Airport Extreme Basestation Hacks

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catmistake's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Airport Extreme Basestation Hacks

First of all, allow me a little rant. If you saw the topic and were hoping to see something about your new 802.11abgn Airport Extreme-n Basestation, shame on you. People like you have buried nearly any possibility of people like me finding any available hacks for our true, proper Airport Extreme Basestations. Your Airport is only correctly refered to as 'Extreme-n.' Its a little late for accuracy, as by now any mention of 'Airport Extreme' almost exclusively refers to the new Extreme-n, and I and others are quite lost and abandoned. Any mention of Extreme in this post will refer to the older, saucer airport, with 802.11b/g, with or without modem, with or without Power over Ethernet (PoE).

That being said, where are the hacks?

The Extreme has a few neat things built in. Network bridging (thanks to its dual ethernet jacks), the version with a modem can be called over a phoneline by a computer, and it can share up to 5 printers via its USB port.

Here's some hacks I'd like to see:
1) The Fax Hack - simple to explain, no idea how to implement: turn the Extreme into a fax. A call from a fax comes in, after a specified number of rings, the Extreme answers, recognizes a fax machine on the other end, accepts an incomming fax and prints it to a printer shared over the usb port.

2) The Answering Machine Hack - again, the concept is simple, the implentation is impossible? A call comes in, after a specified number of rings the Extreme answers, and if it doesn't recognize a fax machine or computer on the phoneline, it plays an audio greeting from a connected machine and it dumps the incoming audio to another wired or wireless computer that is set up to log/save the recording.

3) The Network Bridge Hack - this one, at least, really works. Not really a hack because using the WAN & LAN ports this is simple to do if merely being used as a router, to share Internet with all wired + swich/hub and wirelessly connected computers. But you don't necessarily have to use the built in DHCP server. You can have another computer distributing IP addresses or implementing NAT. This second option is useful if trying to bridge wireless networks between the Extreme and non-Apple wireless routers: a computer with wireless + ethernet would be wirelessly connected to the non-Apple access point, and this computer becomes a router by NATing and DHCPing to computers connected wirelessly to the Extreme via the Ethernet connection.

4) The Wireless Bridge Hack - extending the range of one Apple Airport by using another is academic. But how can you do the same with an Extreme and another non-Apple wireless router?

5) The Extreme Holy Grail - This is one all owners of the Airport Extreme have contemplated at one time or another. If it is out there, it is surely buried by mislabeled Extreme-n posts. We want to use the printer sharing USB port with a USB harddrive, to wired and wirelessly share the drive to any computer networked to the Extreme. C'mon, anything is possible!

Please feel free to post rants about the nomenclature confusion and the now ubiquitously mislabeled Airport Extreme-n. Do you know any Airport Extreme hacks? If so, let us know. Please post any and all links to any Airport Extreme hacks. Are there any Airport Extreme Hacks you'd like to see? Tell us! The true Airport Extreme community feels your pain and thanks you for sharing.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003 - 14:14
Yeah!

Where are all the hacks to use my old Graphite airports as cotton candy machines or anti-gravity pods or atomic-powered personal massagers? Those are all really easy hacks to explain, where are they?!? And don't get me started about how confusing it is how every time I search for "Airport" I keep finding references to "Atlanta" and "LAX" and "JFK" instead of all the cool hackage I *know* must be out there. :^b

--Peace

catmistake's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Graphite Airport Linux Router

Eudi, I can't easily post a link at the moment, but google 'graphite airport hack' and the second hit is a Safari Books Online link (they wrote books about yours!) that instructs how to turn your Graphite into a "full-fledged linux router." That's reasonably cool. The atomic-powered personal messenger hack is probably a bit further down in the results, but the point is "Graphite" was a label not usurped by the Snow Airport users. I can't even find how to add a non-approved antenna to my Extreme anymore.

moosemanmoo's picture
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Joined: Aug 17 2004 - 15:24
I think the odds of any kind

I think the odds of any kind of software hack on the saucer Airport Extreme are pretty slim. Its processor and chipset aren't nearly as 'open' as the original Airport's, the software is proprietary and probably checks to make sure updates are from Apple, and there just isn't that much demand for it out there. Contrast to the Linksys WRT54G, which ran Linux to begin with, had very forgiving hardware for a long time, and which easily has 20 times the installed base as the Extreme.

I'm not saying it isn't possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Re: Yeah!

Eudimorphodon wrote:
Where are all the hacks to use my old Graphite airports as cotton candy machines or anti-gravity pods or atomic-powered personal massagers? Those are all really easy hacks to explain, where are they?!? And don't get me started about how confusing it is how every time I search for "Airport" I keep finding references to "Atlanta" and "LAX" and "JFK" instead of all the cool hackage I *know* must be out there. :^b

--Peace

Eudi, have I told you lately how awesome you are?

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