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Jonathan Mergy

Get Airport Extreme and WPA on an old TiBook or PowerBook

Dynex Wireless G Notebook card

We have an old TiBook 800 that was sitting around after I moved the network from WEP to WPA encryption. The Airport card built-in the old Titanium Powerbook did not support WPA or higher encryption. So, I went looking on the net and found a lot of old information on cards that would work with OSX but most of those PC cards were no longer available and all the posts across the net were pretty old.

So, I went down to Besy Buy and got a couple to try hoping I would find one with a Broadcom chipset. Good news is that I did find one and OSX sees it natively as Airport Extreme. The card is a Dynex Wireless G Notebook card. It was $60 or so. The TiBook is running Tiger and is a great laptop outside of the networking limitation because of the orginal Airport card. I plugged in the card to the PowerBook and went the network control panel and it recognized it as a new Airport connection. I rebooted and it took over as the Airport Card.

More information on it @ http://www.dynexproducts.com

It is a great solution to give the older PowerBook a new life.

Ubuntu Wifi Management With WICD

Ubuntu Logo

Wifi

After running Ubuntu for quite a while now, most of the system is great and extremely functional. The real mess is with the lack of wireless management tools to handle multiple wireless networks. That is, until I have been working with WICD. WICD is the best manager I have used at it is great at storing keys, etc. This is really a must have for a desktop/laptop WIFI user. Installing it requires you remove the built-in ‘Network Manager’ that Gnome/Ubuntu installs, but you want to – trust me. It also handles toggling wired ethernet as well.

You should check it out -> wicd.sourceforge.net

wicd screenshot

Ubuntu Gutsy and IBm ThinkPad T42 Xorg Configuration

Ubuntu Logo

Thinkpad T42

Getting Ubuntu Gutsy running on an IBM ThinkPad T42 is easy, but the X Server can be a pain. Here is my config.

# xorg.conf (xorg X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type “man xorg.conf” at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section “Files”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Generic Keyboard”
Driver “kbd”
Option “CoreKeyboard”
Option “XkbRules” “xorg”
Option “XkbModel” “pc105”
Option “XkbLayout” “us”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Configured Mouse”
Driver “mouse”
Option “CorePointer”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/mice”
Option “Protocol” “ImPS/2”
Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”
Option “Emulate3Buttons” “true”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier “Synaptics Touchpad”
Driver “synaptics”
Option “SendCoreEvents” “true”
Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option “Protocol” “auto-dev”
Option “HorizEdgeScroll” “0”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “stylus”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “stylus”
Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4″# Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “eraser”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “eraser”
Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4″# Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Driver “wacom”
Identifier “cursor”
Option “Device” “/dev/input/wacom”
Option “Type” “cursor”
Option “ForceDevice” “ISDV4″# Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection

Section “Device”
Identifier “ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]”
Boardname “ati”
Busid “PCI:1:0:0”
Driver “ati”
Screen 0
Option “MergedFB” “off”
EndSection

Section “Monitor”
Identifier “Thinkpad T42 Display”
Modelname “Custom 1”
modeline “640×480@60” 25.2 640 656 752 800 480 490 492 525 -vsync -hsync
modeline “800×600@56” 36.0 800 824 896 1024 600 601 603 625 +hsync +vsync
modeline “800×600@60” 40.0 800 840 968 1056 600 601 605 628 +hsync +vsync
modeline “1024×768@60” 65.0 1024 1048 1184 1344 768 771 777 806 -vsync -hsync
modeline “1280×960@60” 102.1 1280 1360 1496 1712 960 961 964 994 -hsync +vsync
modeline “1280×1024@60” 108.0 1280 1328 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync
modeline “1400×1050@60” 122.61 1400 1488 1640 1880 1050 1051 1054 1087 -hsync +vsync
Gamma 1.0
EndSection

Section “Screen”
Identifier “Default Screen”
Device “ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]”
Monitor “Thinkpad T42 Display”
Defaultdepth 24
SubSection “Display”
Depth 24
Virtual 1400 1050
Modes “1400×1050@60” “1280×1024@60” “1280×960@60” “1024×768@60” “800×600@60” “800×600@56” “640×480@60”
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier “Default Layout”
screen 0 “Default Screen” 0 0
Inputdevice “Generic Keyboard”
Inputdevice “Configured Mouse”

# Uncomment if you have a wacom tablet
# InputDevice “stylus” “SendCoreEvents”
# InputDevice “cursor” “SendCoreEvents”
# InputDevice “eraser” “SendCoreEvents”
Inputdevice “Synaptics Touchpad”
EndSection
Section “Module”
Load “v4l”
EndSection
Section “device” #
Identifier “device1”
Boardname “ati”
Busid “PCI:1:0:0”
Driver “ati”
Screen 1
Option “MergedFB” “off”
EndSection
Section “screen” #
Identifier “screen1”
Device “device1”
Defaultdepth 24
Monitor “monitor1”
EndSection
Section “monitor” #
Identifier “monitor1”
Gamma 1.0
EndSection
Section “ServerFlags”
EndSection

Great Web Browser for Palm –> Opera Mini

Opera Mini on Palm 700p

It is no iPhone/Safari, but it is much better than the tired Blazer browser that is stock on Palm-based Treos. If you have a Treo 700p, this is really a must to handle non-pda optimized content. I think with all the iPhone envy, it is getting even more play. You can do the zoomed-out view and then zoom into the specific parts of the page.

You can download here.

For Palm, you will also need IBM JVM for Palm. You can download here.

You will also need to set some settings for JVM in the IBM Java Preferences in the Palm Prefs

Set Memory Maximum: 4mb

Set Maximum Java Thread Stack Size: 32kb

I did this for the ‘Global Settings’ but you could do it just for Opera Mini but since it really is the only palm/java app I run it really was just the same.

Bonding Network Interfaces on RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL 5)

Redhat Logo

RedHat’s Knowledgebase has no info on correctly bonding network interfaces on RHEL 5. They do have some old RHEL 3 information, but things have changed a little bit and they have failed to add the changes to another knowledgebase article. Here goes the quick way to get you going.

1. Get the hardware addresses of your network cards. These are usually eth0, eth1, etc. but the addresses may surprise you but they are usually eth0, eth1, eth2, etc.
2. Once you have your network addresses, you can get going. Stay out of the GUI network configuration tool RedHat provides because it has no idea what you are trying to do yet.

In ‘/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts’ create a new file for your bonded interface – for example, bond0. The file will be named

ifcfg-bond0

and put this in the file (replace the stuff in <> with the actual addresses you want and no <>)

DEVICE=bond0
BOOTPROTO=none
ONBOOT=yes
NETWORK=<WHATEVER YOUR NETWORK ADDR IS>
NETMASK=<YOUR NETMASK>
IPADDR=<IP ADDR YOU WANT THE BOND TO SERVE UP>
USERCTL=no
GATEWAY=<THE GATEWAY ROUTER IP>
TYPE=Ethernet
IPV6INIT=no
PEERDNS=yes

3. Then create a ifcfg file for each interface you want to be a part of the bond0. I have 2 for this bond. If there are existing files there, edit them or nuke them and recreate them. They were probably created with the GUI interface network config utility in RHEL. (For example purposes, I am using eth0 and eth1 as the 2 network interfaces we want to bond with bond0)

In ‘/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts’ you want;

a file for eth0

ifcfg-eth0

DEVICE=eth0
BOOTPROTO=none
ONBOOT=yes
MASTER=bond0
SLAVE=yes
USERCTL=yes

and a file for eth1

ifcfg-eth1

DEVICE=eth1
BOOTPROTO=none
ONBOOT=yes
MASTER=bond0
SLAVE=yes
USERCTL=yes

4. Then you have to add bond0 to be a recognized interface for the kernel. You can do this in modprobe.conf. RedHat still has references to /etc/modules.conf which doesn’t exist in RedHat 5 anymore.

So, modify ‘/etc/modprobe.conf’ and add the line

alias bond0 bonding

5. Then reboot the whole server. I know, you can restart the network (/etc/init.d/network restart) or restart the interface bond0 (/sbin/ifup bond0) and leave everything up, but if you are doing this, you probably have no one hitting the server across the network anyway and it would be good to make sure the bond kicks up on startup and plays nice.

Really surprised that RedHat has yet to incorporate this into the network config utility and they make you go down this road to handle it. There are other settings with ‘miimon’, etc. but this gets you into the ballpark. More information on linux bonding here.

I added this to the /etc/modprobe.conf to help with switch timing and delays we were seeing in transfer tests.