[This episode brought to you by the Wacky Linux Wireless Card, sponsored by Palmetto]

In our last episode,

I managed to get my Wacky Laptop to recognize my new wireless card (see

above). Unfortunately, I couldn’t gain access to the public wireless

network here in the office. I suspected that some sort of security

countermeasure was in place, but I also couldn’t rule out some sort of

configuration problem. The card could detect all the wireless networks

around, but couldn’t get throughput. To isolate the variable, I snuck

the laptop home and tried to log on to my totally unsecure (lecture me

later) personal wireless network.

Well, turns out both issues were true. I hadn’t configured the wireless

card correctly, and there is still some kind of countermeasure in place

here at the office. I know this because I got the card properly

configured at home. Here’s what I had to do:

  1. In the GNOME desktop, navigate to System | Administration | Windows Wireless Drivers
  2. In the Wireless Network Drivers dialogue box, click on Configure Network
  3. In the Network Settings dialogue, select the Connections tab,
    then highlight the Wireless Connection entry, then click on Properties
  4. In the Interface Properties dialogue, check the Enable This

    Connection checkbox, then select the appropriate wireless network from

    the Network Name (ESSID) dropdown. If the OK button is still grayed out

    after you’ve selected a network, select DHCP from the Configuration

    dropdown, rather than Static IP. Then click OK.

  5. In the Network Settings dialogue box, highlight the Wireless Connection entry, then click the Activate button. Now select ath0 (the wireless card) from the Default Gateway Device dropdown. Then click OK.
  6. In the Wireless Network Drivers dialogue box, click Close
  7. In the upper screen taskbar of the GNOME desktop, right-click on
    the Network icon (the two inset monitors), then select Properties
  8. In the Connection Properties dialogue, select ath0 from the Connection Name drop down, then click Close
  9. Open a Web browser and check your connection.

Any time you change your network circumstances, you need to reset

your network configurations and set the default network gateway device.

Fortunately, under System | Administration | Networking, you can set up

location-based profiles. I have one for the office and one for home.

I’ll talk to the local Netadmin and find out what’s keeping me locked

out of the local wireless network. I suspect it’s a WEP key.

Keep up with the Trivia Geek’s ongoing Wacky Linux Adventures with the wackylinux tag. If it doesn’t say wackylinux, it’s not really a wacky Linux adventure.