June 17, 2005

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Wireless wonders

I struggled with installing the DWL-650 wireless LAN card on my Microsoft Windows XP partition for half an hour before I gave up and booted to Linux. I suppose that if the operating system hadn't been in Japanese, I might've had a shot. What do you expect from Sony recovery CDs for a unit primarily for the Japanese market?

On the other hand, Linux was a breeze with Ubuntu Linux, a slick Debian-based distribution backed by Canonical. My copy came from Jerome Gotangco, Ubuntu documentation guy for the Philippines.

Setting up wireless was just a matter of plugging my DWL-650 in. D-Link really screwed up with that card by using the same model number for cards using completely different chipsets, but Ubuntu automatically found and loaded the module I needed.

Because we don't want the next-door Internet cafe to sponge off our wireless access, we protect our router with a simple MAC address filter list. I couldn't figure out where to find my MAC address in the graphical network configuration tool, but a quick whiz through dmesg turned up the magic numbers I needed to add to my router's filters. After I plugged that into the router's web-based configuration tool, set the ESSID in Ubuntu's friendly network admin interface, and activated the device, I was off and running.

Great stuff, huh? Now if I can just get it to work under stock Debian...

コンピューターは、たちえ緩慢にせよ大きな変化を引き起こした。 Computers caused a great if gradual change.

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