Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm on my way!

No, no, not on my way up north to Malacca. That'll have to wait another 4 days. What I mean is that I am now typing this entry on my Notebook PC which is connected wirelessly to my Linksys router. No, that's not remarkable. What is remarkable is that I am running on Knoppix 4.0 'Live' O/S. As any Linux newbie will tell you, it is not easy to get your wireless running on Linux, if only because the wireless drivers are mostly written for Windows O/S. There just aren't that many native Linux drivers for wireless cards.

Which reminds me, more than 10 years ago, I had already started to tinker with Linux, so I am not such a newbie after all. Then the Linux distribution wasn't so prolific as today. Redhat was reputedly the best for a newbie then, so I bought a thick Redhat book, rolled up my sleeves and tried to install Linux. That was an ambitious undertaking. To cut a long story short, I did get Redhat working, but was annoyed that the soundcard did not work. I read up a bit more and found that this was a general problem with Linux on x86/88 PCs. Silence wasn't my cup of tea, so I left Linux alone (yeah, I abandoned it) and went back to Windows.

Sorry for the digression, nostalgia has an effect on the thought process...Now, while the sound problem has largely been addressed, its the wireless that has taken the place of sound as the notoriously difficult thing to get working...until Linux Format (LXF74) explained to me in a short column to use ndiswrapper. That column started me off and after a couple of hours experimenting (spread over several days), I've done it! The wireless is working, and that's why I am on my way to techno heaven!

P.S. Well, actually, there's a lot written about this subject on related Linux forums on the Internet. That helped too, but the article in Linux Format was clear and simple. Can't get any better than that.