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[gNewSense-users] Re: Wireless Cards, Firmware-Free and Free Drivers

From: Chris Andrew
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Re: Wireless Cards, Firmware-Free and Free Drivers
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 19:36:46 +0000


Sorry about the short reply.

The RT2 stuff looks good, but I have just bought a EDIMAX EW-7128G
802.11G from eBay, after advice from another post.  It will either
work or not.

Thanks for taking the time to write your mail, it is useful for the future.


On 20/01/2008, Brian Kemp <address@hidden> wrote:
> (List recipients: LONG MESSAGE FOLLOWS.)
> Chris,
> I've been seeking one of these for AGES.  From what i remember with my
> search there are certain vendors that won't sell cards in the US
> (probably due to patent dragons). A lot of those vendors use chipsets
> that are supported.  Check the FSF page that was referenced in an
> earlier email. Most of them wouldn't even let you select "United
> States" as a valid shipping address.
> (Any of you out there want to grey-market import a few for me, contact
> me off-list.)
> If you're looking to use a card with gNewSense deltad, you probably
> won't have much luck with the RaLink chipsets *RIGHT NOW*.
> I picked up 2x CNet CWC-854 for about $20 USD. That's the PC Card
> (PCMCIA) version but there is a similar model number that's PCI.  My
> father's laptop running Gutsy works, but with firmware (legacy driver,
> see below).  Mine (also running Gutsy; my main desktop is gNS) locks
> IRQ 11 so hard that sound, ethernet, and most other peripherals drop
> off the face of the earth.
> The best free drivers are being worked on at
> and build against Linux Kernel 2.6.24.
>  FYI, Ubuntu Gutsy uses 2.6.22. The site also maintains "legacy
> drivers" which are forks of the manufacturer drivers and have non-free
> firmware, but they don't work well under SMP systems, etc.
> RaLink chipsets may be a good solution for gNewSense deltaH which will
> build off of Hardy--be warned that the cheap cards tend to change
> chipsets faster than you can say "cheapest deal of the week"
> I had a few other cards, but they didn't work so hot. I'll spare you
> the details, ask me later.
> As for DeltaD ("now") support:
> A friend lent me an Orinoco card which works well driver wise--but the
> particular card sustained a fall and seems to be busted. Your best bet
> is cards that people don't make anymore.
> Proxim makes B/G cards with the Orinoco chipsets, I haven't purchased
> one yet as they are very expensive ($80 USD!) but I'm almost certain
> they'd work out of the box.
> I do not know if Orinoco cards have firmware, or if it's upgradable.
> A lot of the older wireless cards did things on their own. The newer
> ones rely on the driver to do most of the heavy lifting. Once you get
> a newer card to work, that's the freest kind you can have.
> It may be best to wait.  Then again, since you're not in the US, you
> may have more options. (Ironic, I know)
> This is what I've been working on when I haven't been working
> ludicrous overtime at my day job.  When some more test hardware
> arrives I'm going to install a Debian-based distro with 2.6.24 or
> greater and throw myself into the rt2x00 project to make sure stuff
> works.
> --BK

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