[conspire] Re: 802.11 blues update

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Fri Oct 28 16:34:44 PDT 2005

You say you want to throw this back to the list, but you replied to me 
off-list, so I'm now posting it to the list.

Orinoco cards are 802.11b, not 802.11g, but if that's OK with you, you 
can't go wrong with one. However, you should note that Calvin had a lot 
of trouble with one individual Orinoco card, due to very old firmware 
on the card. Some forms of Atheros chipsets, including the one used in 
the WG511T, require the MadWifi drivers, which most distributions 
provide. Other forms of Atheros chipsets require the in-kernel acx-pci 
driver. These are still your best bet for CardBus 802.11g cards. There 
was a time when Prism54 was the preferred 802.11g chipset for CardBus 
under Linux, but the in-kernel driver for that is now dead, requiring 
one to self-compile an out-of-kernel driver that has yet to show up in 
any distro or kernel tree. Most people in the market for 802.11g 
equipment for Linux just bite the bullet and get whatever is available 
to use with either ndiswrapper or DriverLoader.
"Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do."
                                                       --National Lampoon

On Oct 28, 2005, at 3:08 PM, Peregrine wrote:

>>> At this time, all versions of the Netgear WG511T use some form of 
>>> the Atheros chipset.
> Thanks for the suggestion Daniel. I do have Cardbus on my laptop, by 
> the way. What I'm looking for, though, is a card that has a chipset 
> with native kernel support.  As far as I can tell, the Atheros chips 
> require the installation of MadWifi drivers. Please correct me if I'm 
> wrong. I understand that I should be able to eventually get WPA 
> working with the WG511T, but during this shakedown period while I try 
> out a buncha' different distros to see what I like best for this 
> pipsqueak 'puter, I'd like a card that has every intention of being 
> able to communicate with a vanilla installation.
> I've spent at least 40 hours researching this problem now, chasing 
> down model numbers, chipsets, versions, exceptions. At this point the 
> closest I can come to finding a card that will "just work" with Linux 
> seems be the Orinoco Gold Classic. It looks like the "Classic" part 
> means that it has the Hermes chipset. Proxim (who bought Orinoco from 
> Lucent) has other versions of the Orinoco Gold. There are many 
> rebranded versions of the Orinoco as well, but I almost believe at 
> this point that if I get an Orinoco Gold Classic that it should work 
> with just about any distro without needing extra drivers.
> I thought I'd throw this back to the list and see if anyone else wants 
> to weigh in.
> If I had it to do over I probably would have just gotten a modern, 
> fast, memory laden, ultra-light laptop with Linux compatible hardware. 
> Don't get me wrong, the learning process is great, but I'd actually 
> like to use the notebook too. I thought I was saving money, but 
> factoring in a conservative estimate for the time I've spent 
> researching JUST the wireless card means I could have spent another 
> seven hundred bucks on modern hardware.
> Wryly,
> Peregrine
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Daniel Gimpelevich 
> [mailto:daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us]
> Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2005 2:32 AM
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Subject: Re: [conspire] 802.11 blues
> At this time, all versions of the Netgear WG511T use some form of the
> Atheros chipset. They are currently the best bet for CardBus (32bit) 
> under Linux. There is no such thing as a 802.11g PCMCIA (16bit) card,
> although there are plenty of 802.11b ones.
> On Sun, 23 Oct 2005 02:52:11 -0700, Peregrine wrote:
>> Ah, what the hell. I'll throw this question out to the list:
>> I need a PCMCIA wireless card that'll 'just work' with Linux. Anyone 
>> know
>> where I can get one?
>> I bought a svelte Sony Vaio on Ebay. It's the PCG-5322 model (aka
>> PCG-z505LEK). She's kinda slim on the brains and memory, but what a 
>> figure -
>> 2.5 lbs - and cheap! It'll boot quite handily from the external USB 
>> drive. Knoppix finds and runs all the hardware. So does SuSe booting 
>> from
>> the hard drive.
>> I'm having a bastard of a time trying to get wireless connectivity, 
>> however.
>> I've found various lists of PCMCIA cards that are supposed to have 
>> chipsets
>> that are compatible with the drivers built into recent kernels. I've
>> purchased two so far. When I receive them they turn out to be a 
>> "version"
>> with a different chipset. For instance, the last one I got was the 
>> Linksys
>> WPC11. It's supposed to have a Prism chipset. I ripped it out of the 
>> mailing
>> package, and even before I took the shrinkwrap off I saw the dreaded 
>> 'v4'
>> appended to the model number. Ten seconds of Googling told me that 
>> the v4
>> uses RealTek chips.
>> This is getting expensive, and I still can't get my Borg outfit going.
>> Squilp!
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