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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 »

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, September 6th, 2005

HWP54G/Ralink 2500/Fedora Progress Report

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.

Original post:
I have had a couple of oppurtunities to try and install the Hawking HWP54G Wireless PCI Desktop Network Adaptor with my Fedora Core 4. My version uses the RaLink rt2500 chipset. So far it hasn’t worked. According to what I’ve seen on the support boards at the rt2x00 SourceForge project, others have been able to install the drivers with FC4, but there have been a variety of problems encountered. I’ve managed to find descriptions of problems similar to what I’m seeing, and am trying the proscribed solutions.

I spent too much time at first trying to learn the ins and outs of yum, FC4’s software management system, because I was anticipating needing to install qt like I had to in FC3. Turns out all I needed to do was doubleclick the rpm while viewing the contents of the install DVD, and then I found that under FC4 it is recommended to use the system network configuration tools instead of the config utility that came with the drivers (which is what I needed qmake for in the first place.)

Likewise, when I was unable to even make the driver, I learned that I needed to install the kernel development rpm. I used the same technique, and I hope I picked the right kernel development package. I got two warnings, but the make went through. The RT2500 driver showed up in the network configuration, but it still doesn’t work. I am trying to tweak the settings to enable access to my WAP, but so far have not had success. I can’t tell whether the driver is failing to install or if something is keeping me from connecting.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, OS at 11:31 PST

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Monday, June 27th, 2005

Hawking HWP54G Under 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.

I have written a much better post on this subject that provides more details and tons of links. I had to finally edit this post because of the traffic I’ve been getting due to my prominent position when someone searches Google using the terms “hwp54g” and “linux”. Since I seem to keep adding details on this subject, this saved search will call up all my posts in reverse chronological order.

Here’s my original post that the search engines found:


It’s been a week since I posted – a very busy week and I got little sleep. Just got caught up.

I checked my stats page and saw a lot of hits from people looking for info on setting up the Hawking HWP54G wireless adapter under linux. If you need help, feel free to contact me at greg_at_gregrperry_dot_com. I searched my own site and only found vague references to it – I had gotten the job done just days before I started this blog, and wrote about it at SourceForge!

Here’s a reproduction of the thread (complete with typos,) which can be found here. I’m “altjira.”

By: altjira – altjira_
linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no joy
2005-04-19 18:03
Linux wannabe newbie but problems with connecting through wireless have kept me from freedom from ****ing Windoze. After a series of frustrating wireless experiences (RH9, Knoppix 3.1 – SpeedStream 1024, DLink DWL-520, Hawking HWP54G), I have been pushed to the point of (sob) asking for help.

I have a new self-built mono 3.2 GHz 800 FSB 160G hd with the Hawking. I feel insulted that the XP Pro I paid $120 for works just fine, but the FC3, SuSe 9.1, and Knoppix 3.7 fails to connect through my wireless network to the Internet. I’m trying to get everything up and running with FC3. I identified the rt2500 chip in the HWP54G, have searched your forums, downloaded 1.1.0 b2, found fstab and loaded my fat32 share partition (so I can access downloads), installed qt, made and installed the rt2500 module and RaConfig [kudos to serialmonkey and his “ifconfig ra0 up” advice ( hope you enjoyed your honeymoon)], and I am at the point where RaConfig runs, sees my AP and seems to connect, but leaves me with “www.xxx.x could not be found” when I try to run Mozilla. I thought maybe I was screwing up the 128 bit WEP encryption, but freeloading on my neighbor’s unsecured access gives me the same results.

HELP!!!!!

One thing I noticed using iwconfig is that the 128 bit key keeps changing whenever I use RaConfig, but this seems to be a side issue considering I cannot connect to the unsecured network.

Please save me from Bill Gates serfdom and tell me what to do next.

By: IvD – ivd
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-20 09:00
does the file /etc/resolv.conf
contain your IP addresses for the DNS servers…

By: altjira – altjira_
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-21 00:18
I see it but get an error message “Couldn’t display /etc/resolve.conf”, even when logged on as root. It is zero bytes in size, so it can’t contain anything.

By: IvD – ivd
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-21 02:02
Then that is your problem.
Put the following data in that file:

nameserver <ip address DNS 1></ip>
nameserver <ip address DNS 2></ip>

By: altjira – altjira_
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-21 17:14
I filled in resolve.conf but still no joy. I see darknight’s thread for installing to FC3, which is completely different than anything I ever tried, and I will attempt to follow it. First, 2 stupid questions, anyone:

1. When you download and make a module, where do you put it in the filesystem? I unzipped the tarball in my user home folder, but since I can’t tell when I need to be root or not, now I can’t even access anything as user without chown. Also, it just seems to be a dumb place to put files required for operating my hardware.

2. I have used command lines since before MSDOS existed, but there is perhaps a notational device I have noticed but don’t understand- when describing commands, there is frequenctly a “$” or “#” sign as the first character. Do you type that in or does it just indicate the required user status?

By: DarkKnight – darkknight_9
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-22 00:19
ok .. the $ and the # tell you whether you are in normal user mode or root user mode. When you open up a shell, as a normal user, you get something like:

[darkknight@darkworld ~]$

notice the “$” for a regular user. Now when I become “root”

[darkknight@darkworld ~]$ su
Password:
[root@darkworld darkknight]#

The prompt changes to “#” to reflect that you are root! So, you don’t need to type in the “$” or the “#”, it’s just there to tell you when you need root privileges to run some command.

When you unzip the archive, it just unpacks the source files. You need to run “make” to make the module. Then the “make install-fedora” (as root) will take care of installing that module in the proper place for you. Once that’s done, you can even delete the source files if you want!

But from experience, once I manage to build a module that works for a particular kernel, I backup the “rt2500.ko” and the “Makefile” so that I can restore it at a later point if need be.

Of course, when you change the kernel, you will again have to get the sources, make, make install-fedora…

By: DarkKnight – darkknight_9
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-22 00:23
An additional comment: I also noticed that it kept changing the WEP Key from time to time .. this problem was solved after I removed the file in /etc/Wireless/ and used _only_ the fedora net configuration tool (system-config-network) to setup all the parameters.

By: altjira – altjira_
RE: linux newbie / hwp54g / connected? but no
2005-04-23 14:26
Joy!

Thanks for all the help. I am logged on for the first time through my home wifi using Linux.

Darknight’s advice was very helpful, but I could not make the latest cvs. Here’s how I did it:

I used tengel’s advice on cleaning out all my mistakes: http://sourceforge.net/forum/message.php?msg_id=2963289, but noted that rt2500 info was in eth1 files and deleted those too.

I made and installed the 1.1.0-b2 beta module. Wish I had have gone down to the bottom of the readme file before and found the FC3 instructions.

I used FC’s System Setting>Network and “New” to create a wireless connection. The first time I tried, I had “rt2500” to pick from. That didn’t work, but it was because wlan0 wasn’t up. I used
# /sbin/ifconfig wlan0 up
to get it going. Then, to make sure, I deleted the wlan0 wireless device in Network Configuration and added a new wireless device as wlan0. This time I had a full description-
RaLink Ralink RT2500 802.11 Cardbus Reference Card
I then double-clicked the wlan0 device to get the Wireless Device Configuration. Under the Wireless Settings tab, I set the BSSID, the channel and the key, but it still didn’t work until I changed the Mode from Auto to Managed.

Every time I boot up I hav to go root and type
ifconfig wlan0 up
but then I can use FC’c Network tool to active the wireless network. If I tell it to activate when compute starts, it fails.

This leaves out a lot of what I went through to get the card up and running. For other people with problems, I’d highly recommend going to the rt2X00 SourceForge project site and, if necessary, contacting SerialMonkey, the project admin.

I’ve got lots more to write about when I get the time, but noticing the ralink hits made me feel obligated to get this post in.

Posted by Greg as Hardware & Drivers, OS at 16:49 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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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 25th, 2006

This Is Rich…

I got a visit from The Man. No, not company officers trying to see what I’m writing about my employer, not the Department of Homeland Security (again!), I mean THE MAN – take a look:

Visit Detail
Domain Name   info.net (Network)
IP Address   205.248.102.# (Microsoft Corp)
Host Name   tide17.microsoft.com
ISP   INFONET Services Corporation
Location  
Continent  :  North America
Country  :  United States
State  :  Washington
City  :  Redmond
Lat/Long  :  47.6788, -122.121
Distance  :  1,060 miles
Language   English (United States)
en-us
Operating System   Microsoft WinXP
Browser   Firefox
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.1) Gecko/20060111 Firefox/1.5.0.1
Javascript   version 1.5
Monitor  

Resolution  :  1600 x 1200
Color Depth  :  32 bits

Time of Visit   Mar 24 2006 4:09:53 pm
Last Page View   Mar 24 2006 4:09:53 pm
Visit Length   0 seconds
Page Views   1
Referring URL http://www.google.co…zilla:en-US:official
Search Engine google.com
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Visitor’s Time   Mar 24 2006 4:09:53 pm
Visit Number   4,192
 

I was just tickled to see someone from Microsoft coming here to look for information about installing Fedora Core 4. And what’s more – take a look at the browser my MS visitor was using – Firefox! What, Internet Explorer isn’t good enough for you guys? This really is rich…

Posted by Greg as My Website at 03:53 PST

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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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Monday, January 2nd, 2006

Little Fish in a Big Pond

Sometimes I’m still amazed that I have an impact on the Internet. It’s not a big one, granted, but it’s there. I get a solid 25 hits a day on my postings about hooking up a certain model of wireless network card under Linux, and even though hardly anyone posts a comment about it, it makes me feel good thinking that I’m helping someone switch over to Linux. Getting my various wireless cards to work after I installed Linux (I went through three before finally determining to keep trying until I succeeded) was a huge problem that kept me from using Linux for literally years. Now that I can use Linux and connect to the Internet, I keep finding myself rebooting when I sit down at my computer and see that Windows login screen. I want to use my Fedora instead. And I want to share that feeling.

What’s more, some of those hits are coming without referrals, which I can only interpret as either someone bookmarking my site, or emailing a link to someone else. Either one says I’m making a difference.

Some of my hits are from people looking up my brother’s comic strip. (I’m going to give him a boost in Google PageRank by linking to his site – even though he doesn’t link back to me.) So I’ve got the old family pride cred, too.

Speaking of family, I had a great day today up in LALALand visiting my brother, sister-in-law, nephews and parents. We were sitting around talking about my father’s impending retirement, and the consensus was that he needed to find an activity that kept him busy and happy. I mentioned that I would always have my computer and Internet tinkering, and that it was a most fulfilling hobby for me. I guess that since the subject matter had been covering activities that could also produce income, I was asked if I could make money off of blogging. I had to laugh – if I could figure out how to do that, I’d have a million opinionated schmoes beating a path to my door! But some bloggers have, particularly through Google’s AdSense, but I don’t know whether it would be enough to even cover the hosting expenses.

Which brings me around to the inspiration for this post. (Yes, there’s a good reason why I picked the title “Ramblings“.) As I said before, I got a positive response to my feedback from GamerZ, the author of the WordPress plugin UserOnline. The latest version of his download includes all the things he said he would do. He added the GPL, he removed the core WP files hack, and he gave me credit for adding bot definitions. You just can’t get more responsive than that. Isn’t the Internet and the open source community great? I use stuff written by a someone 14,000 km away, talk to him, and it gets better. Next time I’m in Singapore (which, hopefully, will be in a few months – I have job in Diego Garcia coming up, and I’ll have to pick up a C-17 at Paya Lebar), I’m going to have to look him up. Perhaps I can persuade him to give me a better tour of the place than I gave myself with a guidebook when I was last there in 1999. I love Asia, and it’s always better to see it through the eyes of locals. Especially if you’re a 195 cm white guy who can’t speak the local lingo.

Posted by Greg as Family & Friends, My Website, People, Programming at 01:37 PST

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