[conspire] Prism wireless chipsets

Sean Berry berry at housebsd.org
Sat Feb 28 09:33:22 PST 2004

Another one to try (this is on RH FC1):

# ifconfig eth0 up   # (If eth0 is your wireless card)


# iwconfig eth0

and see which AP it binds to.

Sean Berry works with UNIX, especially Solaris and NetBSD.     (414) 559-3019

On Sat, 28 Feb 2004, Rick Moen wrote:

> 1.  CABAL meeting today, 4 PM, Menlo Park!
> 2.  People who have or are contemplating acquiring wireless cards may
> find the e-mails below interesting.  I didn't know about the
> firmware-download issue until this came up.
>  From rick Thu Feb 26 21:49:31 2004
>  Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 21:49:31 -0800
>  To: Lynn and Patrick <i_solutions at earthlink.net>
>  Subject: Re: this weks installfest....
> Quoting Lynn and Patrick (i_solutions at earthlink.net):
> > I am a newby Linux user (SuSE 9.0 on a Sony Viao Laptop). and am
> > having a problem or two getting my wireless card up and running as
> > well as just not being too sure what I am doing. Is this the right
> > place to come for a bit of help?
> Certainly!  I'm flattered that you're going to be coming all the way
> down from Sausalito.  We'll try to make sure it's useful for you.
> Try this for me:  Insert your wireless card, then pen up a terminal
> window, then type there the following commands.  (In the lines that
> follow, don't type the first character -- the "#" or "$" -- which stands
> for your shell's prompt character.)
> $ su -
> (That is the command by which you temporarily become the root user.)
> # cardctl ident
> (That queries the PCMCIA manager about the identity of any and all
> PCMCIA cards currently in the machine.)
> Please e-mail back to me whatever you hear back from that command.
> > If so, what time and what should I bring?
> 4 PM or any time after that is fine.  I start yawning and glancing
> meaningfully at the door at midnight.  ;->
> Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.  (That's at my house in Menlo
> Park, you do understand.)
> --
> Cheers,            There are only 10 types of people in this world --
> Rick Moen          those who understand binary arithmetic and those who don't.
> rick at linuxmafia.com
>  Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 12:25:03 -0800
>  From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
>  To: Patrick Stephens <i_solutions at earthlink.net>
>  Subject: Re: Wireless card and linux
> Quoting Patrick Stephens (i_solutions at earthlink.net):
> > Thanks for your help. Here is what I get when I ID the card:
> >
> > linux:/home/pstephens # su-
> > bash: su-: command not found
> > linux:/home/pstephens # cardctl ident
> > Socket 0:
> >   product info: "Intersil", "ISL3890", "-", "-"
> >   manfid: 0x000b, 0x3890
> >   function: 254 ((null))
> > Socket 1:
> >   no product info available
> > linux:/home/pstephens #
> >
> >
> > It sees the card but doesn't access it. Is this a config problem?
> That question is not exactly answerable as posed, so I'll have to
> approach it indirectly.  (You might want to print out this e-mail and
> bring it with you.  If it seems to ramble, it's because I'm researching
> your problem in real time, while writing this mail.  Please realise that
> I've never tried to set up support for your particular card, before.)
> Drivers for any OS get developed, fundamentally, for particular
> _chipsets_, so the most relevant question when someone ask whether an OS
> has a usable driver for some particular piece of hardware is "What's its
> chipset?"  Unfortunately, because most computer users have no idea what
> that term means, asking them that question will generally garner you a
> glazed expression at best, or more often some other data that the user
> happens to have but that is not the chipset identity (such as some
> manufacturer's make and model number).
> Happily, the command I had you carry out with root authority ("cardctl
> ident") causes your Linux system to query the hardware directly for its
> burned-in identification strings, which include the underlying chipset's
> manufacturer (Intersil Corporation) and chipset identity (ISL3890).
> (If this were a PCI card we were talking about, the analogous command is
> "lspci", i.e., list to screen all PCI identifying information, by
> querying the PCI-controller chip and dumping everything it returns to
> the screen.  You might want to do that, feeding the result through a
> pager filter like "less", e.g., "lspci | less".)
> Thus, we have an answer to the first and most-important question:  Your
> PCMCIA card is based on an ISL3890 chipset.
> The next question is what, if any, drivers exist for t he ISL3890.  Like
> any sensible person, I use Google for that:  Search for "ISL 3890 driver
> Linux".  That takes us to, among other places, http://prism54.org/
> I'm guessing, from looking at that Web site, that the ISL3890 is from
> the general family of Intersil chips called the "Prism" family, and
> that Intersil's marketing department calls it either the "Prism GT" or
> "Prism Duette".  I can't tell which of these you have:  The "GT" differs
> from the "Duette" in lacking compatibility with the 802.11a standard.
> Both, on the other hand, will do 802.11b and 802.11g.
> I'm guessing that the GT is the PCI-format card, and that Duette is the
> name for the PCMCIA/Cardbus-format one.  Therefore, I'm guessing that
> your ISL3890-based card is, technically speaking, based on what Intersil
> Marketing would call a "Prism Duette" chipset.
> You could, if you like, chip in (pun not intended) any time with
> information you might have at hand that casts light on this situation,
> e.g., stuff written on the face of the card or in documentation you
> received with it.  Remember:  You have those, and I don't.
> Here's a list of makes and models of Prism cards that the Prism54
> Project knows about:  http://prism54.org/supported_cards.php
> Do you happen to know if any of those is yours?
> There's something about the driver needing to download firmware files to
> the card, here:  http://prism54.org/~mcgrof/firmware/  That page also
> clarifies that Intersil doesn't exist any more, having been bought out
> by Globespanvirata, which then was bought out by Conexant.
> Various pages on the http://prism54.org/ site, including the readme
> page, clarify that the site concerns a Linux driver for Prism GT and
> Duette chipsets, and that its name is "prism54".  That driver appears to
> be genuine open source, other than the distribution-restricted,
> binary-only firmware file described on (and downloadable from)
> http://prism54.org/~mcgrof/firmware/ .
> So, leaving aside the (unlikely) possibility that _other_ Linux drivers
> besides prism54 _also_ support your card, looks like there are two
> remaining (major) questions:
> 1.  Does SUSE 9.0 include the prism54 driver?  (If not, how do we add
> it?)
> 2.  Does SUSE 9.0 include the blasted, annoying binary firmware file?
> (If not, how do we add it?)
> Looking on http://prism54.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/prism54-ng/README?rev=HEAD
> (the site's "readme" page), one sees an answer to both questions:
>  Suse 9.0:
>  Grab the firmware.agent file from http://prism54.org/~hvr/firmware.agent
>  Put it into /etc/hotplug
>  chmod +x /etc/hotplug/firmware.agent
>  The driver works with the standard Suse kernel (2.4.21-99)
> So, looks like you have absolutely everything you need other than that
> restricted-distribution firmware file, which SUSE didn't include because
> it lacked the legal right to distribute it.
> I think that's all we'll need to make it work -- and you can now probably
> do that from home, without the need to drive to Menlo Park, if you want.
> On the other hand, you're certainly most welcome to join us.
> --
> Cheers,                   The cynics among us might say:   "We laugh,
> Rick Moen                 monkeyboys -- Linux IS the mainstream UNIX now!
> rick at linuxmafia.com       MuaHaHaHa!" but that would be rude. -- Jim Dennis
> _______________________________________________
> conspire mailing list
> conspire at linuxmafia.com
> http://linuxmafia.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/conspire

More information about the conspire mailing list