Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Arrgh, where's the wireless +<( Ah here it is (^__^)

When we bought a machine for my son I had the XP-Media Center installed rather than Vista Home. Having read a little about how Vista is designed and some of the implications of this, it was a bit of a no brainer, since it cost no more to have a less crippled operating system with more capability. However there may be a time when the Windows XP is no longer in support and this machine will still be viable hardware. Hence making it Dual Boot seemed like a good idea, both my son and I can get used to a Linux OS before making any commitment to jump.

As I said the install went smoothly. Whilst installing Ubuntu I was politely informed that there was no network connection so software updates would have to be carried out later. This was no real surprise though, since although it was a new machine it was an old Belkin wireless card, which was pretty marginal in Windows.

After browsing the Internet for a bit, it seems the advice is to go for a standard card from a big name vendor such as Linksys, D-Link or such. I had a hunt for a card on-line, and strangely enough the prices of wireless network cards in eBay are only slightly lower than buying new from a reputable on-line dealer.

Well if I was going to buy new, I decided to make sure the card I was buying was supported by the major Linux distributions. After a short search I came upon thelinuxemporium who sell both software and hardware, along with Linux supported PCI, PCMCIA and USB wireless adaptors. I went for the Comtrend RT2500 54 Mbps Wireless PCMCIA card, which it says "works 'out-of-the-box' in Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty and 7.10 Gutsy" and only costs £10. If I bought the more expensive Edimax card which they offer at £19.45, and is tested against more versions of Linux, I would be entitled to free support too. At that price I bought one for the little old Celeron box too.

I'm still waiting with anticipation for the wireless cards, but its only been two days.

p. s. It seems that I didn't press the final button on the transaction, all fixed now I'm told the wireless cards should arive on Friday.

1 comment:

Phoenix said...

Interesting little blog you've got here. Turned up as one of the top searches when I was looking for an rt2500 wifi card for my old laptop :) I'd have to say the best part about Linux is I'm currently using a PII 300MHz Toughbook with a 6GB hard drive and 192MB RAM, while Ubuntu is a bit too heavy for a machine that old a nice minimal debian install with everything I need installed from the repos is running great. A bit slow on OpenOffice, but AbiWord works great, and with claws + dillo for my mail and browsing I'm running at a good speed on hardware most Windows users would see as trash.