Category: My Gentoo
Since a time ago, I had some strange mouse (and sound) problems. I was using a 2.6.11-gentoo-r6 kernel compiled manually with everything working. The only strange thing was some message appearing at boot time (more exactly when /etc/init.d/alsasound was started) pointing me at the fact that there was a problem with the program reading the file "/etc/asound.state". I took a look into that file, but all I saw were @'s and other strange signs, so it seemed it was a binary one. Normally there are no binary files in /etc, so I thought it might be corrupted and I removed the file. (In fact: it is the file where your mixer levels are stored, so removing it couldn't cause any problems) Since then, sound wasn't working anymore.
Another problem I had, was when I compiled a new 2.6.12 kernel starting from the old .config file and using "make menuconfig". When booting that kernel, my USB-mouse didn't work anymore. Touchpad and the "clit" (that little "button" between the g and h on some laptopkeyboards) worked perfect. It even didn't work anymore when I recompiled the old 2.6.11 kernel with the config gathered from "zcat /proc/config.gz > .config" because I lost the original one. So these two 2.6.11 kernels should be identical, but the newly compiled one didn't make my USB-mouse work the way the old one did. Strange stuff, isn't it?
So, thanks to the nice guys on bcol the problem is solved now. In my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, I had three sections "InputDevice": one for my keyboard and two for my mice (USB and touchpad/clit). One was using /dev/input/mouse0, the other one /dev/input/mouse1. Toni (Dutch weblog) explained me that I could better use /dev/input/mice as this is some virtual device combining the input from all mouse-devices. I even shouldn't merge the two sections and there options, just change the device. And yes, this works! And with the new kernel, I also have sound working! There must be some file corrupt in the old kernel image. Thanks, Toni!
Sometime ago, I wrote I was impressed by the automatic printer detection and configuration of Gnome/Cups. I didn't know how it was possible to detect and configure that network printers fully automatic in a windows-only environment where the support team doesn't take into account linux users.
Today, I discovered how that's possible. In fact, it's quite simple. I was doing a test with wireless acces points and a wireless controller. I was monitoring traffic between those devices and noticed my own computer was sending packets to some multicast adresses. Google learned me the multicast address where my computer was sending these packets to, is used by Apple Bonjour or RendezVous. So it seems that every device (network shares and printers,...) meeting the requirements for automatic configuration with Mac OS X, also automaticly works with Linux. Very nice! Thank you, Apple!
The combination Kismet-Ethereal just rules! Make sure you use the latest version of those packages as well as your drivers, especialy when you have an Intel IPW2200-based one, as there are multiple new versions released. Gentoo-users will have to enable the ~x86 keyword.
Capture your stream with kismet (very well configured by default!) and open the dump file (/tmp/Kismet-2005-07-29...dump) with ethereal and have fun. The protocol is much more implemented in the latest version of ethereal now. Management frames can be full inspected. The version of ethereal on the allready mentioned great Auditor Security Collection LiveCD is an older one and doesn't support that stuff completely.
One of the great benefits with this combination on a linux machine is that you can capture and analyse all IEEE 802.11 frames, data as well as management frames, with the full headers as they were sent on the radio. With the windows drivers and capture programs, you can only capture the data inside the data packets, no headers, no management packets. That's why expensive commercial applications like AirMagnet provide their own drivers for a small selection of cards. That's the only way they can capture the most interesting information on a windows machine. So standard (free) linux tools are just great for wireless solutions and analysis, I love it!
As I told you, last week, I upgraded the packages IPW2200 and ipw2200-firmware to the latest version available. The big problem with those drivers is, I now have corrupt packages. When I came home, I couldn't connect to my WAP. Infact, I could register my client, but I didn't get an IP by DHCP. When I captured the stream with Ethereal, I saw DHCP-requests from the client, but no answer from the server.
/var/log/messages gave me more information and told me there were corrupt packages. I can't give the exact error message right now, I'll post it when I've some time. I'll have to take a look closer to it.
Another problem is kernel 2.6.12. I installed this one, but then my USB mouse isn't working anymore. I've allready read on some site the mouse handling is changed in this version, but I'll have to find out how to fix this. Maybe the problem is related with the fact that hotplugging my mouse doesn't work right now. A little task for when I've some time... If you have similar experiences, please, be my guest.
While I was disappointed about printing in linux some time ago, today I was supprised about the way gnome/cups handle network printers. At the office where I'm doing an internship, we have two network printers in our subnet. I was impressed when I opened the gnome printer manager and I saw those two printers allready detected and completely configured. B-) I didn't have to do anything, I even didn't know when they were installed. I just love it!
(note: I didn't test printing allready ;-))
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