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siva siva is offline
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Default dell mini 9 wireless drops !!! - 09-01-2009, 04:21 PM

hi
i have a problem with dell mini 9 in all the three operating systems .(xp,ubuntu,osx)

the wireless drops off after connecting for 4 or 5 minutes when i start the laptop.
i have been experiencing this problem in all the 3 operating systems.
Anybody experiencing the same problem?


pls help!!
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 04:41 PM

Is it just when connected to your own router at home?


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siva siva is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 04:45 PM

i havent tried it in any other place but it happened in all three OS's

The wifi connects and drops off roughly after 5 minutes
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safemode safemode is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 04:59 PM

If it happens in all 3 os's. It's not a driver issue. you could have a defective card. You could have a crap router. You could have someone else using the same channel causing interference. You could have someone who habitually turns their microwave on between you and your router every 5 minutes.

More info is needed.
Take your mini to one of any number of places offering free wifi. (mcdonalds, wendys, barnes and noble, borders, malls, starbucks, air ports, neighbors houses). Verify that it happens or doesn't happen there. That's your first step.


mini 9 : Debian Unstable : 2GB ram : Atheros wifi
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siva siva is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 05:20 PM

could you recommend a good wireless card which works perfectly right with osx?

my problem is exactly similar to what this guy had but couldnt find an exact solution to this problem from the forum.

check this: Mini 9 w/ OSX, new prob: Wi Fi dies after 2-10 min

thanks for the replies.
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safemode safemode is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 07:14 PM

that thread simply implies that your card is malfunctioning, and you'll need to replace it. Without your further testing as suggested above, that's all anyone is going to be able to tell you.


mini 9 : Debian Unstable : 2GB ram : Atheros wifi
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anguish anguish is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 07:31 PM

It's very possible it's not the card. Cordless phone interference is great for causing wireless connectivity drops. I've gone through multiple routers at home, changed channels on multiple occasions, still got the drops. Turns out it was a neighbors cordless (I live in a condo complex) that was doing it. Same with my in-laws. When my wife and I had our son, we stayed there for a couple of weeks, and I brought a wireless router with us since they didn't have one. Took me a few days to figure it out, but I was having issues with the wireless dropping. Didn't notice it right away, but it only happened when the cordless phone was in use. Changed channels, but it didn't seem to help.

I would definitely check by connecting to a free wifi hotspot and using it there. Also try moving yours somewhere else, maybe changing the channels.

The problem with wireless is that there's a lot that can cause interference.


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siva siva is offline
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Default 09-01-2009, 07:35 PM

sure will test and notify
thanks
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jpic jpic is offline
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Default 09-02-2009, 07:59 AM

Finally i find a place to rant about the wireless card, and ubuntu poor business and ethical practices.

As a GNU/Linux professionnal enthusiast, i was really expecting to buy a GNU/Linux powered laptop with hardware that runs on free software (drivers). I don't want anything i can't compile myself for security reasons. And i had to sacrify part of my laptop security to have wifi working without an external card, just because Dell, Ubuntu and the wireless card vendor are incompetent and ignorant.

It turns out that the driver (wl.ko) is not only supplied without sources, but also only poorly documented by the vendors.

The driver totally sucks, i have to reload it to change hotspot and half the times this doesn't even work.

How come Ubuntu GNU/Linux did such a concession? Working with non-free hardware?
Ubuntu distro is either a complete failure, either a brillant copy of Windows. The kernel is totally bloated with non-free drivers.

[end Rant against crappy wl.ko, Ubuntu and Dell]
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safemode safemode is offline
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Default 09-02-2009, 01:14 PM

as a professional enthusiast, I would have thought you would be well aware that _everything_ broadcom puts out is proprietary. So it should have been no surprise that their wifi card shipped with the mini was also going to be using a binary blob/firmware method to interface with the kernel.

Intel does the same thing. So i hope you aren't looking into buying an intel mini pcie card.

There is an open source broadcom driver bc4 or something like that. They're working on supporting the card that comes with the mini's but as far as i know, it's not working yet.

Ubuntu is in the business of making an easy to use distro. They will have non-free software included to make that possible. This includes nvidia's closed source drivers, broadcom's, intel's and anyone else (software too like macromedia's flash plugin). That's what ubuntu is. As a professional, you probably should have already been aware that ubuntu is not Debian for that reason. If you want free, you use Debian. If you dont care if it's free, you just want everything to work out of the box, that's why Ubuntu was created and tailors to.

Now, like any good distro kernel, they're going to be bloated with drivers you dont need, nor want. Options will be set to cover the widest range of hardware, not the particular subset you have. Obviously, with ubuntu, like any distro, you have the choice of simply compiling your own after installation. I highly recommend going that route if you know what you're doing.

My suggestion for the wifi is to pick up an atheros mini-pcie card that comes from other netbooks like the aspire 1 or such and use the ath5k driver. It works, it's firmware/binary blob free and you should have no problem at all with it. it may get a bit hot if you're straining it (weak signal to your ap, weak being < 40%) though.


Dell chose to go this route rather than the more dogmatic Debian (which is the best, the best there is or was or ever will be) because Debian requires a certain amount of effort from their users. While that's fine for some, the majority of Dell's customers probably would just look like a deer in headlights if they had to deal with an OS that by default didn't support all their hardware because of licensing conflicts. Ubuntu is a perfect linux fit for Dell. Why dell chose to go with a broadcom card instead of an intel or much better and completely open source supported atheros card is probably a money thing. They probably had some deal to get the cards really cheap out of the other choices. Plus, the broadcom card is probably a lower power card compared to atheros. You have to remember, most people aren't concerned with licensing terms, so that was likely never a factor in the decision making process of what hardware to use to best appeal to their customers.


mini 9 : Debian Unstable : 2GB ram : Atheros wifi
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