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Wireless Networking

Journal ebbomega's Journal: Now transmitting using Recycled Airborne Electrons

They told me it was buggy. They told me it was inconvenient. Damn were they right.

But I got it going. I now am using Wireless LAN on my Linuxbox.

My hacking skills have been getting rusty as of lately, basically because my main computer (and as such the one I've been able to screw around with) has been out of commission. I've been stuck on dialup networking and a vehement disregard to the concept of wiring up the house with ethernet on the part of the owners of this house. So my hacking has taken a severe turn for the worse.

  BUT ALAS! It's over now! Due to my relocation to my parents' basement, I've since been without decent internet in my room. However, with a little help from ndiswrapper and a lot of tinkering and asking the right questions (You'd be surprised how just doing that can solve your problems) I managed to get it working.

What I'd like to do now is just go over the Stupid Mistakes (tm) I made in the process here, in hopes that someone else may learn from them.

Stupid Mistake #1: Trying to install it on debian woody.

Just don't bother. Not worth it.

I originally wanted this to work on my router, but I soon put an end to all that tomfoolery. After attempt #3 at getting anything to want to talk to each other, I gave up... mostly because I found an RPM for fedora core, to which I said to myself... "Wait... my main box runs Fedora Core...." (Oh yeah, I've become a Red Hat user since I last spoke of computers... apt-rpm is very much so indeed my friend).

So last night I began the venture of installing it onto fedora core. However, I couldn't find the goddamn driver I needed (ndiswrapper requires you to get the win32 driver). So, me being the smart guy, I hopped on the net and downloaded it from Linksys' Website.

Everything worked fine except.... couldn't find the network. Now, through experience of running my Dad's laptop and getting _that_ set up on the wlan (_really_ easy) I knew that it wasn't on the router's side or even on the router's configuration side as I knew, for a fact, that there are TWO accessible unencrypted access points in this neighborhood. But neither was being picked up.

So I looked and googled and tried different combinations of words, asked all the linux gurus I could find and they all didn't know what was up.... So finally I join up and post a question to the ndiswrapper mailing list.

8 hours later, still no response, starting to get ansy, and I give up to a point. But then I find the actual cd that came with the nic, and I think to myself.... "I wonder...."

Stupid Mistake #2: Just use the drivers you're given.

MD5sum the two drivers, they're completely different. So I try again with the driver on the CD.... THIS time everything works happy. I can connect to the network and even ping my access point! Wunderbar!

So I ifconfig wlan0 up.

Still no network. No ipaddress. Nothing.

# dhclient wlan0

So, this is a bit better. I can get an ip address, but as soon as I disconnect and pull down eth0, I get no network. Can't access the internet at all. Can, interestingly enough, ping my access point still.

Stupid Mistake #3: Make sure you take it step by step and isolate the problem before jumping to the conclusion that it doesn't work. And don't go so long next time without exercising your l33t netw0rking skillz.

Finally I clue in that I should dhclient my wlan0 interface when eth0 is _NOT_ up and connected, and maybe it'll actually set my router as my gateway.

All is well now, as you can see. I'm talking to you from no connection to the internet save the air. Beautious thing. Once I get this downstairs and lodged into its new home, I'm going to have to adjust a bootscript or two though so I can get this thing nice and happily automated.

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