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Re: Replacing Broadcom miniPCI with Atheros

HP's position on WiFi under Linux is to try the Linuxant wrapper and
if that doesn't work, go buy a PCMCIA card.  They seem largely clueless
as to the existence of 64-bit Linux, or the fact that the Athlon 64 is a "real"
64-bit chip.  Mind you, this is from the high-level American techs, not the
Indian newbies, and they've stopped returning my calls, likely because
they don't have the power to do anything about the problems I've
spent considerable time documenting for them.  I get the impression that
the techs really want to help but management is just not backing them up. 

Not that any of the other big OEMs would be any better, but it's scary
how much HP doesn't know. 

Their excuse as to why I can't swap in the Atheros card: incompatible
I/O range.  Yeah, right, that's why the error message explicitly says
"wireless network device"?  They don't know anything about a BIOS
whitelist and vaguely deny that it exists. 

I tried emailing Compal (who builds this notebook) and didn't get
anything useful out of them, unsurprisingly. 

Now, once you give this notebook SODIMMs that it likes (Micron PC2700
or better preferably) and just give up on getting a miniPCI wireless card
to work it's very Linux friendly, what with a nVidia graphics chip and all
(though a very obsolete one).  They've added a 1920x1200 res screen
option, something I've not seen in an AMD based notebook before. 
Fedora Core 2 Test 3 now gracefully handles the K8 Errata #93 that HP
has neglected to patch in their BIOS.  The laptop is VERY stable, I haven't
been able to overheat it like I've been able to do with previous laptops
I've owned.  But HP could *own* the Linux laptop market with a few
minor tweaks and they're too stunningly clueless to care.  It's
extremely frustrating. 

Maybe ASUS's upcoming Athlon 64 notebook will be better, if they
actually sell them on this side of the pond.  At least it's got a proper
video chip (GeForceFX 5650), and I doubt they'd put in a wireless card
whitelist in their BIOS. 

Anyone want to buy my Atheros 802.11g miniPCI card?  I'll throw in
a DVD of FC2T3 (32-bit or 64-bit or both).  

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Cox <alan redhat com>
Sent: Apr 21, 2004 12:59 PM
To: Brian Stretch <bstretch mindspring com>, 
	For testers of Fedora Core development releases <fedora-test-list redhat com>
Subject: Re: Replacing Broadcom miniPCI with Atheros

On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 12:42:27PM -0400, Brian Stretch wrote:
> I have a new HP zv5000z Athlon 64 notebook.  It came with one
> of the hated Linux-hostile Broadcom wireless cards.  I tried swapping
> in an Atheros wireless card, which fits... but the BIOS says:
> "104-Unsupported wireless network device detect"
> and I have to shut down and remove the card to get any futher.  It
> sure looks like HP is deliberately disabling non-HP wireless cards,
> given that explicit message. 

It isnt about non HP products. The mini-pci slot has the antenna
seperate from the slot. When approvals are done for wireless they have
to be done including card and antenna, as a result vendors using this
setup have to lock to 'approved' products.

Now its certainly true some of them make good business use of the lockin too

Ask HP what the Linux supported and approved card option is.

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