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A weasel in the wires

Today I sat at my desk and wrote a screed (in notepad!) about how the forces of goof-offery always triumph over the armies of bossage. Then I realized I should probably actually triumph before I do the happy predator dance on the corpse of my enemy. That’s what you call discretion. I don’t have much of it; please savor this small sample.

That Buffalo long-range wifi adapter McGoo found is the best idea I’ve seen. Unfortunately, it’s vaporware. Everybody’s talking about it, nobody’s selling it.

Somebody on eBay is selling a “wardriving” kit, which is a Buffalo long-range PCMCIA wifi card and external antenna. Looks good, but getting on for $75. That would be fine if I were sure it would work. I can afford to spend that kind of money, but I can’t afford to waste that kind of money.

I know my own laptop’s wifi falls about twenty feet short of the signal. But I’ve got a work laptop and a PCMCIA wifi card I bought for my last rig, so putting those two things together is the next step before I start spending money.

So if those of you who blog don’t see quite so many weasel tracks in your usage logs lately, it’s not for want of trying. I’m a-coming. Or, as Hillary would say, “yo yo yo, me am ain’t not noways tarrrrrrd, y’awl.” Now it’s Friday and time for happy beverages!


Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: April 27, 2007, 5:59 pm

Go for it! Strap a decent antenna on that card and you’ll be cookin’ with gas. The Bossage rabble will never know…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 27, 2007, 6:13 pm

Actually, my immediate boss will be deeply disappointed in me if I don’t find a workaround. He’s a little twisted that way.

Comment from Gnus
Time: April 27, 2007, 6:44 pm

Dear Mr. Sweasel,
You simply must solve this problem. We, your fans, will be cast adrift on a sea of weaselessness otherwise. The world will be a colder, darker place. We’re counting on you.

Not to put on the pressure or anything.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 27, 2007, 6:48 pm

Good heavens! It’s a new minion! Stand back, everyone! I must nurture this tender shoot with healing rays of purest weasel!



Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: April 27, 2007, 7:43 pm

I bet your boss is planning on switching your companies whole w-network over to the next-door folks server.

After you solve all the problems for him, of course.

I would.:)

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 27, 2007, 8:40 pm

Are Weasels nocturnal? Do you have a key to your building? Are you ever the first to arrive or last to leave? Never mind that last part…

*cue “Mission Impossible Theme Song” *

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will require cunning, resourcefulness, courage, chutzpah, and a big-ass USB cord.

You could string two of these together for 32 feet of USB reachatude. Most cubicles have access panels along the base that snap in and out, so you could run them over a couple 4 cubes or so.

I have some covert cable pulling experience, so if you need additional help, or you want to try and go above the ceiling, let me know. I gots skills.

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 27, 2007, 8:41 pm

Is the “moderation cue” like a time-out? Because I’m in there but I’m not being bad.

Comment from mesablue
Time: April 27, 2007, 10:25 pm


I just found out that a wolverine is really a HUGE weasel.

That means we’re related.


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: April 28, 2007, 1:37 am

All of this will wait for another Monday. You forgot to send your minions off for the weekend and post the sleepy weasel. How do you intend to maintain discipline when you don’t maintain structure?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 28, 2007, 5:20 am

You included more than one link, Pupster. According to my spam filter, that makes you a lousy sssssspammmmerrrr.

And I did NOT forget the sleepy weasel, I forgot how WordPress works. It’s got this neat feature where you can post-date a post, and it won’t appear until the timestamp is ripe. I never use it, so I didn’t realize you can’t just “save” with the new date, you have to “publish” with the new date.

Wolverine, wolveriiiine, meanest weasel I’ve ever seeeeen.

I need coffee.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: April 28, 2007, 7:42 am

Mornin’. Cryptoquip & Jumble done. Coffee #3 in-hand. The weather is swell.

I, too, was wondering if Weasel has weekend access to his workplace and a modicum of privacy therein. Hacko-whacko’ing a workplace wifi spot is an endeavor more appropriately done during the week on the bosses Nickel$, but ya do what you can.

I was also thinking along the lines of a kludgy 2-3 element phased array for his ‘tenna needs. Mucho directive gain can be had with one, and they are relatively small. Can be made planer, too. Not too complicated if one can measure cable lengths reliably and do a little soldering. Might be serious overkill, though: I think the PCMCIA card + good external ‘tenna will do the job. We’s only talkin’ 6-7 meter extension of range.

I can’t believe someone out there hasn’t produced a serious compact ‘tenna design for wardrivers, etc. Quarter-wave whips are sooo Marconi-ish. Makes me think “rotary phone”.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 28, 2007, 8:26 am

Here’s the dealio. The cubes above and below me in the diagram are owned by nice guys who aren’t in the office much. If I said to them, “I’m putting an antenna in your office to steal wifi from next door.” They’d be, like, “cool.” My boss would say the same. The office above me seems the obvious choice. However, if the antenna stuck out into the high traffic corridor in any way that was conspicuous to passers by, that would be uncool. This building is stiff with engineers.

So….laid flat on top of the cabinets in the office above mine, right next to the high-traffic area, but below the partition level?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 28, 2007, 8:54 am

Hm. Actually, I think I should’ve moved the Little Weasels’ Room up a bit. I remember standing in the high traffic corridor and thinking, “I don’t quite have a line of sight to the windows from here.”

I used to work in the building next door, incidentally. And I had an office, with walls and a door, and we had a bank of windows that looked out over a lovely forest with a river running through it.

Still, I’m not complaining. Next year, they hope to move my group to the home office, which is like Tight-assville. Then, shenanigans of all kinds will cease forever. Also, their cafeteria sucks.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: April 28, 2007, 12:33 pm

Kick-ass drawing, Weasel.

I assume the stairwell at the bottom is the place you can receive the wifi in question?

Suggestion: Install that PCMCIA card with external ‘tenna, or get/borrow one of those li’l external Linksys (or whatever) usb wireless link modules with antenna. Then test signal strength at stairwell and in/near office.

I bet you could solve this with a simple splitter/combiner ($10?) and another ‘tenna and a few feet of good cable. Properly spaced and cable’ed you’ll pick up 3-5-6dB (double to quadruple) power. Put the two ‘tennas in your cube low on walls at the proper distance apart with proper cable lengths and you’re done.

(If your interested, What I have in mind a 2-element cardioid pattern or broadside array configuration. One of the simplest arrays to design. Its all in the spacing and cable lengths.)

Need signal strength data if you want to carry this further.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 28, 2007, 1:53 pm

Actually, no…those light gray waves are signal. I walked around with my laptop one day and watched how many bars I had in which places. That outer ring is one bar. So really I only have to nip around the corner to get signal.

I’d forgotten I had a Linksys USB wifi connector with a little stubby antenna. It was kind of crap, IIRC, but it’s Wireless G, so it’s not that old. I’m going to see if that alone is enough to do the trick.

I started to set it up on my laptop, then I got distracted loading Linux onto my portable hard drive — something I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: April 28, 2007, 3:18 pm

Remember that adding a 3-corner aluminum thingy will boost the signal of the Linksys WG gadget significantly, and make it directional.

You may be home free already.

Comment from Lokki
Time: May 1, 2007, 11:30 am

GENUINE Avaya ORiNOCO Range Extender external antenna

On eBay for $10 bucks

1. The poster makes no claims express or implied about the fitness of this product for the needs of a weasel.

2. It’s probably too cheap to work.

3. It’s not bad lookng and would be an elegant solution that wouldn’t draw attention.

4. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as building your own out of a Chinese noodle strainer.

5. Anything too cheap and easy probably won’t work.

Comment from amee
Time: May 14, 2007, 7:37 am

ok.. can you put more drawings of just regular weasels on there? i really cant find any websites….. and your drawings are really good!

Comment from amee
Time: May 14, 2007, 7:38 am

i need to see regular weasels! your drawings are realy good!

Comment from joy
Time: May 14, 2007, 7:42 am


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 14, 2007, 12:32 pm

Thank you, amee. You can find an abundance of regular weasels with a Google images search of “weasel”. I do this on gloomy days just to cheer myself up. Stoat is a good search, too. Then you get the British sites.

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