Ok, a bit of backstory for you:
- I’m currently living at home, being on summer holidays and all, and as such have my computer set up in my bedroom.
- My bedroom is upstairs, my cable modem (and Smoothwall router attached thereto) downstairs. This causes something of a dilemma, as my drilling holes in the house could potentially cause some consternation to my parents.
- Conveniently enough, some clever chaps have developed cards which use some clever magic to let me connect up a network without any of these nasty wires cluttering up the place.
- In light of this, I got hold of a wireless card and an access point and, after a bit of work, managed to get a connection into my Windows box which was more or less reliable (barring the odd occasion when Windows would disconnect me from my WPA-encrypted network and say “Hey, I’ve found some of your neighbours’ networks for you to connect to!” like it expects a fucking prize).
So, that’s most of the backstory. I’ve managed to get encrypted wireless access in the comfort of my own home (although my neighbours, it would seem, are rather less conscientious. All is well.
And then I boot into Linux.
I will admit it – I can be horribly naïve at times. I have this habit of forgetting how incredibly frustrating it can be to use Linux from time to time. This turns out to be one of those times. The main reason for this, however, is not actually the fault of the guys developing the various Linux distributions, but the fault of the people who make and sell wireless cards. These people, in a wonderful attack of benevolence, have produced drivers which work with the myriad versions of Windows.
“What’s that you say? You want drivers which work with Linux? Which version of Windows is that?”
So, no drivers. This is a pain. There are some people, however, who have produced a rather useful application which wraps around Windows drivers and allows them to be used under Linux. It isn’t an ideal solution, but it’s much better than nothing.
Unfortunately, however, I want to use WPA as well. This requires the installation of another piece of software called wpa_supplicant. I need to set up the configuration file, compile it, install it, and hope it works.
Which it doesn’t. This is all with Fedora failing to boot up half the time.
After many hours of frustration, I decide to forget the whole affair and go back to using Windows. I’ve decided I really like wires.