The Inverse: Wireless drivers available for Linux, but not Windows
Kristian Erik Hermansen
kristian.hermansen at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 00:30:26 BST 2007
So, I helped my 11-year old brother build his first computer system.
Of course it is running Linux. And to make it tough on him, it is
running 64-bits. However, the Linksys WMP54G PCI wifi card that we
installed worked out-of-the-box, without any configuration. It was
great! No effort at all on our part.
Now enter Windows Vista x64. When we purchased the wireless card, it
had a sticker on it that said "Vista Compatible". Now, we weren't
really that interested if this was the case or not, but we had Vista
lying around, and decided to give it a test. Now, anyone who has run
Vista already knows that it is a slow piece of junk. That is because
it saves a snapshot copy of every single file that you have modified
on your system -- a real dream for forensics analysts.
But that is not the reason for this discussion. Now, when we booted
up Vista, we were told to insert the device's driver CD. This is a
new feature in Vista, and would have been great. The only problem is
that Linksys only provides a 32-bit driver on the CD they distributed.
Now worries I though, I will just grab the latest 64-bit drivers from
their website. A few minutes of searching turned up nothing for the
64-bit version of Windows Vista.
So finally, I had to make the call. I hate doing it, but I had to
pick up the phone and speak with "technical support". I dread that
term, because it is rarely technical, and almost certainly
frustrating. After going through the normal routine of gaining the
tech guy's respect that I am not an old granny who just got this wifi
thing for Christmas from her grandson, the guy leveled-up and said
something I wasn't expecting. I told him about the Vista-compatible
sticker on the box. He admitted that he was "very sorry" that, at the
moment, they currently had no 64-bit Windows drivers. So, I asked him
if they had an ETA or even some alpha/beta drivers, but he was not
aware of any (that's a bad sign). After all that, though, I figured I
would just ask him to tell me which card I could purchase, so that I
know which one to exchange it for. The response was even worse...
"None of our Linksys wireless products support 64-bit versions of Windows"
Surely this guy is just uninformed within technical support, and there
is a driver out there for x64!?!!?
Then I turned up this thread...
So, all of those who claim Windows has "better driver support" can
shut up now :-)
Kristian Erik Hermansen
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