Friday, June 9, 2006


Yesterday went and did a bit of shopping.

Been looking for a PCI based 802.11 wireless network card for a while, since I don't like the 20 foot cable run across the floor of my living room. Ended up buying a ZyXEL G-302 based on an RTL8185 chipset. I chose this card because it had the Linux penguin on the front of the box, making it the only card available that actually claims to support Linux (many other cards do work, however all the others work because of reverse engineering and are not supported by the Vendor).

Got the card working in about half an hour on Suse 10, which is not so good. There was no GUI for configuring the ESSID or AP address. I had to manually edit a config file, which I'm not sure I did properly, and the network init script shows a few errors because it is calling unsupported sysctls against the card. In all fairness though, I'm using the driver that came with Suse 10 and not the driver that came with the card, so perhaps the driver on the CD would have worked better. However, after looking at the driver it appears that ZyXEL just bundled the existing open source driver with an install script. This is a good thing in that it's not like they are introducing some binary driver without the source, but it would be nice if the documentation was better.

Kudos to Realtek as well, who according to the author of the open source driver, contributed specifications necessary to get the RTL8185 working properly. Many hardware vendors wouldn't be so helpful.

Also went to the Apple store. It's a neat building on 5th Avenue. As usual, there is about ten times as much floorspace as would be required to sell their seven or eight products. But it's very upscale -- when you walk in, they put your umbrella into a convenient plastic bag before you walk down the stairs. It's amazing how busy the place was.

Here's a link to more photos

Today Vikki and I are going to the New York Aquarium. Should be fun. Planning on going to Jersey tomorrow to visit the family.