On the recovery screen, I would see:
gbb.flags is nonzero: 0x00000489
read-only firmware id: google_panther.4920.24.22
active firmware id: google_panther.4920.24.22

As far as the post recovery screen, I am stuck at:

SeeBIOS version -20140305_130215-build120-m2
press ESC to continue.
Booting from hard Disk…
early console in decompress_kernel
KASLR using RDAND…
Decompressing Linux… Parsing ELF… Performing relocations… done
Booting the kernel.

And it would sit here for ever. I even tried with another build panther f5u-q24 and mine of course panther f5u-b5m and had the same results.

Now I have a useless chromebox.

UPDATE 20140611

I had tried to restore the box using an SD card using the Mac recovery, when I suddently decided to do something different and tried on a Windows using a USB stick.

So I did and the ChromeOS recovery process worked fine. I gave the xbmc EZsetup another go and now I have a wonderfully fast XBMC. Even my 4k content plays without any delay or lag.

By the way, I opted for a mini wireless Azio keyboard and navigate within XBMC using the arrows, Enter, Backspace and Esc and it is crazy fast – plus typing my credentials or url is way better than on the tiny boxee keyboard remote!