Getting a fair deal?

Stuart Jansen sjansen at
Wed Aug 30 13:26:45 MDT 2006

On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 14:31 -0400, Grant Shipley wrote:
> On 8/30/06, Stuart Jansen <sjansen at> wrote:
> > Wireless. Admit it, Linux wireless is a mess.
> I did have to install an rpm for my wireless card (Intel).

You were fortunate enough to find a laptop with an Intel chip. Giant
kudos to Intel for treating Linux right. Most people will have Broadcom
chips. I know that you can now get Broadcom drivers, I've used them. A
little more than a month ago, mine mysteriously stopped working and
haven't since.

Part of this is the fault of the vendors. I recommend that everyone hunt
for Intel wireless and blow Broadcom a raspberry on the way past. 

BUT, part of the problem is also with the kernel's wireless stack. (I
suspect the reason my OSS Broadcom drivers stopped working is that the
kernel API version doesn't match the Fedora wireless-utils version.)
Even the kernel developers admit the wireless stack is a mess. A few
months ago, a very nice wireless stack was apparently donated by a
company that specializes in embedded Linux wireless. Hopefully this will
lead to improvements.

> It added both of these to my keyring and knows which one to connect me
> to now when power up my laptop.  Its automagic.

I'm glad to hear that NetworkManager is working for you. My experience,
travelling across the country and connecting to a wide range of wireless
networks, is that it still needs some work. 

> > Ease of use. I recently had an external USB disk overheat while
> > transferring files. Because I've used Linux for so long, I knew to check
> > my logs to find the cause. After getting errors despite sticking the
> > drive in the freezer for a bit, I knew to run fsck. Should I have had
> > to? No. The cause of the failure should have been more obvious, and the
> > recovery should have been automatic.
> What does OS-X say in a situation like this?  Does it pop up a message saying:
> "The USB disk is overheating.  Please put it in the freezer?" :)

I would have been happy with a simple "Disk Foo experienced a fatal
error and has been taken offline." Touching the case would have told me
the rest. My more important point is that fsck should have been
automatic when the device was plugged in, kinda like the automatic fsck
at boot right now.

Stuart Jansen              e-mail/jabber: sjansen at
                           google talk:   stuart.jansen at

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at 
the results." -- Winston Churchill
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