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Reverse Engineered 802.11b+ Drivers

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the if-you-build-it-they-will-use-it dept.

Wireless Networking 272

orv writes "When Andreas Mohr found that his new wireless networking card wasn't supported under Linux rather than returning the card and getting himself a supported one, he decided to set up a project to write his own drivers instead - http://acx100.sourceforge.net. Companies such as D-Link had initially promised to release linux drivers for these cards but later backed down from that promise and announced that Linux would not be supported and that customers should not hold on to the cards in the hope of getting them working, as shown on their current FAQ. Texas Instruments, the makers of the chipsets upon which these 802.11b+ cards are based refused to release code or specifications for the cards, no doubt for similar reasons that were recently discussed here. The fact that the current alpha release is certainly as good, and in some areas better, than the binary drivers that escaped from one of the card manufactureres speaks volumes for the quality and determination of the team to create their own drivers."

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272 comments

GNAA FP!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489516)

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| ______________________________________._a,____ |
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oh no (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489517)

on ho

GNAA early post system (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489522)

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GNAA LATE POST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489530)

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Moderator YANK this crap!! (-1, Troll)

RealRoadKill (554583) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489546)

Nuf said... -Dave

Re:Moderator YANK this crap!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489551)

shut the FUCK up you WANKER before I have Mr. Giver [hick.org] stuff his COCK up your ass and ram down your THROAT

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And yet, the UN suggests WiFi laptops??? (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489533)

Proprietary hardware - laptops. Proprietary drivers fro WiFi that lock you to Windoze. And a proprietary Intel Centrino doublespeak.

Is this what poor third-world countries yearn for? Should they leapfrog to disaster? I'm disappointed someone like Mr.Kofi Annan suggested this stuff to poor nations.

-

Re:And yet, the UN suggests WiFi laptops??? (5, Insightful)

sehryan (412731) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489669)

Do you honestly think that Mr. Kofi Annan knows the first thing about WiFi computing with laptops?

People that high up don't think logistics, they think ideas, and let the people below them work out the details. I am sure he wasn't thinking "This is my way to get in the good graces of Bill Gates!!! Third World Countries...Windows 0wnz j00!!!" More than likely it was "It would be cool for all these countries to have wireless laptops" with absolutely 0 knowledge on the details of such an idea.

Re:And yet, the UN suggests WiFi laptops??? (2, Informative)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489697)

Last I checked my Lucent chips were pretty much fully supported under Linux. It's mostly newer hardware chips that are not.

This is not surprising, as Linux hardware support always lags a little. The same experience can be had with motherboard chipsets...(this is not a flame, just current reality).

Re:And yet, the UN suggests WiFi laptops??? (0, Troll)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489759)

"Is this what poor third-world countries yearn for? Should they leapfrog to disaster?"

That's what western corporations want them to do - the third world is a vast, untapped resource to them: they have lots of nice natural resources for western companies to strip-mine or patent to hell and a big population that may forma huge market eventually.

"I'm disappointed someone like Mr.Kofi Annan suggested this stuff to poor nations."

you shouldn't be disappointed or surprised - the UN is little more than a US plaything.

DCMA Anyone? (4, Insightful)

cpn2000 (660758) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489535)

Am I the only one who's first thought was whether these noble hackers would be unfailrly targeted by the corporations using DCMA?

Re:DCMA Anyone? (2, Interesting)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489575)

No, I felt the same way. Frankly, I am amazed that anyone has the chutzpah to do this sort of thing, much less open a public Web site about it. I'm still amazed at the very existence of mplayerhq.hu-- in Hungary as it is. I'm stunned that the **AA fascists haven't sent a few thugs over to Hungary to work "justice", just like they did with Dmitry Sklyarov (spelling?)...

Re:DCMA Anyone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489724)

Skylarov came to the US. No one went to Russia to extradite him. And it wasn't the RIAA or MPAA. And your regexp is wrong, or at least very odd.

Can't happen (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489605)

The hackers can't be prosecuted under the DCMA, in the United States or anywhere else.

They might have to worry about the DMCA though, because thats an actual law with the correct acronym and everything.

Re:Can't happen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489710)

Yeah, mod me down for providing correct information in the hope that someone might learn and correct an obvious error. I am the master troll, koo koo kachoo.

Re:DCMA Anyone? (3, Informative)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489683)

It'll probably happen, some stupid chip makers don't like details of registers in their products leaking out. They somehow think a competitor knowing the interface to one of their chips will help the competitor.

Re:DCMA Anyone? (4, Interesting)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489766)

The DMCA only covers reverse engineering as it pertains to copyright circumvention.

In any case there is a specific clause in the DMCA that allows for reverse engineering for the purpose of interoperability.

Re:DCMA Anyone? (5, Informative)

radon28 (593565) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489806)

The DMCA isn't just a blanket law covering all instances of reverse engineering, regardless of the context. The DMCA covers reverse engineering in cases where it is being used for copyright circumvention, which driver hackers aren't trying to do. MOST Linux drivers have to be written this way. Don't get me wrong, the DMCA is still a pile of hot garbage. I just hate it when people are scared to do ANYTHING that might be useful because of the DMCA.

Good For Them (5, Interesting)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489539)

It is good to see a direct verifiable example of Open Source development with a higher standard of Quality Assurance than the corporate developers.

A psychological standard of quality on the part of the devs leads to a physical and coding standard of quality a cut above the rest.

Re:Good For Them (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489864)

It is good to see a direct verifiable example of Open Source development with a higher standard of Quality Assurance than the corporate developers.

More likely there's no commerical demand for linux drivers so the corporate developers are told not to invest time in them. Open Source developers choose where to invest their time - corporates are told where.

A psychological standard of quality on the part of the devs leads to a physical and coding standard of quality a cut above the rest.

Huh? You're saying "think quality makes quality" or something?

Wha? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489550)

For those of us who actually have sex with a living, breathing, *biped* (of the OPPOSITE sex), can you Linux people please explain what a "Reverse Engineered 802.11b+ Driver" is?

Thanks.

Re:Wha? (-1, Flamebait)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489559)

can you Linux people please explain what a "Reverse Engineered 802.11b+ Driver" is?

It's a dildo, stupid.

Re:Wha? (2, Informative)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489592)

Some vendors (Promise D-Link 520+ etc.) are using their own 802.11b standard (WiFi) called 802.11b++ but they doesn't provide Linux drivers. Since this card should have 22 Mbit/s insted of standard 11 Mbit/s ppl want to use it in routers etc. but there are no Linux drivers. So some hackers (not crackers!) looked how does Windows drivers (or any other) control and use (when I call this card does this) this card and tries to implement it in Linux.

Re:Wha? (1)

RealRoadKill (554583) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489562)

A Rocket Scientist takes the binary code for say the Windows driver... and being a Rocket Scientist that can understand binary, reconstructs code, then makes that code run under Linux.... very simple if you are of Rocket Scientist caliber... -Dave

Re:Wha? (3, Informative)

beezly (197427) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489586)

Well, it's one way of doing reverse engineering.

More generally, reverse engineering is (stolen from FOLDOC)...

The process of analysing an existing system to identify its
components and their interrelationships and create
representations of the system in another form or at a higher
level of abstraction. Reverse engineering is usually
undertaken in order to redesign the system for better
maintainability or to produce a copy of a system without
access to the design from which it was originally produced.

For example, one might take the {executable} code of a
computer program, run it to study how it behaved with
different input and then attempt to write a program oneself
which behaved identially (or better). An {integrated circuit}
might also be reverse engineered by an unscrupulous company
wishing to make unlicensed copies of a popular chip.

Re:Wha? (-1)

I POOP ON FAILURES! (685242) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489604)

SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU WANKER LIKE I ASKED YOU TO

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

MODERATORS, YANK THIS CRAP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489608)

MODERATORS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489667)

MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO SHOUTING LUNATICS!

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Re:Wha? (0, Funny)

beezly (197427) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489568)

Err, sorry, I think you got lost on your way to Internet Kindergarten.

Google is your friend. Try the following search terms.

"Reverse Engineering"
"802.11b"
"Device Driver"

Type and learn.

Re:Wha? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489606)

For those of us who actually have sex with a living, breathing, *biped* (of the OPPOSITE sex), can you Linux people please explain what a "Google" is?

Thanks.

Google (3, Funny)

beezly (197427) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489610)

I'm terribly sorry, I forgot to give you the link to Google... it's.

http://www.google.com/

Now, you make sure you put the slashes in the right way ok?

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489620)

That is not a link, that is a URI. If you had taken the URI and enclosed it in the correct HTML markup, it would be a link. But you didn't, and it isn't.

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489628)

I don't see a blue underline to go clicky-clicky on with my hard drive.

Re:Wha? (2, Funny)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489637)

For those of us who actually have sex with a living, breathing, *biped* (of the OPPOSITE sex)

Biped does not imply human. Care to qualify that?

gotta ask [OT] (-1, Offtopic)

radoni (267396) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489726)

...so is tux a biped? does that count?

Re:gotta ask [OT] (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489933)

Penguins, emus and ostriches should be considered bipeds.. shure they have wings.. but have you seen an elefant fly? oh sorry, D*sney will sue me now, I'm so dumb,oh!

Don't buy unsupported hardware (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489553)

I don't want to put the heroic work of these folks into a bad light, but from an evolutionary perspective, wouldn't it be better to avoid buying hardware if the vendor refuses to support Linux?

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (2, Insightful)

darkov (261309) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489629)

Maybe, but this way you're getting source instead of binary drivers and avoid dodgy support from companies who's priorities lay elsewhere.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489636)

That would imply that people understand how markets work. But instead, they all want free rides and living wages so they can slack for free.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (2, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489642)

On the other hand, from an evolutionary perspective, it would be nice if users didn't have to repurchase half of their hardware if they decide to use linux.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489652)

A free market is not a fixed set of producers with a bunch of passive consumers who either take it or leave it. If a certain product does almost everything a person wants and he has the expertise to fill in the gaps himself, then by all means he should do so. Just like the X-Box hacks or 3rd party Lexmark printer cartridge refills. Sure, some vendors may be supporting Linux already, but it's always nice to have more choices in case one of them changes their mind. Competition is good.

Now if the card makers start using legal or technological measures to stop these open source efforts, then scream and boycott them.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (5, Informative)

DaveHowe (51510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489655)

The problem is - some of the unsupported cards using this chipset used to use a different (eg Orinoco or Prism) chipset and have not updated the name of the card so that you think you are buying a supported card (as listed in many howtos) but in fact are getting a newer model with no available linux driver.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489795)

[uh oh, we did make it to /. after all... ;)]

Yep, that's a very bad thing indeed.

So bad that we decided to dedicate a major part of the README file to it:

::::::

--- AND FINALLY... ---

Let me mention that we REALLY dislike the way very stupid hardware vendors
name their cards containing DIFFERENT chipsets!!

One of these vendors is SpeedStream/Siemens: a card that uses the same
name "SS1021" is available in both Orinoco chip and ACX100 chip versions.

Another one is D-Link: they have "DWL-650" and "DWL-650+".
"DWL-650+" is simply an improved version of the "DWL-650", right?
WRONG!
The standard versions use Prism2.5, whereas the "+" versions use ACX100
chipset. Good luck in finding a (correct) driver!!
And it's even WORSE: I just found out that there is some newer
version of the "DWL-650" out that also contains the ACX100
(it uses the same hardware as the "+" versions).
This BRAINDEAD STUPIDITY in device naming easily entitles D-Link
for the "Most Braindead Hardware Vendor 2003" award. And of course
they were also talking about developing another Linux driver for some time,
without any results (although I guess that's because they wanted to
develop it, but were not allowed to, unfortunately, so it's understandable).

IF you dare to release cards with a different incompatible chipset
that doesn't even have proper driver support for a popular alternative OS,
then AT LEAST change the card name in order to let people know and discern
which hardware to avoid like the plague, for heaven's sake!
This is such a [CENSORED], I could [OUCH, CENSORED!]...

::::::

It's one thing to decide to not release Linux drivers and/or specs for a popular chipset (and frankly, we sort of have to respect such a decision, even though it hurts a lot), but it's an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT (and much worse!) thing to release cards with DIFFERENT chipsets using the SAME card name as older, well-supported chipsets.
That's a capital crime which should by punished by revoking any and all hardware development rights and/or licenses of the relevant company ;)
(heck, or maybe I should have removed that smiley after all, since it IS a very infuriating action after all ;)

But I think I should stop now since I already wrote most of that in the README file paragraph pasted above ;)

Anyway, let me also mention that I'm glad how well the development process of our driver is coming along. We are fixing many bugs (and implementing many improvements!) on a daily basis, and the team work is definitely great!

Also, we had several users donate money and/or hardware (access points!) to the main developers,
which is very astonishing to me, but that's not to say that I don't like that :)
In fact the access point that has been donated to me arrived today :))

Finally, let's hope that we might even attract proper driver and spec support by Texas Instruments, by showing that a really good driver IS possible.
(admittedly we're still "a bit" far off from a perfect driver, but we're definitely working on it :)

That's it. Have fun using our driver! :)

Andreas Mohr

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (2, Interesting)

tommten (212387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489865)

Darn, and I bought a dcf 650w for my handheld three days ago.. don't think I can return it citing bad product naming.. anyway.. it doesn't seem to work with pocket warrior.. better sell it on ebay :p

If nobody bought "unsupported" hardware... (5, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489690)

...and wrote drivers for it, we wouldn't have much of a Linux today, now would we?

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (2)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489706)

Easier said then done:

- Recently purchased a Radeon 9700, on account that drivers for linux were listed on vendors webpage.
- Two weeks later my order is there, I go to the website, no show...
- I log in to slashdot to find out my vendor is dropping its references to, and aid of (if there ever was such a thing) to third party driver developers...

Im inclined to ship the card back, but it really is nice for UR2 and upcoming HL2 in the Other OS, so I didnt.. (im weak)

hugs /Dread

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489929)

If you had waiting all of 24 hours rather than getting wrapped up in the Slashdot screaming groupthink masses, you'd find that the delisting of the Linux drivers from the ATI website was a mistake. ATI put them back up the next day.

Note that ATI never supplied their own closed binary drivers nor officially supported the development of OSS drivers, but did provide specs and even patches to XFree developers. Even if ATI did drop the links to the (Unnoficial remember) drivers on their website, the drivers would still be in development and your shiney new Radeon would still be supported.

Slashdot: Join Us, Be Us, Think Like Us, Scream With Us.

Make it supported hardware - by whatever means (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489723)

That's certainly one way of doing it. The other is the above: to do it for them as a wake-up call - if they see the basic work done, chances are they will maintain (or advise on maintenance of) their future card's Linux drivers themselves.

I prefer this way, as the more code that is GPLed, the better IMHO.

J.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (4, Insightful)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489754)

A lot of people I know who use linux, still dual boot with windows mainly for games and work/school networks. Connection with the latter is posibile in many cases, but not as easy as booting into windows and following simple directions.

In these cases people would buy stuff that worked for windows without checking if it worked for linux. By the time they know that linux wouldn't be supported, especially if they were mislead by the manufacturer for such support, the hardware in question was already in their hands.

These hardware components probably were past their return time and they are stuck with them. Rather than go out and buy new ones that have solid linux support, this guy writes his own and shares it so that others in his situation wouldn't have another "windows app" keeping them from linux.

If more people like this worked on hardware that had no solid linux drivers (whose numbers are dwindling steadily), linux becomes that much more of a "plug and play" system where everything "just works". Kudos to them.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489856)

While I would agree with "don't buy unsupported hardware", I want to point out that once someone with the necessary skills writes quality drivers for unsupported hardware, it no longer is unsupported.

The very reason that I can pop a SuSE 8.1 boot CD into any machine and it autodetects and supports just about everything is because of the great work of many people who have built the hardware support.

So yes, if you don't plan to write a driver, don't buy unsupported hardware.

At the same time I want to encourage and say thanks to anyone who builds drivers to support more hardware. The amount of hardware support is one of the things Linux will need in order to seriously penetrate mainstream computing. I'd like to give the driver developers a, well, I'll just limit it to a pat on the back and a handshake.

Re:Don't buy unsupported hardware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489924)

If I was the CEO of insertcompanynamehere, I would immediately cease internal development of linux drivers. Why should I keep someone on salary for something that can be done for free?

The best part is that I can charge Linux users the same as the Windows users, and I don't have to write any drivers for them. Instant $hareholder value and I don't have to mess with that crappy GPL or whatever my Linux techies ramble on about....

And also... (-1, Troll)

xtermz (234073) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489560)

....the slashdot editorial team's ability to produce a massive run-on sentence speaks volumes to their journalistic integrity...

So what actually works? (2, Informative)

kotj.mf (645325) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489564)

This'll probably be at least tangentally addressed later, but what chipsets actually work in Linux? Understand I don't know nuthin about WiFi, other than some vague idea that I should get an Orinco-based card.

Only reason I'm asking is that the salesdrone at OfficeDepot didn't know what the integrated wireless on the Averatec [averatec.com] 3150P was based on yesterday, and I'm not keen on paying an extra hundred bucks for the feature if it won't work in my OS of choice. Then again, I could save myself the dough and get the model w/o the integrated 802.11b, but still...

US government "shafting working Americans" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489565)

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10595 [theinquirer.net]

US government "shafting working Americans"

CAFTA bill could lose jobs at home

By INQUIRER staff: Monday 21 July 2003, 11:51

A REPORT FROM ginger group ZaZona claims that a practically unnoticed agreement that will endorse free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile is the thin end of what could turn into an "Armageddon" for US workers.
According to the newsletter ZaZona distributes, the CAFTA agreements currently under discussion in Congress, with Chile and Singapore, mean that a "W" visa will allow nearly 7,000 people from these countries to work in the US indefinitely.

But, Zazonaeditor Rob Sanchez claims, in addition to the 5,400 visas Singapore will get under the deal, it will be able to send "unlimited" numbers of workers to the US.

The free trade agreement means that US employers no longer have to prove that jobs cannot be performed by an American citizen.

According to ZaZona, George W. Bush says on his web site that Singapore is working on free trade agreements with Japan, Canada, Australia, Mexico and India.

The editor of the newsletter claims that means Singapore will act like a virtual black hole, and its "immense gravity will pull people into a wormhole that ends at the United States".

He adds: "Bush is celebrating 'Christmas in July' by giving a huge present to his inner circle of power brokers and CEOs while shafting working Americans".

Sanchez told the INQUIRER that the whole problem is not being fairly discussed in the United States press.

He says that Dianne Feinstein, the doyenne of the sound bite, has hit out against the proposed free trade agreements on her web site, but, unusually, she's getting little press on the matter.

He added: "It appears that US politicians have decided not to discuss these two FTAs in public. They don't want the public to find out until it is approved. One day the American public will wake up and realize they have been hoodwinked - but they won't be able to change it".

Why the backpedaling now? (4, Interesting)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489569)

It seems that several manufacturers that were warming up to the Linux community have now reversed positions. Does anyone have contacts within companies like Dlink, Linksys or Netgear that can tell us why? Will Intel continue to shoot us a bird with the centrino too?

It would be easier to understand if the companies had been a-holes all along. I hate to see the change as it is effecting the buying patterns I had become comfortable with.

Re:Why the backpedaling now? (2, Insightful)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489661)

Probably since they fear that they have little actual technology different from their competitors, and the code to the drivers is the only thing that makes them any different.

That ant Linksys, et al are likely violating the GPL in their proprietary systems, and are afraid of getting called out on it if they released the source.

Really, from another perspective, Open source can kibosh their business plans too: Tell me, how hard is it these days to build a tiny embedded router using linux(free), a low-end pentium($10), two cheap nics(2x$7), and a 8mb compact flash($3-ebay) w/ IDE card reader($20).

Re:Why the backpedaling now? (4, Interesting)

femto (459605) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489709)

Also, the hardware of most WLAN cards is able to act as both a client and an access point. Having full specs means anyone can turn any WLAN card into an access point. People will then stop buying overpriced access points.

Re:Why the backpedaling now? (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489875)

$60 is overpriced for an Access Point/Cable Router/Switch? The other solution proposed is goign to cost at least as much and probably be more power hungary.

Re:Why the backpedaling now? (1)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489760)

I think the business model is safe. Most people are happy to pay for a ready to use product as it saves them time and hassle as well as reducing the risk that things won't work.

Most computer users don't know what a nic is (myself included). Buying a wireless card, plugging it in and installing the drivers succesfully will result in a sense of achievement.

Think of your car - how many folks change their own plugs and adjust their points vs getting them done by the expert mechanic?

Re:Why the backpedaling now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489881)

You'd want to talk to TI not DLink. In fact it seems the DLink page has already acquired a link to the sourceforge project.

Just because it's OSS, doesn't mean it's QA. (-1, Offtopic)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489581)

The open source development model allows tremendous flexibility, allowing members of a development team to be dropped or added at a moment's notice. With the source readily available and GPLed, one can become familiar with a project's code and CC before applying to be given access to the CVS or equivalent repository. Gradual accretion may produce code in a style not unlike that of James A. A. Joyce's Ulysses manuscripts, but, like James A. A. Joyce, all of the core developers can easily jump from point to point in the code and comprehend the necessary sections and the C/PHP/Python/Java equivalent of their allusions. Unfortunately, as a result of this decentralised development system, commercial QA, support and RHQ are not as readily available. I'm a middle manager and my company has had a double-sided experience with the MySQL AB organization. They produce a fine product which is perfect for a medium sized corporation such as the one I work for (which shall remain nameless). MySQL worked very well for us, but unfortunately at one point we started receiving segmentation faults when there were more than 30 connections or if a query was greater than 2,048 characters in length. We have reported these bugs to MySQL AB but they have not yet fixed them in their latest gamma/production release. However, they have been very polite and are always willing to cooperate with us; even if small portions of the code are not yet fixable and have escaped the relatively poor QA of the EOD, their TOS have always been reasonable and our MD has always been able to CWT regarding the slight problems and BS our way around them.

Re:Just because it's OSS, doesn't mean it's QA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489602)

Re:Just because it's OSS, doesn't mean it's QA. (-1, Flamebait)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489618)

Not quite [slashdot.org]! It's not that easy to think up material! You have to quickly bash it out in the first 30 or 40 comments to get noticed, and it's really quite hard. I've already had to do that twice today, so I think I deserve a bit of a break! :-)

Posted AC to avoid another unjustified karma hit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489717)

In what respect is the parent comment Flamebait? My only intention was to explain my motive for reposting some old material.

Linux Development Process (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489588)

1. Discover your hardware is not supported by Linux
2. Write your own driver
3. ????
4. Still never get laid

Re:Linux Development Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489707)

4. Still never get laid

Sounds like a great deal to me. Is your every waking thought about procreating and starting a family? I'd rather not have to deal with the maintenance of kids, but if that's your thing you go right ahead. Go ahead and spawn every girl on your block. Live the life of poverty.

Re:Linux Development Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489750)

Is your every waking thought about procreating

Welcome to Slashdot. You must be new here.

Re:Linux Development Process (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489765)

You fag.

Re:Linux Development Process (3, Funny)

blancolioni (147353) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489800)

4. Still never get laid

I have to wonder if the annoyingly repetitive "not getting laid" jokes are made by people who themselves never get laid, and are hoping against hope that everybody else is in the same situation.

And what does this meta-not-getting-laid comment say about me? Maybe that I can't talk about it.

Re:Linux Development Process (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489939)

5. Find high-maintenance SO.
6. Get laid regularly.
7. Never again have time to work on the driver.

Official support (5, Interesting)

danormsby (529805) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489619)

I can see why a company will not want to provide multi-OS support officially, as if Linux changed they don't want the liability of having to support the changes. But, if someone in that company was already half written a driver, even if it is buggy as hell, surely they should give this away to the user community as a starting point rather than forcing people to reverse engineer their own solutions.

Taking advantage (5, Insightful)

orv (398342) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489687)

This is particularly galling when you read about manufactureres who are actually reaping the benfits of open source development in their own products link [theregister.co.uk] but then refuse to support linux using customers.

Re:Official support (and microsoft) (1)

McFly777 (23881) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489916)

Of course, it's not like microsoft ever changes it's APIs.

I have run into plenty of hardware (and software) that doesn't work correctly in a newer version of windows. It wouldn't be much harder for a company to say "compatible with: ... Linux (2.4.19-2.4.24)." One would know that it would work within those kernals, and it might work with others, but no promises.

Hell yeah ... (4, Insightful)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489623)

Seems wireless cards are just about as bastardized as the soundcards of yesterday. I remember when you either had a Sound Blaster audio card or you didn't have sound. There were maybe at best 7 well supported cards. Sound in the 2.0.x kernel series was horrible.

So what happened OSS (free and not free) and ALSA happened. Bunch of people go together and said "To hell with the manufacturers not helping us, we'll make it work anyways". It was with this pressure that companies like "Aureal" (who about 3 months after releasing their first linux driver went under) to release drivers. Now you see sound support almost everywhere with linux and it's uncommom to not have sound. Another example of course would be "winmodems", modems actually designed to only run in windows running just fine in linux. It's always just a matter of time.

The community is strong, but you'll see real grassroots efforts take shape especially when developers are told "no". Wireless AP/Routers are in the sub $60 range and you can get a wireless card for around $20, it's now not just a rich kid toy, but a common mans networking solution. Expect more things to come of wireless support and expect that companies will take notice. Too bad it's not that easy to just start writing kernel mods for hardware support. There's a reason only a select few hack the kernel (it's really not easy), and well if you ever run into a developer, thank them, they put a whole lot of work into something and don't always get the credit they deserve.

Re:Hell yeah ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489671)

Since you mentioned aureal, now there is even an open source alsa driver in the works for the vortex soundcards (savannah.nongnu.org/projects/openvortex)

And they are doing the same thing, reverse engineering the old binary driver because there isn't much hope of getting the specs (aureal not existing anymore and all..)

Re:Hell yeah ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489696)

Well they seem to be doing better than the original effort to reverse engineer the binary Linux drivers. It looks to me though that it is actually based on the work done by FreeBSD to support the Vortex chipsets, but maybe I'm just cynical. Either way, Vortex soundcards are good quality and worth it if you can get one (And it is supported)

Note that although Aureal went under, Creative bought their IPR..Creative appear to be reluctent to release any sort of register level documentation though.

Stop Gap (1)

Gryftir (161058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489625)

I haven't purchased a Wi-Fi card. Wi-Fi is a great idea, but frankly to me it is only a stop gap measure. What I am waiting for, and will probably continue to wait for, is software driven radio [gnu.org]. It's all well and good to have linux support for existing technology, but frankly I'd like something to come out on linux or a BSD that has to have windows drivers created, rather then vica-versa, something so bold, inventive, and paradigm shifting that it can't be ignored. To me, the GNU radio project looks like a good candidate.

It should be ready.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489662)

about the time that the HURD is ready.

Another alpha-quality product from the religous nuts at the FSF.

They have already pleased the cult leader by calling it GNURadio though, so for the mindless drones and lemmings of RMS, it is perfect.

Software driven radio hmm., I think not (2, Interesting)

Sigurd_Fafnersbane (674740) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489808)

Software driven radio. While this sound cool you are getting nowhere without some hardware that will transform analog signals (In cellular with a dynamic range of more than 100 dB (1e10)) to digital. While it might be possible to build such an A/D converter it will use much to much current unless you use some trickery in getting rid of the dynamic range before sampling.

This transformation is what the hardware in modern radios do. This hardware is what is not covered in the gnu project.

What is covered in the gnu project is digital modulator and demodulator at baseband. While this is very nice it is not revolutionary.

How was it done? (4, Interesting)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489658)

It doesnt say on the pages how he reverse engineered it.
It would be nice to have a system which emulates a whole machine (ala vmware but open) and then open some ports from the emolation to the real hardware. This way Windows assumes its running on a real machine but you have full snooping on the interface with the hardware.
It wouldnt take too long to write a simple x86 emulator for KMD [freshmeat.net]. And a nice tool to decide what areas whould be feed straight through to the real hardware would make it much easier to make drivers for other win only devices. It would also be useful to test the linux drivers but you can allready run linux in user mode.

from what I gather... (5, Informative)

orv (398342) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489879)

Basically most work was done by disassembling a linux binary module for the chipset that leaked from one of the manufacturers.
Additionally the behaviour of the card and correct initialisation process was determined by analysing the ARM disassembly of the firmware and watching the traffic that goes between the access point board and its embedded PCcard.

L'homme n'a eu aucune alternative. (-1, Offtopic)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489664)

C'est une conséquence normale des sociétés molles de nouveau promettant tout mais ne fournissant rien. Diable est-ce qu'elles comptent si elles réclament qu'elles vont mettent en évidence des modules de gestion de périphérique et puis rien? Ces personnes sont presque aussi mauvaises que des fabricants de winmodem. Pourquoi le matériel a-t-il besoin même de conducteurs? Quel est le problème avec de bons vieux appels mode d'ioctl()?

Je calme en bas d'un peu maintenant. Mais toujours, pourquoi ces compagnies ne produisent-elles pas des modules de gestion de périphérique pour des systèmes d'UNIX? Elles pensant qu'il n'est pas économiquement viable, mais elles sont aller juste perdre le part de marché et sembler mauvaises, en particulier car elles retournent sur ce qui est efficacement un accord avec une grande communauté. Il est senseless et n'atteint aucun objectif. Naturellement un intrus de grain avec d'la certaine heure disponible sur leurs mains va écrire un conducteur pour lui!

Babelfish translation of parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489684)

It is a normal consequence of the soft companies again promising all but not providing anything. Do devil they count if they claim that they go highlight modules of management of peripheral and then nothing? These people are almost as bad as manufacturers of winmodem. Why the material does it need even drivers? Which is the problem with good old men calls mode of ioctl()? I calm in bottom of a little now. But always, why these companies produce don't modules of management of peripheral for systems of UNIX? They thinking that it is not economically viable, but they are to go right to lose leaves it market and to seem bad, in particular because they turn over on what is effectively an agreement with a great community. It is senseless and does not achieve any goal. Naturally an intruder of grain with certain hour available on their hands will write a driver for him! Posted as AC for non-karma-whoring purposes

Re:Babelfish translation of parent (1)

p.rican (643452) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489917)

My ......head....is beginning...to hurt......Must ....not....read ..Babel..fish.. (Slumps over keyboard and expires)

Re:L'homme n'a eu aucune alternative. (2, Interesting)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489720)

Translation:

This is a consequence of new opportunist companies which promises many things but accomplish few. They promise to make some drivers and do nothing after. They are as bad as winmodem manufacturers. Why hardware should need drivers ? What's the matter with good old ioctl system calls ?

Why don't these companies develop drivers for *NIX ? They think that these systems are not viable, economically speaking, but in fact they are forgetting about a market going wider, and they went back from the promises to the community. In fact, they are probably waiting that someone with enough free time, writes driver for their own hardware

Microsoft are SHIT SCARED of Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489679)

OK This is off topic - Feel free to moderate accordingly. However you must have a look at this

http://www.unleadedonline.net/msfud [unleadedonline.net]

No it isn't a goatse.cx redirect or any form of crap, which is typical of /.

It is a CD produced my Microsoft (OK. Which could be considered 'crap') that was 'freely distributed' to people, which I took the liberty of uploading so a wider audience of people who would never run into such material, can have a look at the tactics Microsoft are using to 'combat' Linux.

I recently got my hands on a CD that was distributed at a MSDN gold partners meeting (Don't ask how I got it. I just walked in as a joke.) in my city, which was part of a small bag of typical Microsoft sales material - what was unexpected was the fact that this bag contained a CD about the tactics M$ resellers should use in order to undermine Linux.

IT IS APPALING/HALLERIOUS - You must have a look, and/or forward to other parties. We all know marketing is about lies, lies and more damn lies, but the tactics and 'facts' described (remember this CD is for 'Microsoft sales representatives' so I guess actual truth needn't exist) are ludicrous and just go to show how desperate M$ are.

Have a surf, laugh, and learn. You'll need a browser with flash 5 compatibility and a decent connection (it is all flash).

Ummm...So, they have sales training (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489913)

As much as I'd like to believe that MS are "shit scared" of GLX, this does not lend credence to that position.


So they have a marketing department? We have a cult. Oops, did I say that out loud? Sorry.


FWIW, there is no MS software on my desktop at home, and I'm proud of that. My wife runs win2k on her laptop because that's what she likes. BFD.


MS bashing (I guess you'd use cygwin to run bash under a MS OS) sure is fun, though!

What about other chipsets? (2, Interesting)

Quantum Skyline (600872) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489682)

I'm stuck with two Linksys cards, the 54g PCMCIA card and a WMP-11 rev 2.7 PCI card, that are both based on the Broadcom chipset. I'd like to help out an existing project on this, but I can't find one anywhere, and I fully expect Hell to call me to tell me to turn the heat back on before I get drivers from Broadcom or Linksys.

Anybody know of any projects out there for the Broadcom chipset?

Re:What about other chipsets? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489871)

> I'd like to help out an existing project on this, but I can't find one anywhere.

Then why are you still sitting idly, twiddling thumbs!?
Get that thing started *NOW*, dammit! ;)

That's exactly what we did (by registering our project on SourceForge) after some initial gathering by mail, and frankly spoken, the ACX100 driver project somehow managed to turn out to be successful. :)

Never fail to remember:
Open Source Software: Free as in Free Speech, not as in Free Beer.

*sigh*
All those utterly lame excuses... ;)

Andreas Mohr

Reps Smith and Inslee Request GAO Study on Offshor (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489689)

http://www.techsunite.org/news/techind/gao_study1. cfm [techsunite.org]

July 18, 2003
Reps Smith and Inslee Request GAO Study on Offshore Outsourcing
By David Beckman
WashTech News

___
'We need to know where jobs are
going to be.'

-- Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.).
__

A Washington state congressman requested a federal study yesterday that would attempt to determine to what extent the rising trend of offshore outsourcing is affecting the loss of U.S. tech jobs.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) delivered a written request late Thursday morning to General Accounting Office Comptroller General David Walker in Washington, D.C. Smith said in a news release yesterday that he wants the GAO to investigate the impact offshore outsourcing has on U.S. high-tech workers, aerospace engineers, and various levels of state and federal government workers whose jobs have been sent offshore. Fellow Washington state congressman Jay Inslee co-signed the request.

Smith said that in light of the nation's high unemployment rate, the United States needs to develop a new jobs and industrial plan and determine a focus for the "New Economy."

"We need to know where jobs are going to be," said Smith, who represents Washington's 9th District.

While government programs invest in retraining unemployed workers, it is not clear whether there will be jobs for those workers to fill, Smith said.

"Offshore outsourcing (of information technology services) has become increasingly common for U.S. organizations, generally because of the perceived cost savings and to enhance competitiveness in the global economy," Smith said.

But Smith said he is concerned that retraining and educational programs may be training people in the United States for jobs that are being sent overseas.

The recent practice of moving service and development work to countries such as India, Russia, and the Philippines has been employed ever more widely by companies such as Microsoft and Boeing in order to slash domestic labor costs. The magnitude of the effect on domestic jobs and on the U.S. economy has so far not been measured.

___
'Part of the problem with the issue is just tracking and understanding it.'

-- Stan Sorscher, research director for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)
___

"Part of the problem with the issue is just tracking and understanding it," says Stan Sorscher, research director for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA). "We're analytical people by nature. Seeing the actual data would be much more helpful in understanding the impact."

The rate of unemployment in Washington state has concerned Smith for some time, said Smith's Communication Director Katharine Lister, especially when constituents complained that offshore outsourcing is responsible for the loss of many of the state's information technology jobs.

"We've been working the GAO (request) for a couple of months now," Lister says. She says the reason Smith assumed a low profile on the issue until now is that the congressman "tends to labor under the radar screen."

Inslee assumed a somewhat higher profile. He met with representatives from SPEEA and the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, or WashTech, on June 6 in Seattle. The groups asked to meet with Inslee to discuss remarks he reportedly made while on a visit to India. Press reports said Inslee told Indian government and tech industry officials that measures before Congress or state legislatures intended to curb offshore outsourcing "would not go anywhere."

They also asked Inslee to initiate a GAO study on the effects of offshore outsourcing. Inslee said he would investigate making such a request.

Two weeks later, however, Inslee said he was unsure whether he could build support for such a study.

"I'd like to say we could do that, but I don't have a thousand investigators to be running that type of assessment," said Inslee, whose congressional district includes parts of King, Kitsap, and Snohomish counties. According to Washington state employment reports, more than 80,000 jobs have been lost in that region since 2001.

According to the GAO's congressional protocols, any member of Congress can make requests for GAO investigations. The requests are usually made in the form of a letter addressed to the GAO's comptroller general.

Frugal is as... (1, Troll)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489744)

Hey, why throw out a $50 NIC when you can get it working by simply investing thousands of dollars' worth of your own time?

Re:Frugal is as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489895)

It's foolish to ascribe monetary value to your own time.

Intel Centrino (2, Interesting)

wulffi (176311) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489751)

My Dell D800 was delivered with an Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 Mini-pci card.

I can't find a driver, so I wondered if anybody knew of efforts to write one.

Another solution would be if somebody could recommend an alternative card for my D800..

Re:Intel Centrino (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6489903)

The ACX100 mini-PCI card (the one *hidden* in the PCI card versions, that is...) works fine in my Dell Inspiron 8000, *except* for the fact that it prevents the notebook from suspending properly :-\
(it shuts off and immediately powers back up, maybe due to the #PME (power management event) PCI signal)
On other notebooks it might cause the notebook to immediately shut down after switching it on: disconnecting #PME helped here.

Hmm, wait, given this info I probably cannot recommend the ACX100 mini-PCI any more ;-)

Of course we'll try to find a solution to these issues, and we'll publish that if we manage to fix it.

Andreas Mohr

SiS 650 (1)

OoberMick (674746) | more than 10 years ago | (#6489814)

If only I could be bothered to do the same with the SiS 650 VGA card I could get DRI working... well maybe!
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