[Cerowrt-devel] [Make-wifi-fast] arstechnica confirms tp-link router lockdown

Jonathan Morton chromatix99 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 13 11:18:46 EDT 2016

> On 13 Mar, 2016, at 02:15, David Lang <david at lang.hm> wrote:
> my point is that you can use a browser interface to mock-up what you would do on your local display without having to build custom hardware. Yes, it would mean you have to work with javascript/etc to build this mockup, but it would let you create a bitmap image with buttons/etc that will work the same way that your physical device would, but be able to tinker with things that would require hardware changes if it was a physical device (different screen sizes, button placements, etc)

And my point is that if I can do that *without* involving a browser, so much the better.  Given my existing experience, I can probably do it *easier* in something like C and Xlib (yes, really) than in a browser.

Yes, it would be a pure software mockup, and thus still easy to change.

> a 6x8 font on a 2.7" screen is unreadable for many people, this is about an 11pt font on something that is not at your optimum reading distance.

The display I linked has basically the same pixel density as a 1980s/1990s Macintosh display, a 9-pin dot-matrix printer, and a basic Nokia phone - the standard 72dpi.  Anyone with standard visual acuity should be able to read 8-pixel-high text on it.  Your concern would be limited to that segment of the population who already needs to buy large-print books and newspapers.

The most important text wouldn’t be 6x8 - I included that stat only to contrast it with the 16x2 cell text-only display.  Since it’s a graphical display, we can use larger fonts where desired.

Incidentally, the classic Nokia phones seem to use a proportional font which is 5x7 on average.  They sold many millions, probably because they designed a UI that even my mother could be coached into learning (believe me, that’s a feat).  Up, down, select, cancel, and a numeric keypad.  The size of the text on the screen doesn’t seem to have been a factor.

> OLEDs do color as well.

The ones that do colour are even more expensive than the mono ones.  Increasing the size of an OLED display also seems to be incredibly expensive - I couldn’t even find one at 2.7” or larger on the “maker kit” sites, only as raw components.

> don't forget that you also have to have buttons/switches to go along with the display. don't assume that people are going to have a spare USB keyboard around to plug in.
> There is a substantial population who's only computers are tablets, phones, TVs, and other non-traditional devices, but who need wifi to use them.

Keyboard, mouse, xbox/ps4/wii controller - don’t care.  They’ll either have at least one of those (basic models are cheap), or we can auto-generate a basic working configuration and display the resulting wifi SSID/password on the screen.  The only button needed is a factory-reset.

If they don’t have anything with an Ethernet connection, they would have difficulty configuring most existing routers from the factory-reset state anyway.  I just made a brief search for WPS on my Android phone - no dice.  Apparently there *is* a WPS function, but it’s buried four layers deep in the UI, behind an “advanced” option^W^W “beware of the leopard” sign - and it’s potentially in a different place on each device, making it hard to give directions remotely.

But with the wifi SSID and password visible on-screen, we wouldn’t need WPS.  That’s something an ordinary router can’t do.

 - Jonathan Morton

More information about the Cerowrt-devel mailing list