Fri, 26 Nov 2004

Finally, no cables all over the floor

After quite a few unsuccessful attempts to find a PCI wireless card working only with free drivers (binary firmware admitted), I finally got lucky today, and I've been running a wireless link for the last 10 minutes.

When I posted my previous wireless blog entry, joeyh suggested me to just look for pcmcia cards, which are generally better supported, and use a PCI->pcmcia adapter. Given that I plan to buy a laptop RSN, this made sense, because the Airport Xtreme in Powerbooks isn't supported, so I'd need a pcmcia card anyway.

So yesterday I did my hopefully last visit to MediaMarkt and got a SMC2835W, as Sergio suggested. The store had the same card in two different packagings. Following sto's advice, I of course got the box that seemed oldest, to minimize chances of getting stupid new chipset revisions.

Today, my boss Pablo lend me his unused PCI->pcmcia adapter, a TI PCI1410, so all the pieces were in place. As soon as I plugged the card in my box and booted, Linux would instantly freeze as soon as it loaded yenta_socket.ko. Nooo, not again!

A few hours later, and after a few missleading Google searches, manty and dilinger suggested upgrading to 2.6.9, which carried quite some fixes that might be involved. Voilà! No more kernel lockups, and after some minutes of fighting pcmcia-cs, the card was recognised and running.

Finally, it's time to ifdown eth0. My flatmates will be glad to find no more network cable all over the living room when they come back on Sunday... "Thank manty, dilinger and joeyh", I will say. :)