Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Using a PCMCIA Wifi Card On Your Laptop - Closed-source Chipsets

I've got my WPC54GS Linksys wifi card, which uses a closed-source chipset (Broadcom), working with Slackware 10.2 installed on a Dell Inspiron 8500. I've posted the process to get this working before at slackwiki.org.

I've scripted this process. You can grab the script from here. Edit it as you see fit. Many people actually use the tools that come with Slackware (the wireless configs in /etc/rc.d, I believe). I script my own, as I've many different wifi cards that I often swap out for different needs.

Anyways, give it a shot.

My next task is getting WPA working with the card (wpa_supplicant, I believe).

Ever Wonder How to Use A Mouse & Touchpad in X?

I remember, awhile back, I got a USB mouse and touchpad working in X on my first laptop (using Suse). Many people still ask this question in ##slackware.

All you do is ensure you have the following within your xorg.conf file:

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "X.org Configured"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Mouse1" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"


Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "auto"
Option "Device" "/dev/mouse"

Section "InputDevice"
Driver "mouse"
Identifier "Mouse1"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Name" "Autodetection"
Option "Protocol" "imps/2"
Option "Vendor" "Logitech"

You'll notice that the bold print is the print that you have to add to your pre-existing configuration.

The whole file is here.

Give it a whirl...and good luck!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Recently Acquired a Dell Precision 220, Installed ZenWalk 3.0 on it

Yes, I got a Dell Precision 220 from work that they were going to throw in the trash (along with a Dell 17" CRT monitor). It lacked RAM and a hard disk. I scrounged up some RAM and this was a difficult task, as the system requires RAMBUS. I found 128MB between two chips of RAMBUS, which isn't a lot but it gets the system working. The system also supports SMP but only has one processor at the moment, a PIII Coppermine 650MHz CPU. It is peppy enough with ZenWalk.

Why ZenWalk? Because I've Slackware running on three systems already and wanted to try ZenWalk, which is a derivative of Slackware. It does well.

The system currently has three NICs, which is why I will eventually place it on firewall duty.

I'm trying to score two 1GHz CPUs (the max this system will take), although they'll have to be PIII Coppermines and also be matched. I found one such matching set locally on Craigslist, but have yet to coordinate a meet/buy. I may even put them into my Dell Precision 410 instead, and swap out the 410's 450MHz CPUs to the Precision 220.

I'll keep you informed on how ZenWalk is, as the days go by.