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Wireless Networking Software Hardware Linux

Jean Tourrilhes On Linux Wireless LAN 143

mcleodnine writes "Jean Tourrilhes of the Linux Wireless LAN Howto project took some time to answer a few questions from members at Among some of the more interesting commments was his pick of best and worst Open Source friendly vendors ('Some of those TI engineers even sent me e-mails criticising some features of the Wireless Extensions'), an opinion or two about the Next Big Thing in wireless (MIMO), and a poke in the eye for OS zealots of any religion."
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Jean Tourrilhes On Linux Wireless LAN

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  • wireless viop (Score:3, Interesting)

    by earlytime ( 15364 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:17PM (#9485961) Homepage
    what i want to knwo is when can we turn these hotspots into voip transmission towers for wireless viop phones?
  • OS Zealotry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tezkah ( 771144 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:18PM (#9485980)
    "I actually believe that OS zealotry is doing a disservice to our community, because if you force somebody into something against his will, you run the risk of creating negative experiences. And, ultimately, what matters is not the OS you use, but what you give to the world, you are not interviewing me because I use Linux ;-)"

    Finally, I'm sick of the whole "FreeBSD is dying!" "Microsoft kills babies!" "Linux is stoled code!" "Haiku is actually a freeform poem!" stuff. Just use whatever you want... ok?
  • by dannyelfman ( 717583 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:22PM (#9486031)
    From the article:

    It's hard to describe those comics to non-french speakers, because the french-speaking comic culture is vastly more diverse, mainstream and serious than in other languages (either manga or US comics), and this precise type of comic has no equivalent.

    I don't think so. Nope, not one bit.

  • On zealotry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mattgreen ( 701203 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:23PM (#9486042)
    Seems to me that the most fervent zealots of a particular OS are simply just narrow-minded or don't know much beyond their own little world. You see countless developers (y'know, people who do things) decrying zealots, while the zealots themselves just kinda sit there, making everyone else look bad with their banter, and don't really contribute anything other than fanboyism.

    Kill em all I say.
    • Re:On zealotry (Score:4, Interesting)

      by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:52PM (#9486328)
      OS zealotry is just (hopefully) a stage in the growth of a user. it's when they realize the OS is great for their use, they imagine how many other great uses it could have for them, and then think everyone must use this because it is so great for me. hopefully they realize eventually that other people use things that are great for themselves, and changing would be detrimental to what they want to accomplish. Eventually the zealot will come to terms with diversity and no longer be a zealot. the problem is there will always be zealots, but the people who are zealots may change.

      there was once a long list comedically stepping through the progression of a linux user from newbie to guru. i tried finding it, but failed. i must be using the wrong keywords. google has failed me, and I have failed it.
      • Re:On zealotry (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Zealotry isn't confined to Linux users. Macintosh users can still hold their own and yes dear there is such a thing as a Windows zealot. The Windows zealots are pretty entertaining. They claim to be oppressed on Slashdot then look for pro-Linux comments to mod down. Pathetic really. The especially tasty ones think that use of Windows confirms all that is of capitalism, America, Mom, and Apple Pie....well maybe not the APPLE pie. Those same people will also speak vaguely of the "best tool for job" as t
      • Re:On zealotry (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "OS zealotry" is a big hypocrisy by MS fanboys who think that running *anything else* than their OS is necessarly a zealotry, while having 90% of the population running _only_ Microsoft would not be one.

        Don't talk about "OS zealotry" while what you exactly mean is "not wanting to run Microsoft Windows"
      • Re:On zealotry (Score:3, Informative)

        by DeadInSpace ( 320683 )
        there was once a long list comedically stepping through the progression of a linux user from newbie to guru.
        Evolution Of A Linux User []. A fun read, if you take it with a grain of salt :)
    • On this era in which to have convictions is not "in" derading people with clear ideas about what they want is an international sport.

      Well scored, you obviously can play the game.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:27PM (#9486082)

    Our company was considering going with Ti's TX100 802.11b chipset about a year ago, to build our product around. Then we did our homework.

    Seems a bunch of people signed onto a petition to get Ti to release the specs for their TX100 chipset, so they could develop the drivers Ti was refusing to release. When Ti ignored it, they called the BBB on their ass, citing false advertisement (they claim the chipset is supported in Linux)...And they STILL ignored it.

    With that being said, put your money where your mouth is. Buh-bye Ti, Helloooooo, Intersil. :)
    • by bbowers ( 596225 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:40PM (#9486220) Journal
      Seems thats somewhat the case with Realtek. They had a huge showing with the RTL8139 series chip released to the Open Source Community, however their chip RTL8180L for wireless is falling through the floor. It's a part binary part source module, that wont run on a kernel greater than 2.4.21, and uses the private extentions(iwpriv) instear of the regular ones (iwconfig). Numerous e-mails have been sent from the community and no response at all. Theres a large thread about this, and when I say large, I mean large.... 816 replies, and 100947 views large... [] Seems as if Realtek doesn't want to release the source... if they did... they might make big bucks with it. Thats ok, not our loss.
      I got my card working with slackware... though I think I am gonna ditch it, works like crap anyways..
    • While your stand is admirable, you could have also put your money where THEIR mouth is, and said "we'll use your products if you open up the specs". In the end, you may have still gone with Intersil, but SHOWING them that they're stance is costing them money goes quite a ways....

    • The TI ACX100 802.11b+ chipset is my favourite example when non-technical people claim that reverse engineering is impossible, because the project has shown that it is indeed possible: -- for Linux -- for FreeBSD

      But had I known before I made the purchase, I would have bought another manufacturers product - unfortunately I was stuck between a hard place: 802.11b itself (11mbps) too slow, 802.11b+ (22mbps & 44mbps under TI "x4" mode) just right, 802.11
  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:29PM (#9486098) Journal
    What is the best, least expensive wireless USB NIC for linux?
  • by mratitude ( 782540 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:31PM (#9486114) Journal
    LQ) what's the hostname of your most favored linux box and why is it named that?

    Ok, mod this as troll bait if necessary and I know that email interviews can home in on minutae, but if this guy is a person of interest, aren't there better questions to ask? Was there no moderator screening the questions?
    • LQ) what's the hostname of your most favored linux box and why is it named that?

      Ok, mod this as troll bait if necessary and I know that email interviews can home in on minutae, but if this guy is a person of interest, aren't there better questions to ask? Was there no moderator screening the questions?

      Plenty of people name them after favorite movies, food groups, songs, artists, etc. I think it's an insightful question. It could get a glimpse of what the person is interested in outside of the computer
    • Ok, mod this as troll bait if necessary and I know that email interviews can home in on minutae, but if this guy is a person of interest, aren't there better questions to ask? Was there no moderator screening the questions?

      maybe you were just disappointed that he didn't respond with "portman" or "hot_grits"
      • My disappointment originated with the seeming vacuous celebrity and adulation in the tone of that particular question. Here we have a man who contributed somewhat (or a great deal in the early days) to Linux and he's asked the rockstar equivalent question of whether he rakes or shaves his armpits. Ok, so geekdom has some qualities of stardom. [shrug]
    • I sit on my butt on a computer all day long, when I get home I don't even want to look at one let alone be on it. Sometimes it's nice to hear questions and answers not pertaining to computers for a while... you know have a nice intelligent conversation, something few people do anymore :P
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Unless your time is not of the essence!

    Now if only Linksys/Netgear/D-Link could (and I don't see why they can't) make an affordable wireless bridge+hub/gateway that costs in the same ballpark as a wireless router. (A Netgear bridge costs almost 2x as much a wireless router/gateway)

    And while at it, they shoult also put out some clear specs so the CompUsa/BB salespeople know the difference between a bridge and an access point.
  • by dbc001 ( 541033 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:37PM (#9486184)
    I've been using Linux for a while now, and have been interested in moving to wireless for quite some time. I'm hesitant though because of all the problems that can come with cutting edge hardware in Linux. It would really help if a few Linux users who have tried a lot of wireless gear could make some hardware recommendations for the rest of us.

    What are some no-headache brands of wireless gear for Linux? What brands should be avoided? Are some distros better for wireless than others?
    (I realize that some of this may be in the linked article, but the article appears to contain a complete list that requires a lot of time and effort to sort through).

    thanks in advance,
    • My base station is a Linksys WRT54G. It's cheap and damned good ... and it runs a Linux kernel so it's kinda hackable if that's your thing. My PCMCIA wlan card (I only do wireless from my laptop so I can't speak on PCI cards) is a Microsoft MN-520 (I think it's been discontinued). Regardless, it's a very solid card and it works well with the Linux wlan project driver. The negative experiences I've lived through/heard of are a) newer Linksys PCMCIA cards (they keep changing the chipsets) and b) Microsoft bas
    • by debian4life ( 701155 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @02:09PM (#9486498)
      I feel your pain. The problem you will run into is that even if you get a D-Link, Linksys, or Netgear, some of them may use the same chipset. I tried the D-Link first because it was cheap. It used the Prism2 chipset. But after reading every bit of documentation, and trying it as both a module and in the kernel under about 10 configuations I gave up. It seems like getting these cards to work is hit or miss for a lot of people based on all the posts I read. And believe me I read a bunch.

      Then I tried a Linksys that I use on my work XP laptop. No dice there. I forget the chipset on that one, but I had the Linksys WPC11 v4 which apparently has little or no support on Linux.

      So finally I decided to just bite the bullet and get a Cisco Aironet 350. If you buy these new, they are over $100. But if you go to Ebay, you can get one for around $50. All you do is compile the support in the kernel and it works like a champ. I have set it up successfully on both Debian and Gentoo.

      So Cisco is the easy way to go if you can get a good deal. I would avoid the Linksys card I tried, but apparently versions prior to v4 work better. You can give the D-Link or Netgear a shot with the Prism2 chipset, but you may have to work at it a while to get it working.

      Hope that helps.
      • Mmm. I've got an Orinoco card in my Dell 640C Laptop and that works fine. Oddly enough, EVERYTHING on that laptop works fine. Too bad running Wine pushes the temperature up and up until the laptop performs an emergency temperature shutdown in a last desperate act of self preservation. But I digress...

        The Netgear 104mbps card I have in my desktop uses the Atheros chipset, for which a free driver exists (I forget if I had to patch my kernel or not.) The 52mbps one used some other chipset which I believe is

      • My DLink PrismII card works, but only after installing the WLAN-NG drivers/tools, which are NOT included in many linux distributions, even Fedora Core 2.

        I now have a Cisco Aironet 350 from work, and it works with the driver built-in to the kernel.

        If I had to buy another card, I'd still get a PrismII or Prism54 because of price.
        • I have a netgear PrismII based PC card: slow but
          stable -worked out the box in SuSE 9.1

          My work laptop has an ActionTec mini-PCI card and that was trouble indeed. It kept on locking on a session (RH.9), and now that I am running WinXP SP2 on the laptop, it wont hibernate while the card is in use.

          So: open source -incomplete drivers you'd have to fix by hand. Closed source -shit drivers you cant fix. Either way -no out-the-box networking.
        • What was your Prism problem? The only thing not there on Fedora Core 2 was the firmware, which you had to extract from the Windows driver disk and copy into a particular place. The thing is that in my case, a Netgear WG511 card was more stable under FC2 Linux than Windows.
          • Well, the Prism I was talking about was actually on RH9 (I'm using the Cisco on FC2).

            I don't see the WLan-NG tools on FC2, but I didn't actually try sticking the D-Link card in.
            • I don't know about the D-link, but with my Netgear, FC2 booted with the Prism module loaded. You do need the firmware but all the usual toys are there (iwconfig, etc). Loading the firmware doesn't happen automatically during boot, but it will work after boot though (known FC2 net startup issue). There are some other minor problems with FC2's network conmfiguration script but these can be fixed by a direct edit to a couple of configuration files.
      • I tried the D-Link first because it was cheap. It used the Prism2 chipset. But after reading every bit of documentation, and trying it as both a module and in the kernel under about 10 configuations I gave up.

        Are you sure it was a Prism2? D-Link are notorious for completely changing the underlying chipset between Rev A and Rev B of the same model number. I bought one of their 54Mb cards thinking it was Prism54, but when I installed it, lspci told me it was Atheros (thankfully still supported, though I had

    • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @02:13PM (#9486534)
      Well, the answer is don't get cutting-edge hardware. You can get excellent, servicable wireless 802.11b hardware from several years ago, and that is the golden era for open drivers. Something like a Cisco Aironet 352 is perfect, with excellent drivers and support from all layers of the operating system (linux, bsd, win32, macos, ...). Not surprisingly this is also the interviewee's recommended hardware.

      As far as headaches, I think you'll find more headaches in the peripheral support infrastructure than in the wireless hardware and drivers. If you are going to use PCMCIA/PC Card wireless adapters I think you'll discover the Linux PCMCIA drivers have a habit of panicking. With any hardware you'll need to do a lot of manual configuration hacking before your computer will perform useful functions like automatically roaming to available SSIDs (something windows and mac os do automatically). You'll be installing packages and editing /etc files for the next month, but eventually you'll have something that works 62% of the time.

      • "You can get excellent, servicable wireless 802.11b hardware from several years ago"

        No you can't. Not in the sense that you can spec it on a purchase order, or go to your local retailer and pick it off the shelf. And not in the sense that you can effectively mail order it either.

        Even if you know brand and model number, most cards have various chipsets. I know I covet my D-Link DWL-520 cards. These are PCI 802.11 cards. the current card under the same model number is Broadcom. The old ones are Prism
      • Something like a Cisco Aironet 352 is perfect, with excellent drivers

        Seems you haven't tried to use the Cisco LEAP protocol (which my work insists on using) with the open source drivers. Major pain in the arse and as unstable as all hell.

  • In General (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SolidiusRock ( 729169 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:45PM (#9486259)
    I find it interesting that Linux has "issues" with wireless technology (or any technology for that matter), but yet Linux has all the more interesting tools for wireless whereas other OSes seem to be lacking in them.
  • by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <> on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:50PM (#9486311) Homepage Journal
    Once everyone finally accepts that the only true operating system is AmigaOS we can all move on and forget our petty differences;-)

    Now, where was I on this A1200...

  • by Eberlin ( 570874 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:54PM (#9486345) Homepage
    About a year and a half ago, I bought me one of those linksys wireless cards for an older (400MHz PC) running RH7.3 or something like that. For the fun of it, I decided I'd ask the salesfolk at Best Buy whether it was compatible with Linux. The answer I got was that it would be difficult to find drivers for it, and that to save me the grief, he recommended I get a LAN-Bridge instead.

    I ignored the advice and bought the card anyway. (Of course I had done some research beforehand...enough to know it possibly worked, anyway) I got it running with the wlan-ng drivers.

    Later on when I had more money, I decided to get me a laptop. Again, did my homework to see what would and wouldn't work. Again, a trip to best buy encountered a tech/sales guy -- whom I asked the question "will it run Linux?" After spouting off a few acronyms of certifications he has, he proceeds to tell me that Bill Gates has bought Linux and that we won't even be talking about it a year from now (he's got about 2 months left of that year...better act fast!) Then if I wanted to run a linux server on a laptop (no I don't want to run a server...just a desktop -- 'um, same thing') -- that it would be really slow. The only hope I have of running it comfortably would be on an Alienware system.

    "So why don't you want to run XP?" "It's got a large system requirement, it has serious security issues, and overall I can't say I like it." "Have you looked into using XP Pro?" "Um, I already don't want to pay for the OS, you're recommending I pay MORE instead?" "Well, XP Pro isn't going to cost you that much more..." "Thank you for your time. I think I'm going to go home and rethink my strategy."

    Went home thinking "jackass" and proceeded to get a Dell...which I'm using to write this on a machine running Mandrake 10CE...with all the functionality I need.

    Zealotry or ignorance? I'm not sure. To this day I smile whenever I go into a Best Buy -- thinking I should pick up a piece of hardware and ask whether it works with Linux just for the stories they may give me.
    • go in there. take your laptop and test it.

      I did that not so long back with an AV-receiver; I wanted to make sure it would handle the outputs of the laptop right. They were bemused but happy to help -and didnt try and sell me winXP.
    • Once upon a time, I worked in Best Buy.

      First of all, I will assert that it's an evil, evil store. Second of all I'll agree that this guy is a complete jackass. But you have to realize something too: 99% of the people who come in that store don't run anything other than windows, and for the most part have never heard of Linux. Furthermore, those of us who DO run Linux know a lot more than any electronics salesman, and do our homework ahead of time(which you did).

      Honestly, i think if hes claiming t
  • Thanks to wireless extensions, you can play around with your wifi cards, getting stats from the proc filesystem, changing your WIFI card's mode (or even increase its power level) with common IOCTLs.

    I think that this helped a lot in the development of 802.11 networks: it offered a good opporunity for researchers to work together with standards and common cards, and fastened applications that shoved some weaknesses of the 802.11 industry's first implementations: WIFI sniffing, WEP weaknesses... So that indu

  • by Outland Traveller ( 12138 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @01:57PM (#9486366)
    I read the article. I've browsed the FAQ and HOWTO and other assorted documentation many times in the past.

    The one question most people want to know is what manufacturer/models are compatible, where to buy them, and what drivers to use. When you go to your retail store of choice they often will not list what chipsets they use in their wireless cards. Knowing which chipsets are compatible isn't that helpful if you can't match it definitively with a product.

    I ended up going the safe route and ordering some aeronets because I didn't want to play roulette, and I couldn't find a new orinocco-based card for sale anywhere quickly.

    Has someone out there discovered this business opportunity and created a web store specifically geared to linux-friendly hardware? Buy their card,download some linked drivers, and you're good to go. That would be easy. Last time I looked the regular linux suppliers let me down.
    • The one question most people want to know is what manufacturer/models are compatible, where to buy them, and what drivers to use.

      Tell me about it.

      I just got a lightly used LinuxCertified 2210 laptop. Nice little laptop, no wifi card though (it's an option, but not one the original buyer purchased), so I needed to figure out what WiFi card to use. We had a WPC11 v4 card laying around, but on searching for info on it and Linux/Fedora the drivers are... poor (and probably wouldn't work w/ FC2 anyway) and re
      • You might want to look at system-config-network if you're using Fedora. Make sure you run it from within X-Windows as the curses console version is very limited.

        You can apparently setup multiple profiles so you can have different configurations for different locations.
    • The Seattle Wireless [] wiki lists lots of adapters and generally tells you what OS's they work with.

      Search for adapter in the TitleIndex [].

    • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @05:41PM (#9489025)
      I was recently traveling for work, and I had my laptop with me (WinXP). The hotel let you use PCMCIA cards for free to access their wireless connection. ($75 refundable deposit) I don't even know what card it was, but I installed the driver on my machine. Windows complained because it was an "unauthorized" device, but I installed it anyway. It worked great.

      Then I wondered..... and pulled out my Knoppix 3.2 CD. Note that this isn't even the latest and greatest version. It booted up. I started Mozilla, and was on the net in no time flat. It recognized the card and loaded the driver with no interaction on my part.

      Now every time I boot the machine, WinXP complains that the wireless card isn't inserted. *sigh*

      This was my very first experience with wireless, and it was pretty painless. Take a Knoppix CD to your local Best Buy, Circuit City, or whatever and try out the cards for compatability.

    • There is a solution to your problem: go to Best Buy type store and buy a card. Specifically search for the card lease likely to have linux support. TI chipsets are good and popular. (yeah there is a reverse engineered driver, but it doesn't work good despite increadable efforts) Open box and attempt to get it to work. Fail. Place everything back in back and return it, citing poor linux support. Repeat until you get bored, they run out of cards to try, or you get something that by chance works.


  • Obviously, people are going to complain because the API doesn't match the internals of their module. [...] But that other driver use a "Domain", which is a Pascal string. So, designing an API is making all driver maintainers equally unhappy.
    Kernighan wept.
    • Are you confused as to what a Pascal string is? I don't think they literally mean there is some pascal code, just that the string starts with a byte that tells you the length of the string (e.g. "3cat") instead of the C string which ends with a '\0' byte. (e.g. "cat\0") Pascal strings are generally considered to be safer than C strings as they are harder to walk off the end of.
  • IPSec (Score:3, Interesting)

    by augustz ( 18082 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @02:06PM (#9486463) Homepage
    He mentions (rightly I think) that it would be nice to have worked out ipsec better rather than drive it's basic functionality down to the link layer of all the different things that would need security.

    Why hasn't IPSec taken off more (or some other similar setup)? I don't know enough to know what the tough bits might be.

    • Good question.

      We use IPSec for back-to-work VPN. Our WLAN is configured as Jean-Tourhilles told them to: it looks like a public WLAN, so guests get online. To get back into the corporate network you set up an IPSec link to the (local) entry point.

      One problem: roaming doesnt work. If you move APs, you get disconnected.

      Problem two: driver support. Windows, linux, its all a pain. Its not that these OSs dont come with drivers, its that the corporates want ones that work with their authentication tokens (like
  • WLAN limited? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <> on Monday June 21, 2004 @02:13PM (#9486535) Journal
    With 802.11, you'd better check the map before traveling to see if it's worth bringing your laptop.
    I wouldn't say that anymore, a couple weeks ago I went to South Dakota to see family and decided to scan for WLANs through town...In less then a mile on one residental street I found a dozen APs, 4 of which had WEP enabled.

    If you don't have problems 'stealing' other peoples bandwidth, there is an open AP on almost every residental street corner.

    I can get to 4 open networks from my house in Aurora!
    People are buying WAP enabled routers for their DSL/Cable modems and I'd say about 70% (if not more) run with the defaults, maybe changing the admin password...maybe.

    The problem is people are not educated on wireless security, and why bother? They refuse to believe that someone is going to hijack their network and release a virus, break into another network or some other criminal's like AIDS, it won't happen to ME.
    • Re:WLAN limited? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dozer ( 30790 )
      If you drive down my street, you'll find a number of open access points, including mine. Please come on by and use them. That's what they're there for.

      You know, you can get your own cable modem for $25/mo and hack into all the systems you possibly can from the comfort of your own couch. Anonyminity is easy enough. If you really do want to hide behind a wireless AP, you're going to drive to the local universtiy and get many mbit/sec. I highly doubt you're going to park outside my house and use my tiny
  • I still can't get it work on linux...
  • OS Zealotry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bfg9000 ( 726447 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @02:27PM (#9486684) Homepage Journal
    OS zealotry is doing a disservice to our community, because if you force somebody into something against his will, you run the risk of creating negative experiences.

    The problem is not so much that it *forces* anybody to use a system like Linux (because it's pretty much impossible for an opinion to be that powerful in the face of economic and political reality), but that it serves to blind people to the potential pitfalls that await, thus leading them to make a wrong decision for their situation. NO system is perfect (even Linux and *gasp*! Mac OS X). ALL have pitfalls depending on what you're using your computer for. In many cases, Windows *is* the best choice, although improvements in KDE and Gnome are making Windows a less obvious choice. And of course, arguing in favour of a system (or a methodology like open-source) is perfectly acceptable, as long as both sides are rational and can concede that the other side has positive attributes as well. Thus, both sides learn from the other and take what they've learned to improve themselves. Thus, honest evaluation leads to progress and growth, which is one of the fundamental tenets of capitalism, the free market, and all that... Of course, the ability to meet halfway is now called "appeasement" and is labeled as a "liberal" trait, which is apparently synonymous with "evil" or "corrupt". Zealotry exists in politics of all types, and is a great temptation, since it's so easy to believe that the world is black and white, good vs. evil, and that there is nothing to learn from the other side and that their arguments are all irrational and unfounded. Zealotry is a glass ceiling on self-improvement.

    Zealotry in any form is inherently dishonest because zealots consciously or unconsciously hide the faults of their beloved systems while simultaneously proclaiming their greatness. This does lead to bad experiences (and I'm talking from experience!).

    The UPSIDE of being a Linux zealot as opposed to a Windows or Mac zealot is that because the system is very open, any roadblocks you may encounter are likely soon to be fixed, or are fixable if you know a programmer who accepts payment in beer and pizza (which is all of them). I've hit roadblocks in Mac OS X that have no solution, and none seems to be coming... and [zealotry on] Windows itself *IS* a roadblock! [zeatotry off]
  • Southern Linux, a company here in Savannah, GA supplied the Trade center for the G8 Summit with Linux wifi routers. pics available at
  • My complaints [] from the Intel driver PoV...

    I also had some concernsregarding wifi [] really just the comment about the 4 wifi adapters I have trouble with... on every laptop I try them on...

    1. MA401
    2. MA111
    3. IW2100
    4. MA401(newer revision... don't remember ottomh)

    Default kernel PCMCIA, Host-ap, wireless ng, pcmcia-cs... and now I'm just pissed... so I don't bother. Apple here I come.
  • by PureFiction ( 10256 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @04:40PM (#9488391)
    As hinted at in this interview, the future of wireless networking revolves around many variations on a few core themes: diversity, versatility, and scalability [].

    Diversity is accomplished through MIMO and other technologies like beam steering to provide a robust communication channel between wireless devices.

    Versatility comes with open source firmware / drivers and software defined radios. There is no way manufacturers can foretell all of the desirable uses and functionality consumers want in their products. The most useful systems will be those that are versatile and can adapt to new protocols, encodings, etc.

    Scalability can be achieved through robust ad-hoc routing protocols and decentralized security methods to produce a system that scales easily as participating nodes join and part the network without complicated provisioning or a reliance on centralized and limited backhaul or access point functionality.

    There is still a lot of interesting work to be done in these areas, but the real fun starts in the applications that will utilize these new ad-hoc networking infrastructures.
  • Amazingly, after a few hours of tinkering, I just got onto slashdot using a Broadcom BCM5406 g card. Guess what the first article I read is.

    Broadcom won't release drivers or specs for their wireless chipset and prevent any OEMs who use thier chipset from doing so. So there are only really two choices, other than throwing their hardware in the trash, or using Windows, and those are Linuxxant WLAN Driverloader [] or open source NdisWrapper [].

    I chose NdisWrapper because it is OS and I did not have to pay
  • Are there any USB 802.11 devices that simply work, without kernel recompiling or similar extra work? :)

    It would be great to add this to the list of Things Good To Demo On Random Laptops With Knoppix! Actually, what would be even better to demonstrate is the USB WiFi+kitchen scoop long-distance antenna [] :)

    Shoebox computers in particular tend to have precious PCI slots, and (unless you add an semi-expensive* adaptor) no PCMCIA slots, so this would be a great way to add wireless networking to them.


  • Last time i checked, my wireless router didnt really care what OS was on the machines attached to it..

  • I just received my ActionTec GT-701(?) last week, and find that it's running a linux kernel. It's got 802.11g, a single 10/100 port, functions as a USB NIC, and also happens to be my new DSL modem.
    If anyone's curious, reply to this and I'll log into it again and get the kernel version specifics.


MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.