wireless help!

Nigel Ridley nigel at rmk.co.il
Mon May 5 16:08:16 BST 2008

Billie Walsh wrote:
> D. R. Evans wrote:
>> 2008/5/4 Jason Straight <jason at jeetkunedomaster.net>:
>>> On Sunday 04 May 2008 12:02:15 D. R. Evans wrote (Reply at bottom):
>>>> I've messed with kwifimanager (GUI) and iwconfig (CLI) until I'm blue
>>>  > in the face. Of course it worked first time with Vista :-(
>>>  What type of wifi card? 'lspci' should show you the details of the
>>>  manufacturer/chipset.
>> It's a realtek chip accessed through ndiswraspper (I started a thread
>> about that and which contains details on 27 March).
>>>  iwconfig doesn't really do anything with WPA, for that you need WPA
>>>  supplicant, it's not a lot of fun to do the first time but that's why there's
>>>  kwifimanager, which configures and runs wpa_supplicant for you.
>>>  I'm not sure why kwifimanager didn't work, but that would be the route you'd
>>>  want to take. It may be the key you're using, I had problems once with I
>>>  think AES with WPA2, going back to WPA1 worked fine. Although that's not the
>>>  cure you really want it might be the one that gets you up and running with
>>>  the least fuss for now, and it will also verify that WPA1 works and WPA2 is
>>>  the problem.
>> What happens in kwifimanager is that when I type in the key in the
>> "Configure Encryption" dialogue, it just says "unrecognised". It
>> doesn't seem to matter what 8 characters I type, it always says the
>> same thing.
>> I've tried using wpa_gui, but it doesn't seem to do anything useful at
>> all. It just sits there. Even the Contents and Index of the Help menu
>> are greyed out, while the console fills with messages that say "PING
>> failed - trying to reconnect".
>> There is an "Add Network" command in the File menu of wpa_gui that
>> seems to be the place where one can add the encryption information,
>> but it asks for all kinds of stuff that I don't know. The access box I
>> have simply gives me an 8-character access key. I deduced from Windows
>> that it the system is using WPA2, but I have no way to know if that's
>> true, and I certainly can't change it at all (anent your suggestion of
>> using WPA1; if it were up to me, I'd turn off crypto entirely, it's
>> just too much hassle on this laptop when running gutsy). All the box
>> has on it is:
>>   1. The SSID
>>   2. The eight-ASCII-character "Network Key"
>> That seems to be enough for Windows to work out what to do to access the network
>>   Doc
> I'm not trying to hijack the thread, just add my $0.02 worth to the 
> discussion.
> I have an Atheros chip PCMCIA wireless card for my laptop. When I can 
> manage to get it to connect it works fine. My problem seems to be more a 
> software problem than a hardware problem.
> About a month ago I was waiting for my wife at the doctors office. I 
> went out to the van to enjoy one of those GREAT spring days. While I was 
> out there I set up the laptop played a little solitaire. It was booted 
> into XP because we had been working. All of a sudden my little 
> anti-virus program popped up and announced that the database had been 
> updated. It seems the computer had found an open wifi connection and 
> connected all on it's own. [ It would have been nice if it had asked 
> but................ ] A Radio Shack that had gone out of business about 
> a block away had gone away and left their wifi on.
> In every Windows wireless manager there is a way to choose which 
> wireless connection around you to connect to and a "Connect" button. So 
> far in every Linux wireless management program I have tried there is NO 
> "Connect" button. IMHO, this is a monumental oversight in the 
> programming. I can set up any number of possible connections and set the 
> priority in which to connect but what about those times when need to use 
> a connection just once. Like in a hotel on a trip. OR, a truck stop 
> while I'm eating lunch on a trip. The possibility that I will need a 
> permanent setting for that is NILL! It's most likely a one time thing.
> It seems to me that Linux programmers go out of their way to make it 
> more difficult than necessary to use wireless services.
> Make it so that "we" can select a connection, click on "Connect" and 
> type in the key. There is really no need to have to set up permanent 
> settings for all those places we won't use everyday. In most cases those 
> locations will use settings that are minimal to make it easier to 
> connect. "We" shouldn't have to configure a complete network just to 
> connect.
> For places, like home or work, a permanent setting should just work, but 
> when those connections aren't available..............................

I use KNetworkmanager and it never used to work properly (the icon on the taskbar was a 
grey something-or-other and it always said "No Device Active - or something similar, even 
though my home wireless connection was working just fine!). One day, from a terminal I did:
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan
and is if by magic, the KNetworkmanager icon turned to a 'blue 4 column bar graph' and now 
automatically detects available networks. Just a right click on the icon, then click on 
the available connection that I want to use and 'Bob's your Uncle'!




OliveRoot Ministries


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