Want to make airports awesomer? Use a wifi router and your laptop to create your own Art for Airports network! Carry it with you when you fly!
NOTE: This is the first iteration of these instructions. if you get bogged down just contact me. I'm happy to help ya out. I figured it is better to get the information out and iterate it, than make try to make them perfect the first time.
1. Get a wifi router and install DD-WRT!
Installing DD-WRT is extremely easy. If you have ever attached something to an email, you can install DD-WRT on a router. Also, there are great instructions for many models on the DD-WRT wiki. For example, check out these installation instructions for the Linksys E2000 router over on the DD-WRT wiki. Pretty simple, yeah? The E2000 is available as a factory refurb on eBay for about $50 and available new on Amazon for about $79. There's quite a few compatible routers available in big box office supply stores and online. Check the DD-WRT wiki or contact me if you need help picking the right one.
To install DD-WRT you just have to upload it to your router.
For my Linksys E2000, I just went to Administration, then Firmware Upgrade and uploaded the DD-WRT firmware. The router will restart and you're running DD-WRT!
2. Configure DD-WRT on the router.
OK. Now that you have DD-WRT installed you'll need to make a few special tweaks to route all traffic to your laptop.
Log into DD-WRT. It will nag you to create a username and password.
Set your administrator password to something you'll remember.
Modfiy your Network Setup settings...
Enable NoCatSplash. This will force all IP traffic to your laptops web server.
Turn on the embedded DNSMasq DNS server and set all Top Level domains to point to your computer's IP address. DNS works much like looking up someone's phone number in a phone book. The commands below is the equivalent of giving every entry in the phonebook your phone number.
Feel free to add any other Top Level domains you would like to have point to your laptop (ex: co.uk, and others would be good to add here.)
3. Run a web server application on your laptop.
If you're running OSX, just set your laptop's IP address to
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
GatewayL 192.168.1.1 (your DD-WRT router's IP address)
Now turn on Apple's Web Sharing. If you are a Windows user and you want to install IIS you'll need to do the typical Microsoft backflips you're already used to doing. If you want to install Apache on Windows, these instructions look pretty solid.
4. Take it with you when you travel!
Now you can use a network cable between your laptop and your Art for Airports router to create your own personal WiFi powered art space!