[WRT54G/S firmwares] Talisman vs Alchemy ?

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Hi everybody,

Thanks to the help I got from this forum, I solved all my problems
after installing the public Sveasoft Alchemy firmware.
I am quite happy with Alchemy (which I think is much better than the
Linksys standard firmware) except for one thing : the log files are
very poor in details and short in time.

I heard of the Talisman firmware : everyone tell it is better than the
Alchemy one.
Moreover, it seems that Talisman uses the Flash memory included into
the WRT54G/S routers for storing the logs : that is exactly what I want
!
To get the firmware, I have to subscribe to Sveasoft for 20$/year.

Before subscribing, I would like to get more information about Talisman
: what I read on the Sveasoft web site seems interesting but I did not
find any versioning information.
It seems that Talisman is still under developpement and that subscribed
user work like beta-testers for Sveasoft.

So my questions are :

1/ Do you know some links giving more information about the Talisman
firmware than Sveasoft does ?
2/ Do you think it worth subscribing for Talisman ?
3/ What is your opinion about Talisman (compared to Alchemy)
4/ Have you heard of a stable version of Talisman ?
5/ Is 1.0.5 the last release of Talisman ?


Thanks in advance.
15 answers Last reply
More about wrt54g firmwares talisman alchemy
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > I'm not sure you're going to get *more* information than the author?
    > Have you read the forums on the site?

    Yes, I did. I created a forum account and when I went on the
    Talisman/Basic forum, I got the following message :

    "Sorry, but only subscribed users can read topics in this forum."

    So I had a very few info about it. Moreover, Google did not help me a
    lot.
    That is why I wanted a user's opinion. Moreover, users opinions are
    always more objectives than author's ones.


    > It's a very subjective question.

    Actually, I have the public Alchemy (I do not remember the version) and
    my router is very stable (by stable, I mean that I can let it run at
    least one week without having to reboot it and I use my computer daily
    to work remotely)
    If I use Talisman, I will be able to compare if it is as stable as
    Alchemy.


    Thanks for your advices.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On 1 Sep 2005 00:46:54 -0700, for.fun@laposte.net wrote:

    >Thanks to the help I got from this forum, I solved all my problems
    >after installing the public Sveasoft Alchemy firmware.

    Now, if I could only remember what the problem was that you solved...

    >I am quite happy with Alchemy (which I think is much better than the
    >Linksys standard firmware) except for one thing : the log files are
    >very poor in details and short in time.

    Which log files are you using? The SNMP generated traps or the
    syslogd? The level of logging generated by syslogd is configureable.
    Enable it at on the Administration page and point it to a machine
    running a syslog server program. I'm having a bit of trouble finding
    the configuratio file. It's usually:
    /tmp/var/etc/syslogd.conf
    but I can't find it in the Alchemy distribution. Leave it at default
    for now. What you'll see is roughly the same stuff as in:
    /tmp/var/log/messages
    Use a syslog reporting tool to make the messages readable.

    I don't use syslog for anything more than post mortem failure
    analysis. For monitoring, I use SNMP with MRTG and RRDTool for
    graphing.

    So, what detail are you missing?

    Let me guess... traffic analyis. Use SNMP and MRTG. See:
    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com/mrtg/docs/w95mrtg.htm
    for Windoze 95 98 ME instructions and:
    http://www.mrtg.org
    for W2K XP Linux instructions.

    >I heard of the Talisman firmware : everyone tell it is better than the
    >Alchemy one.

    I haven't tried Talisman. No time. Sorry.

    >Moreover, it seems that Talisman uses the Flash memory included into
    >the WRT54G/S routers for storing the logs : that is exactly what I want

    I guess you mean syslog, not SNMP. Well, I don't think it's such a
    great idea, but it might work for you. NAND flash ram will last about
    5 to 10 million write cycles before the cell dies. I don't want to
    try and estimate how many write cycles per cell your syslog generates
    but my guess is that you have several years of lifetime before the
    flash ram dies.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
    Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Jeff Liebermann a écrit :

    > Now, if I could only remember what the problem was that you solved...

    Sorry. This is the problem I asked help for in my last thread called
    "My Linksys WRT54GS router is losing its DNS configuration ..." in this
    forum.
    The problem was due to the fact that my ISP was doing what you called
    "DNS juggling".
    Alchemy can refresh the DNS addresses more frequently so my problem did
    not happen anymore.


    > Which log files are you using? The SNMP generated traps or the
    > syslogd? The level of logging generated by syslogd is configureable.
    > Enable it at on the Administration page and point it to a machine
    > running a syslog server program. I'm having a bit of trouble finding
    > the configuratio file. It's usually:
    > /tmp/var/etc/syslogd.conf
    > but I can't find it in the Alchemy distribution. Leave it at default
    > for now. What you'll see is roughly the same stuff as in:
    > /tmp/var/log/messages
    > Use a syslog reporting tool to make the messages readable.

    I am not familiar with Linux so I did not know this way of reading the
    logs.
    I was only reading the logs from the Alchemy Web interface.
    Thanks for the tricks.


    > So, what detail are you missing?

    > Let me guess... traffic analyis. Use SNMP and MRTG. See:
    > http://www.LearnByDestroying.com/mrtg/docs/w95mrtg.htm
    > for Windoze 95 98 ME instructions and:
    > http://www.mrtg.org
    > for W2K XP Linux instructions.

    In facts, I want to switch off my computer firewall (which eat my CPU)
    and let the router firewall work instead.
    When something goes wrong (like someone doing a port scan or other bad
    thing on my computer), ZoneAlarm (my firewall) gave me a lot of
    information (like event time, DNS name, used port, number of tentatives
    ....)
    I wanted to do the same with my router and the Web admin interface does
    not give so much details.

    I did not think of traffic analysis and did not know it was possible to
    get information about it with this router/firmware.
    That seems very interesting so I am going to have a look at your links.


    > I guess you mean syslog, not SNMP. Well, I don't think it's such a
    > great idea, but it might work for you. NAND flash ram will last about
    > 5 to 10 million write cycles before the cell dies. I don't want to
    > try and estimate how many write cycles per cell your syslog generates
    > but my guess is that you have several years of lifetime before the
    > flash ram dies.
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory

    You are perfectly right.


    Thanks Jeff.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > 1/ Do you know some links giving more information about the Talisman
    > firmware than Sveasoft does ?

    I'm not sure you're going to get *more* information than the author?
    Have you read the forums on the site?

    > 2/ Do you think it worth subscribing for Talisman ?

    Yes if you want the features and support.

    > 3/ What is your opinion about Talisman (compared to Alchemy)

    I don't really have an opinion, I have used both, both worked fine for
    me. I upgraded to Talisman to attempt to fix an issue with WPA although
    I can't remember whether the issue went away with Talisman in the end.
    :)

    > 4/ Have you heard of a stable version of Talisman ?

    Mine works fine, don't ask which version it is, different people have
    different perceptions of what stable means. One bug to someone means
    it's unstable, to others, they couldn't tell whether it was stable
    anyway. If the wireless signal drops out, would you blame that on the
    firmware or RF conditions? It's a very subjective question.

    > 5/ Is 1.0.5 the last release of Talisman ?

    Yes

    David.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Jeff Liebermann wrote:

    > Which log files are you using? The SNMP generated traps or the
    > syslogd? The level of logging generated by syslogd is configureable.
    > Enable it at on the Administration page and point it to a machine
    > running a syslog server program. I'm having a bit of trouble finding
    > the configuratio file. It's usually:
    > /tmp/var/etc/syslogd.conf
    > but I can't find it in the Alchemy distribution.

    /tmp/etc/syslogd.conf seems logical
    --
    derek
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > That is why I wanted a user's opinion. Moreover, users opinions are
    > always more objectives than author's ones.

    Yes but the bulk of the opinions are in the users forums ;)

    > If I use Talisman, I will be able to compare if it is as stable as
    > Alchemy.

    I haven't had to reboot mine and it has run for weeks and weeks. I
    can't remember when I upgraded it from Alchemy now.

    The reason why I was a little evasive is that you might want to use a
    feature that I don't, hence my experience may vary wildly from yours but
    as far as I can tell, the general consensus is that it works just fine
    for the majority.

    David.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > Use a syslog reporting tool to make the messages readable.

    I downloaded the Wallwatcher which does everything I want (log server &
    bandwidth display). In facts, the router logs are more detailed thant
    the ZA logs.
    I switched off ZA and decided to use the router firewall instead.

    Moreover, Wallwatcher get the bandwidth information from the SNMP agent
    packaged ib the router. I suppose this method is more efficient than
    polling the router for some data.

    As far as I am concerned, Alchemy firmware is enough for what I need to
    do.
    I forget the idea of paying 20$ to get Talisman !
  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Where can I download Alchemy? Because www.wrt54g.com is down! Please
    tell me where to get it.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Yeap, I did it already, thanks anyway, by the way....what a great story
    has created the people from SveaSoft, do these dudes now what GPL
    mean???
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    heldmar wrote:

    > Where can I download Alchemy? Because www.wrt54g.com is down! Please
    > tell me where to get it.

    For now, wrt54g.net

    Looks like the registered owner of wrt54g.com was holding the site for
    ransom...
    --
    derek
  11. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    In article <1125665951.875569.90690@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    heldmar@gmail.com says...
    > Where can I download Alchemy? Because www.wrt54g.com is down! Please
    > tell me where to get it.

    Google "alchemy firmware" ;)
  12. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > Yeap, I did it already, thanks anyway, by the way....what a great story
    > has created the people from SveaSoft, do these dudes now what GPL
    > mean???

    The source code is available for download to keep the GPL folks happy.

    David.
  13. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    David Taylor wrote:

    >> Yeap, I did it already, thanks anyway, by the way....what a great story
    >> has created the people from SveaSoft, do these dudes now what GPL
    >> mean???
    >
    > The source code is available for download to keep the GPL folks happy.

    Not _easily_ available - I haven't managed to find anything at their site,
    yet (_and_ I'm a paid subscriber). Directing people to a site outside their
    control (and no longer available) for Alchemy is pretty week, too. And
    they manage to keep Talisman _unavailable_ by claiming it is pre-release
    software.
    --
    derek
  14. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > > The source code is available for download to keep the GPL folks happy.
    >
    > Not _easily_ available - I haven't managed to find anything at their site,
    > yet (_and_ I'm a paid subscriber). Directing people to a site outside their

    The source code is on the downloads page right along with the firmware.

    It seems that plenty of people put it out on the P2P networks though in
    protest hence it's not difficult to find.

    David.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    David Taylor wrote:

    >> > The source code is available for download to keep the GPL folks happy.
    >>
    >> Not _easily_ available - I haven't managed to find anything at their
    >> site, yet (_and_ I'm a paid subscriber). Directing people to a site
    >> outside their
    >
    > The source code is on the downloads page right along with the firmware.

    But the downloads page is not available unless you're registered (since I
    subscribed before I figured that out, I can't tell if you can see it if
    you're not a subscriber). It might fit the letter of the GPL, but hardly
    the spirit.

    > It seems that plenty of people put it out on the P2P networks though in
    > protest hence it's not difficult to find.

    Sure, that's where I found it first.
    --
    derek
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