[sf-perl] Belated follow-up (on Lenovo hardware support)

Quinn Weaver quinn at fairpath.com
Sun Oct 7 10:48:05 PDT 2007

On Sat, Oct 06, 2007 at 07:09:42AM -0700, Bill Moseley wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 05, 2007 at 06:14:51PM -0700, Quinn Weaver wrote:
> > > Uh, so what did you (or they) finally do about your wireless card?
> > 
> > I didn't feel like fighting over it, so I just started using one of the
> > many PCMCIA wifi cards I have lying around.  It's a (hold on, I have
> > to postpone this message so I can eject it...)  MSI CB54G2.  Works
> > fine under Linux.
> What wireless card did they put in?
> My Feisty install has their Atheros card which has a few problems but
> mostly works.  Something in the network manager/madwifi causes Network
> Manager to often report the card is disconnected and then re-connects,
> and I also get panics "Dazed and Confused" (unexpected NMI IIRC)
> which brings down the network until I reboot.  I've heard reports that
> those two problems go away with Gutsy.

Thanks for the tip!  I'm on Edgy, but I'm planning to move to Gutsy
when it's released.  (I guess a clean reinstall is easier than upgrading
to Feisty, then to Gutsy.  Feisty's broken upgrade process is what's
kept me from upgrading earlier.)

> 03:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. Unknown device 0024 (rev 01)
>         Subsystem: Atheros Communications, Inc. Unknown device 0033
>         Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 21
>         Memory at edf00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
>         Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2
>         Capabilities: [50] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
>         Capabilities: [60] Express Legacy Endpoint IRQ 0
>         Capabilities: [90] MSI-X: Enable- Mask- TabSize=1

Where did you get this output?  From kinfocenter (the KDE hardware
browser), I get:

02:02.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)

I think that's from somewhere in /proc, but I don't know where.

Fun discursion:

I had forgotten this, but I had to flip a bit in my Thinkpad's NVRAM
(scary) to make it work with the Intel card.  This is because the
BIOS checks your mini-PCI card against a whitelist and _refuses to
boot_ if you don't have an approved card.  Sigh.  Supposedly this is
to make sure you use hardware that complies with FCC regulations.

Anyway, you can turn off the whitelist behavior by flipping this
single bit, which you do by dd'ing some magic value to /dev/nvram.  As
I said, scary--you can make your system into an unusable brick if you
get it wrong.

I was annoyed enough about this to write Lenovo a letter.  I never
got a response.

So, again, Thinkpads are probably the best thing going for
Linux... but they're not perfect.

Quinn Weaver, independent contractor  |  President, San Francisco Perl Mongers
http://fairpath.com/quinn/resume/     |  http://sf.pm.org/

More information about the SanFrancisco-pm mailing list