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Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Fedora Core 5 HWP54G and RT2500 chipset

I have been bemoaning my luck with upgrading to FC5 and the problems with two different wireless cards. But there is progress to report – I have the rt2500 chipset one up now. Good thing, too, because I’m already getting visitors with the same problem.

After my adventure getting this card up and running, I have been regularly upgrading my kernels, and each time I have to re-make the drivers (and install the new linux-ntfs rpm.) It was getting to be a bit routine until I did the big upgrade to FC5, and I did everything the same and it just didn’t work. Here’s a sample of some of the error messages I got:

rt2500 device wlan0:0 does not seem to be present, delaying initialization.

Error inserting rt2500 (/lib/modules/2.6.16-1.2111_FC5/extra/rt2500.ko): Invalid argument

rt2500: falsely claims to have parameter ifname

I’m beginning to think that, the more I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on this Linux stuff, the more I learn that I am truly ignorant. I tried tackling this issue with just a little research and a heightened sense of experience, but in the end I turned to the serialmonkey forums, and I found the answer. Correction – I found the workaround. So if you missed it (thanks, TomG!):

had the same problem but finally got it to work w/ the rt2500-cvs-2006032123 CVS build. Here’s what I did:

1 untared the archive somewhere in my home directory.
2. changed to the “Module” directory.
3. ran “make” as normal user to build the module.
4. ran “make install” as root
5. ran “make install-fedora” as root

Afterwards I was able to configure the card using system->administration->network.

Now, apart from using the CVS tarball, this is exactly the same, simple procedure I’ve always been using except for step 4. Fedora users aren’t supposed to make install this build. In fact, part of my earlier troubles were because I was doing that. There’s two pages of discussion of what might have been causing the problem, but it’s typically forum-muddled, so it doesn’t help me. But the procedure worked. And furthermore, I picked up that they have made improvements to the generic rt2w00 that enables it to work with the SMP kernels – unless that’s the one that doesn’t have WEP.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 07:35 PST

2 Comments »

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Struggling with Fedora Core 5 Upgrades

No, folks, I’m not dead.

I have been struggling at home, trying to get my second box connected to the wireless lan with Fedora Core 5, trying a lot of things without getting a repeat of the one time I got it all up and running. In a break from this, I used the yum upgrader to update all my packages on the FC4 box I normally use. However, this upgraded SeaMonkey, my browser, and I lost all the extensions that I have come to rely on so much. Rather than mess around retrieving and reinstalling all these, I decided to upgrade the FC4 to FC5. This turned out to be a little tricker that I thought it would be, because the FC5 installation dvd detected my multithreading processor and installed the smp kernel. Trouble is, the rt2500 drivers for my HWP54G wireless card don’t work with the smp kernel. Then I tried hand installing the single processor version from the dvd using rpm, but rpm kept detecting the upgraded FC4 kernel I had installed, and refused to replace it with an older version kernel. I finally went to the source and got the lastest single processor FC5 kernel and installed that. Now, although I can build the rt2500 drivers, I’m having trouble detecting the card.

So this is keeping me pretty busy, but I’m learning an awful lot about the Linux file system, sources and modules. I might even have to recompile my kernels to get things working. Fascinating stuff. But in the meantime, I’ve been posting on the technical forums and neglecting my blog.

So sorry, Mum (my most regular visitor.) The baby is potty training, and being rather cheerful about it. Chelsea’s been getting excited about learning rifles next year in Color Guard. I have entirely too much work to do, and we’re still looking to hire new engineers. I recently reread Cryptonomicon, and I’m taking another crack at getting through The Baroque Cycle.

And I’m getting a very regular repeat visitor from Milton Keynes in the UK (or so my geolocators tell me.) Drop me a note and say hi!

Posted by Greg as Family & Friends, Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 23:14 PST

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Thursday, April 20th, 2006

FC5 and Wireless Card

I got a little more time tonight to try checking the suggestions from cyclopropene, but not enough to answer his questions, so my FC5 machine is still not connected. I did go back and found that I had more notes that look like they went up to the point that I got the card working with the 2.6.15 kernel, but I’ve tinkered with so many things since then, I’m afraid I’ve destroyed any chances that I might be able to retrace my steps. I’m using a mix of line commands, hand edits of files, and the gui for system-config-network and NetworkManager, which seems a recipe for disaster for someone who doesn’t quite know exactly what they’re doing. I remember the last thing I did that made it all work last time – I used NetworkManager to “Connect to another wireless network” and typed in my SSID and WEP key. But at that point I must have properly loaded the primary and secondary firmware. I got my wish, but I’m still having a problem with wlan0 and wifi0 being disabled after running the firmware loader. And the configurations in system-config-network don’t match the output of iwconfig, either, which seems highly suspicious.

Thanks to my previous posts of frustration, if you Google fc5 dwl-520, now my blog comes up as the second website. So one of the experts I can turn to for help is – me! That’s soooo encouraging!

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 00:06 PST

2 Comments »

Monday, April 17th, 2006

FC5, Prism2.5 News

Well, I was right. Once I rebooted, I could not get the D-Link DWL-520 rev E wireless network card running again.

I was following the most optimistic instructions I could find, which specifically addressed this card under Fedora Core 5. I installed the hostap-utils rpm, the firmware files, and made the edits to /usr/sbin/hostap_fw_load, and ran the firmware loader. I wish, wish, wish that I had have recorded the output of host_fw_load the time when it actually worked, because I’ve noticed the output vary, and give different reasons why it didn’t work.

After I upgraded my packages while the card was working, I rebooted with the newer kernel, 2.6.16. I don’t know why it was 16 instead of 20, which is the 2.6 kernel I’m running on my FC4 machine, but switching back and forth hasn’t helped. I never used make to compile anything, so I don’t see how changing the kernel has created more problem for me. Perhaps firmware incompatibilities?

Now, every time I run the firmware loader I destroy something. If I run iwconfig when I first start the machine, I see the card both at wifi0 and wlan0. When I run hostap_fw_load once, it reports loading the primary firmware, and wlan0 usually disappears. If I run it again, it reports loading the secondary firmware, it says it doesn’t work because there’s no such device as wlan0, and wifi0 disappears. The only way I know how to get them back is to reboot.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 12:09 PST

1 Comment »

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Installing Fedora Core 5 with D-Link DWL-520 Rev E1 Wireless Card

Somehow, in between all the other things going on in my life at this moment, I managed to get another box up and running at home. I used an old hard drive that had been configured for a dual boot with Windows 98 and RedHat 9 (yeah, it’s been sitting around for a while.) I wiped the RH9 and installed Fedora Core 4, and kept the Win98 because I had personal files on it that I’d been meaning to pull out. Besides, I’m not planning on putting Windows XP on this box, I’m going to install Windows 2000 Server, just like the local server at work. I want to learn enough about Windows Active Directory so that I can figure out how to easily and painlessly configure a Linux client to connect to an MS network – and that’s a tall order! I actually got my partitioning scheme all set up and implemented and FC4 installed before I realized that Fedora Core 5 was released last month, so I had to do it all over again.

Of course, I have a cheapo PCI wireless network card for this box – this time, it’s a D-Link DWL-520 revision E1, which has a Prism 2.5 chipset. Once again, as it turns out, not a Linux-friendly card, so I’ve been learning a lot as I stubbornly plug away at getting it to connect to my wireless network at home. I thought that this time, it would be a lot easier because I could put into good use everything I learned by setting up the Hawking HWP-54G with the Ralink rt2500 chipset on my FC4 box (soon to be upgraded), but that wasn’t the case. The DWL-520 has no firmware, so it has to be flashed every time you boot.

With FC5 out so recently, there’s a paucity of help available in the forums, but it seemed worth it because the best advice I was getting on the solution for FC4 involved recompiling the kernel, and I don’t really feel ready for that yet, especially with a brand-new install of a new distro. Hell, there’s a whole new system of mounting floppy and cdrom drives, and when you don’t have a network connection, those are vital for transfering drivers and whatnot.

I’ve tinkered with it whenever I’ve had the chance, and taken pretty of good notes on what I’ve tried so I can write this all up, but when stuff doesn’t work even when you’re trying to follow directions, you end up trying all kinds of things just to see what happens, and you lose track of what you’ve done and what actually might have made a difference. So, of course, when I was mucking about today, I did something – I’m not sure what – and now it works like a charm. I don’t know whether it’s going to last past my next logoff, so I’ve used the new software updater, pup, to upgrade all my packages, but it’s a real long shot that it will work again after a reboot. At least I know it can be done, but getting it working is not enough – I have to know why it works, and what it took to get it working.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking at 18:26 PST

1 Comment »

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

Reinstall RT2500 Driver After Kernel Upgrade

I was working with Fedora today when I found out that what I was trying to do would be a lot easier if I was running the 2.6.15 kernel. What version was I running? Well, initially I found out by opening /boot/grub/grub.conf, but as I tooled around later, I realized the proper way was uname -r or cat /proc/version. I was running 2.6.14 – needed to upgrade!

Most of the info I found after a search dealt with upgrading between major releases – FC 3 to FC 4, for example. But I saw enough to figure out how to do it using yum. Upgrading the kernel seemed like heavy stuff, so I logged off and logged back in as root.

First, I made sure that I was using the latest version of yum (which I wasn’t):

[root@localhost /]# yum update yum

Then, a bunch of yum output messages later, I tried the same with the kernel:

[root@localhost /]# yum update kernel

I didn’t get any bells and whistles, just yum telling me it worked. Was I already running the new kernel? Using cat /proc/version I saw I wasn’t. So I checked the /boot directory – yep, there were more files there, including several that had “2.6.15.1833” in their names. I went further, looking at the /boot/grub/grub.conf. Yum had thoughtfully added the new kernel version to my list of startups, and left the default alone. So everything was set for a reboot. But wait – I was expecting that changing the kernel meant that my HWP54G rt2500 wireless card driver would need to be reinstalled. Did the Internet still work? Yes, cool, I could go to my blog and check my notes. There, I was reminded that I needed to install the new kernel source, so I also ran

[root@localhost /]# yum update kernel-devel

While my connection still worked, I saved a copy of the installation notes in my blog to the hard drive, and I was set for a reboot. During this, as expected, I failed to connect to my network. I also failed to mount my NTFS drives, so apparently I had done something special to make that work! But that’s for later. I had to look for the rt2X00 driver files – I had placed them in /etc/rt2500/module – which, if I had have read my notes fully, I would have seen from the examples. So I tried the following:

[root@localhost /]# cd /etc/rt2500/module
[root@localhost module]# make
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.15-1.1833_FC4-i686'
Building modules, stage 2.
MODPOST
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.15-1.1833_FC4-i686'
[root@localhost module]# make install-fedora
if ! [ -f rt2500.ko ]; then \
module; \
fi
install 'rt2500.ko' to /lib/modules/2.6.15-1.1833_FC4/extra
install -m 755 -o 0 -g 0 -d /lib/modules/2.6.15-1.1833_FC4/extra
install -m 644 -o 0 -g 0 rt2500.ko /lib/modules/2.6.15-1.1833_FC4/extra
/sbin/depmod -a
[root@localhost module]#

(Hope you can pick out what I typed in – the bold text – from the responses.) And then I was back on my network! Nothing else to configure – all the settings were retained from before. I was able to open up a browser and go back to my blog – which I searched using the term ntfs. I was lucky – I had mentioned how I got the ntfs drives mounted, so now I’m off to fix that!

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 15:57 PST

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Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Credit Where It’s Due

In a couple of my posts about getting my wireless card to work in Fedora, I mentioned and linked to Mauriat Miranda’s Fedora Core 4 Installation Guide, but I didn’t specifically credit him for his work. I’ve gone back and edited my posts to do that.

I didn’t notice the oversight until I saw a comment on one of these posts saying, basically, “you’re welcome.” He must have seen inbound traffic from here and checked it out. I left the following message for him:

Thanks for the feedback, although it was a little embarrassing. I’ve amended my posts that reference your guide to credit you by name. I get at least 30 hits a day on the subject, so hopefully I’m steering a little traffic your way.

I found that documenting just the wireless card installation to be a tedious and relatively thankless task, so I have great respect for you and the amount of effort that must have gone into your document. I’m going to post this message on my site and hopefully send some more over to you. I know I found your advice to be invaluable.

Regards,

Greg R. Perry

If you had read between the lines in some of my posts, you would have seen the message “I’m a huge dummy for not reading this through completely and following its advice from the very beginning.” I installed Fedora at least four times while trying to get the card working, and a lot of the mysterious errors that I saw along the way – things that had nothing to do with the wireless card itself – could have been avoided, so I would highly recommend going over there and checking it out. I can’t imagine how much time Mauriat spent fiddling around with his system, making mistakes and having to reinstall again, and pausing after every tweak to take notes on what he did and what the results were, in order to obtain the knowledge that he presents. It’s a way more complete and practical guide than what RedHat hands you.

Myself, I feel like I’ve carved out a little niche for myself with my own work and writing about it, but it only makes me marvel more at the hardcore howto-writers like Mauriat. In a way, it’s an even tougher job than the dedicated people who write the open source software. Maybe I actually could code my way out of a wet paper bag, but one thing I’ve always hated is documenting how I did it, and figuring out how somebody else did it is even worse. My contribution to making Linux more accessible to the world is pretty puny, but every little acknowledgment is such a huge thrill to me – the comments on my own posts, the links from other sources, and the Google ranking – these things may seem small, but they so make up for those hours of frustration, the noticing that it’s 3:00 am and having to get up for work in just a couple of hours, and the time lost writing when I could have been playing with the fruits of my labor.

So do us all a favor and drop a note every now and again when you find useful information on someone’s website. Even more importantly, let us know when we steer you wrong – I know I go back and fix any error that I’m aware of. I take pride in what I do, and pride is the only payment I get. But this post isn’t supposed to be about me – it’s about Mauriat. Go there, use it, and drop him a note.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, OS at 21:23 PST

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Saturday, December 24th, 2005

The HWP54G/FC4 Saga – One Last Thing

I wrote that I had additional problems installing the Hawking HWP54G Wireless-G PCI card after a clean Fedora Core 4 install that were not covered in my detailed description of how I got the wireless card working. I promised a write-up, and it’s time to wrap things up.

If you’re an experienced Linux user, what I found and how I fixed it is going to seem elementary, but I’ve focused on explaining this stuff to new users like me. Basically, even though I followed the first part of Mauriat Miranda’s guide to FC4 installation and package selection, I didn’t read the entire document, and therefore didn’t get down to the end where it says “Fedora no longer ships with the kernel-source RPM. You must install it separately.” So when I tried to make the driver, I got this:

[greg@localhost module]$ make
make: *** /lib/modules/2.6.11-1.1369_FC4/build: No such file or directory. Stop .
rt2500.ko failed to build!
make: *** [module] Error 1
[greg@localhost module]$

I was scratching my head, trying to figure out how I could have possibly installed FC4 without the capability of running the make command, but as it turns out,

If you need to install a driver (Nvidia, ndiswrapper, Cisco VPN, etc.) that requires kernel sources [emphasis mine], it may be sufficient to install just the kernel headers package (kernel-devel RPM). This can be found on CD4, the DVD or online. If you have updated your kernel (using yum or up2date), then use yum to install the package (‘yum install kernel-devel’). Make sure to match your current kernel version (read below for the ‘uname’ command).

Once again, stymied because I hadn’t read the instructions in their entirety. Actually, I didn’t solve my problem by reading this document – I’m just finding it now as I check my sources for the write-up. I solved the problem by popping in the FC4 DVD, logging in as root, and typing:

[root@localhost /]# rpm kernel-devel-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.i686.rpm

After I installed this package, I logged back in as me, went to the /Module directory, and tried make again. Here’s my output:

[greg@localhost ~]$ cd /etc/rt2500/module
[greg@localhost module]$ make
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.11-1.1369_FC4-i686'
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_main.o
/etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_main.c: In function ‘rt2500_resume’:
/etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_main.c:844: warning: ignoring return value of ‘pci_enabl e_device’, declared with attribute warn_unused_result
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/mlme.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/connect.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/sync.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/assoc.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/auth.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/auth_rsp.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_data.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_init.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/sanity.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_wep.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/wpa.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/md5.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_tkip.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rtmp_info.o
CC [M] /etc/rt2500/module/eeprom.o
LD [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rt2500.o
Building modules, stage 2.
MODPOST
CC /etc/rt2500/module/rt2500.mod.o
LD [M] /etc/rt2500/module/rt2500.ko
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.11-1.1369_FC4-i686'
[greg@localhost module]$

You might notice that I changed the directory name from “Module” to “module” – I hate hitting the SHIFT key in the command line! May as well show you what happened next, when I make install-fedora:

[greg@localhost module]$ su -
Password:
[root@localhost ~]# cd /etc/rt2500/module
[root@localhost module]# make install-fedora
if ! [ -f rt2500.ko ]; then \
module; \
fi
install 'rt2500.ko' to /lib/modules/2.6.11-1.1369_FC4/extra
install -m 755 -o 0 -g 0 -d /lib/modules/2.6.11-1.1369_FC4/extra
install -m 644 -o 0 -g 0 rt2500.ko /lib/modules/2.6.11-1.1369_FC4/extra
/sbin/depmod -a
append 'alias wlan0 rt2500' to /etc/modprobe.conf
[root@localhost module]#

And that’s it! You can go back to my detailed description for my tips on using the system-config-network utility. Note that if you’re not using Fedora, you may also need to build the configuration utility that comes with the drivers. Also, if you upgrade your kernel later on, you will have to make and make install-fedora again, so make sure you include the new kernel-devel package.

Well, I feel like I’ve described in explicit detail how I got my wireless card working in Fedora Core 4. I really need to go and finish the job in SuSE 10 as well, but tweaking my FC4 is keeping me pretty busy, and the closer I get everything to the way I want it, the less incentive I have to do it all over again in SuSE. But if I want to write a real howto, I need the experience. Still, right now there’s lots of other things to do that I found in the installation guide, so I’m off to do those!

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 03:49 PST

3 Comments »

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

HWP54G FC4 Linux Install Success!

How I got my Hawking HWP54G Wireless-G PCI card working with Fedora Core 4 Linux, and links to drivers, instructions, a chipset forum and a Fedora forum, so that you can do it too. The drivers and chipset forum should help even if you are using a different version of Linux.

Ok, so I just recently announced that I would be using the above blurb as an intro to any post covering this topic, but I might not be needing it much longer, because I got it working! I’m going to try and cover in this post the important points that I learned along the way.

First off, my Hawking HWP54G Wireless-G PCI network interface card uses the Ralink RT2500 chipset. (All the links in my opening blurb are for the RT2500.) The chipset, not the manufacturer or model of your card, is the important factor in finding and installing the right drivers for your NIC with Linux. I’ve seen reports that this model card may use the Prism54 or TI acx111 chipsets. If you don’t know your card’s chipset, try the following:

If it turns out you have the Prism54 chipset, go to the Prism54 Project for Linux drivers. For the acx111, I found an excellent howto at House of Craig, and drivers are at the ACX100 SourceForge Project.

On to my experience with the RT2500. Right away I should say that the rt2x00 drivers are NOT compatible with the smp kernel. Now, I’m a Linux noob, so I found the Unofficial Fedora FAQ a great place to get help on the basics. I also made a significant mistake when I installed Fedora Core 4 – I didn’t include the Kernel Sources and the Development Tools packages. I couldn’t even make the driver. There’s a forum string that covers this topic at the rt2x00 project, but take my word for it – it’s easier to reinstall Fedora than to try loading the missing rpm’s and building the symbolic links required. I found a good guide to FC4 installation and package selection by Mauriat Miranda that I’m going to use to start over myself (more later.)

All right. We’ve made sure we have all the packages installed with Fedora that we need, and we’ve downloaded and uncompressed the rt2500 driver. Go to the /Module directory and open up Readme with a text editor. If you’re working in command line, then “gedit readme“. Ignore everything and go down to the end where it says “INFORMATION FOR FEDORA CORE 3 USERS (USE AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!)”. It says FC3, but it works with FC4 as well. With Fedora, we’re not going to build the configuration utility (so you don’t need qt or qmake) and we’re most definitely not going to put in the configuration file RT2500STA.dat – doing so can mess everything up. There. I just saved you a bunch of time and headaches, so feel free to buy me a beer. As for other distros, you’re going to have to follow the readme. If you need qt, let me save you some time hunting around the Trolltech site and give you the link to the qt open source edition download, because they do their best to hide it.

To summarize my linked sources, in a terminal window:

I left out all the fancy $ and # prompt stuff that confused me before. If you get an error during the make or make install-fedora, well I’m sorry, but it’s off to the forums with you. I’ve already given instructions on how to avoid all the stuff that tripped me up, and avoiding is way better than troubleshooting.

Now we use the system-config-network utility, which you find by going to Desktop > System Settings > Network, or typing “system-config-network” as root. If your make and make install-fedora worked, you should see an entry for wlan0 that includes “Ralink rt2500” in the description on the Hardware tab. Double-click on the wlan0 line to open up the properties for that device.

Fedora system-config-network utility

Here is where you enter in all the details for connecting to your wireless network. You need to know your ESSID, the channel you use, whether you use DHCP or your ip address and your access point and dns server ip’s if you don’t; your WEP key if you use it (I do) and your WPA info (which I don’t know anything about because not all of my NICs are WPA capable yet- but I’m working on it.) If you don’t know this basic information about your wireless network, you need to learn all about it, because chances are you’re not taking the steps you need to secure your wireless network from interlopers and eavesdroppers. If you know what I’m talking about, just don’t have the details, then use Windows or your router configuration to get the information. And be sure – here’s what tripped me up until this morning – to put “0x” in front of your WEP key to identify the string as hexadecimal.

That last one had me really stumped. I was not only using the Fedora system-config-network tool, I went to the commandline and used iwconfig to manually enter the parameters and ifconfig to try to get the device “up” (both of which require you to be logged on as root to use.) I did notice than whenever I tried to activate the device using the GUI tool, iwconfig reported that the WEP key had been changed, and that the changed key was always the same, and it didn’t have any letters in it, but I didn’t put two and two together. I also noticed that iwconfig reported my access point’s MAC address correctly and a signal strength, so I figured I was talking to my WAP (I keep a cheat sheet next to my computer of all my network MACs, ip addresses and other goodies.) After I got it all straight, I activated the wlan0 device, opened Firefox, typed in the ip of my access point, and presto! I was in the configuration menu, and I was online!

At this point, I have to give a shout out to Mark Wallace (serialmonkey) and Ivo van Doorn (IvD) of the rt2x00 SourceForge project and to bitrain at fedoraforum.org for their most useful information, especially Mark, with whom I corresponded, and who gave me encouragement.

If you found this information useful, please add a comment to this post; and if you know something else – information or a good link that I can add, contact me. I’ll make up a more complete howto later.

P.S. I think I made such a mess of my FC4 installation that I’m going to reinstall it and start over. The thing that is pushing me to this is that I tried updating over the internet and it froze during the rpm install. At least it will give me an oppurtunity to follow my own advice, and possibly spot any errors!

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, Networking, OS at 05:47 PST

7 Comments »

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Giving Help with Linux

How I got my Hawking HWP54G PCI wireless card working with Linux, and links to drivers, instructions and forums so that you can do it too.

If you came here through a search engine link, you should try my updated post for more details and tons of links.

(This, I guess, is going to be my standard intro whenever I discuss this topic.)

On the lighter side, yesterday I was contacted directly by someone who was trying to get his Hawking HWP54G PCI wireless card working with Linux, in this case Slackware 10.1. It’s the first time anyone other than a friend has asked me for advice about Linux, and I feel like I’ve now been inducted into the Linux community at large. It’s especially interesting that this user contacted me from Italia. With David’s permission, I have posted the entire email exchange.

I’m assuming David found me through a search engine. Like I’ve said before, search engine hits involving some permutation of “linux” “hawking” “hwp54g” and distro names are the biggest source of traffic to my website. (Well, except for a couple of weeks earlier this month, when my post on mpip.org made my Cancer Survivor post the number one entry point outside of feeds and bot crawls.) I checked my logs and in the last two days I got two redirects from google.it using the terms “driver fedora ralink” and eleven from google.com that included “hwp54g”. So I ran the google.it search myself and saw that I was ranked number 9 out of 9,260 hits, and on google.com I’m 16th out of 11,900 for “hwp54g” and 6 out of 554 for “hwp54g linux”. Pretty cool! It’s amazing how much higher I appear in the Google search results since my site went from a RageRank of 2 to a 3, something I didn’t discover until a friend looked for my blog and told me that I was the number one result for “greg perry san diego”, out of 1,790,000! That was November 1st, and I hadn’t bothered to check my PageRank for three months. I’ve been meaning to crow about this since then, which shows how busy I’ve been.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, My Website, Networking, OS at 21:15 PST

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