Dot-com crash and between jobs

The other day I was talking to one of my pals about Audrey, the internet appliance now discontinued by 3Com. I bought it because of the dot-com crash 😀 I was between jobs and company notebook was rightfully taken back by my earlier employer. I needed something to browse the internet and buying a notebook didn’t look like a good idea in those times. Then I get this call from my uber-geek friend Nikhil Goel who has chosen Singapore as his workplace, about one website offering Audrey’s at $99. I immediately ordered one. It was a god sent gift at that time. I loved it. I was only able to access net thru modem in its initial form. So I started visiting these websites for more info on how to attach a network card with it which turned out pretty easy. I had to buy a Netgear USB NIC and then spoof it’s MAC address or something to make it behave like 3Com gear :D.

Audrey visits India

Then afterwards I joined my next employer and got into the cruel 😉 consulting world. So now this audrey was sitting idle at home. I shipped it to India for my nephew. There he struck a snafu as there was still no broadband in Chandigarh, India circa 2002. Modem option which I was sure would work didn’t work as Chandigarh at that time had 6 digit phone numbers and Audrey was expecting 7 digit phone number. So poor Audrey sat there gathering dust.


This year I asked another one of my buddies whose parents live in Chandigarh to get that Audrey back from India on his trip back home. So finally sometime this year Audrey came back. A lot of developments have happened in the Audrey Geekdom I was so happy to get it back, though my nephew thinks otherwise as his place has 7 digit phone numbers as well as broadband. My last month was spent first upgrading the Audrey’s OS using spoofed DNS so that I can get a shell. Then archiving the CF images and finally replacing it with images from one of the sites.

So many ways

It is amazing how people are using this little internet appliance. Hook it to a phone line and capture the Caller IDs, play MP3s (good case for listening to podcasts), act as a home automation device etc. Right now I want it to work with as USB wi-fi card so that I can put it in my kitchen and we can use it look for recipes, store the postit notes we put on the refrigerator. I don’t want to run a Ethernet cable from my router to this baby. I know I can always buy another wi-fi router and then bridge two routers and get a connection from second router. But that won’t be clean, right..