Linux Wireless Driver for Gateway 6750

I have consistently had problems getting the wireless driver for my Gateway M-6750 notebook working in Linux. This is because the hardware is a designed for Windows. There are no native Linux drivers for it. However, there is a nice little program called ndiswrapper. This is a program that I had known about previous to getting this computer, but had never had to use it. All my other computers had wireless cards with Linux drivers.

This is not a new problem for me. I have had this problem since I bought the computer in early 2008. But, I go through the process of having to find instructions every time I install a new OS on my computer. Therefore, I am writing down the steps here for my own benefit in the future (assuming I can remember to look at my own blog when I need to do this again).

I got this set of steps from a thread on the Ubuntu Forums. This assumes you already have the Windows driver extracted into a folder and that you are running these commands from that folder. I remember (3.5 years ago) finding the driver and extracting it, but I don’t remember any of the process that I went through to do it. If you are reading this and need help, then you will have to look elsewhere.

lspci -nn
sudo ndiswrapper -i NetMW14x.inf
sudo ndiswrapper -a 11ab:2a08 netmw14x
sudo ndiswrapper -l
sudo ndiswrapper -m
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

These steps do the following.

lspci -nn gives you the name of your network adapter. In my case it says (along with a pile of other output): 02:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Device [11ab:2a08] (rev 03). The important thing to note is the Device [11ab:2a08]. If you have a different computer than the Gateway 6750 then your output would be different. You will need to use the device id (known as the devid in ndiswrapper) for your own hardware.

The next line installs the .inf file for my driver. If you have the same computer, it will be the same thing, but you need to find the .inf file for your hardware.

The following line associates the driver with the particular hardware. This is where using the wrong devid is (apparently) potentially harmful. At least, I gather it is harmful based on the warnings I read.

The -l option gives you a list of drivers you have installed. This should only be the one you just now installed. The -m saves your configuration.

I do not know understand the depmod command, but it has something to do with preparing things for the next command—modprobe.

The final command inserts the driver module you created into your system so that it can actually be used.

For me, that was it. I was then able to look into the network manager icon in my system tray and everything worked as expected. Hopefully it works well for you. If not, I am not sure I can be much help. You can dig through the forum post where I got this information and see if you can find help for your specific issue.

That got the driver working, then I needed to modify the /etc/modules file and add the line ndiswrapper to the end of the file. That will insert the module at every boot up.

When the computer goes to sleep the ndiswrapper module breaks. It needs to be reloaded. I fixed this by creating a file called /usr/lib/pm-utils/sleep.d/0000wireless. This file contains the following:

# reload ndiswrapper to get wireless to recover properly
case "$1" in
rmmod ndiswrapper
modprobe ndiswrapper

The file needs to be made executable with a sudo chmod a+x usr/lib/pm-utils/sleep.d/0000wireless command. It will awaken out of sleep like normal after that.

Great Two Weeks of Running

The end of June our family went on a vacation to the Iguazú Falls in northeastern Argentina. I made a conscientious decision to not run during the week. I took my running shoes just in case I wanted to, but I had been running fairly well up to that time and I knew our schedule would be somewhat tight. I also wanted to make the week about the family and not me.

Taking a week off of running when I had been running well was not a problem. However, I did not anticipate how difficult the following two weeks would be. Trying to catch up on a bunch of projects right after being away for a week, plus having the 4th of July at the start of that week back home made it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We spent all day with friends on the 4th which kept me out of my running shoes.

I was able to run on the 5th, but had to skip the next two days because of commitments. I was beginning to get worried that I would not get back on track like I wanted. But I was able to get a couple of good runs in on Friday and Saturday. I finished the week with 13 miles. That is not a spectacular number of miles, but it was refreshing to run as much as I needed to to stay on track with my base training. My marathon training plan does not start until the end of July.

This week I planned to run 4 days. I wanted to run Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The week before I had something come up with work that would complicate this week. I really dreaded everything that I needed to do. Monday and Wednesday went as scheduled. Thursday I had to skip. But I had two great runs on Friday and Saturday to finish the week with 16 miles. That was exactly what I needed to do this week.

I had two difficult weeks with schedules, but I was able to string together the right runs when I needed to. This is an encouragement to me to help me see that I can make the time to run when I need to. I have been making too many excuses lately about my running. But now it is “crunch time” for my training. When it came down actually getting on the road, I have been able to do it.

Though I have not formally announced that I am running a marathon previous to this post, I have been looking very seriously at the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in November. This will be the third marathon I have trained for, but only my second one to run. I broke my foot on a long run in 2009 that kept me from running the race I was planning. More news to come as I plan and train for the race.

Amazon, Please Don’t Require Me to Use a Touchscreen on the Kindle 4

Part of the appeal of the Kindle for me is that it doesn’t have a touchscreen. First a little history, then I will tell you why I don’t want a touchscreen on the future Kindle readers.

Kindle 3I have had my Kindle for a little over 2 months. I have completely fallen in love with it. But, I already knew I would even though I had never touched a Kindle before buying mine. I used my wife’s Sony ebook Reader for the first time in January and began to see how much I would like using an ebook reader of some kind. From January to May I was saving my pennies to be able to buy a Kindle.

There are other good ebook readers on the market. But there were a couple of features that made the Kindle most appealing to me. That is not to say that the Kindle is the best option in every situation. I found a chart that Michael Hyatt created where he highlighted the features of different ebook readers. You may want to take a look at it when thinking about purchasing an ebook reader. Note that it was compiled in October 2010. There may be some major changes by the time you read the chart.

Some of the appealing features of the Kindle to me were that I could purchase books through Amazon and the sheer number of books available. Because I am already an Amazon customer and I have purchased ebooks to read on the Kindle app of my iPhone, I was very interested in staying in the same ecosystem. An added benefit was that I could read on my phone and then pick up reading on the Kindle where I left off, or vice versa.

Kindle has more books available than any other marketplace. I don’t think this is a huge issue if you are buying current best-sellers. Those are probably available on all the platforms. But as someone who reads older books, or more technical obscure titles, then I have a better chance of finding the book at Amazon.

But the biggest reasons I like the Kindle as opposed to some of the other readers is that the Kindle does not have a touchscreen. I don’t want a touchscreen on my ebook reader. I want to be able to touch the screen like the page of a book. I can underline with my finger while reading. I can also hold my finger on the screen while showing a passage to someone else. When looking through the chart of various ebook readers, I purposely choose one that did not have a touchscreen.

I don’t mind if the Kindle 4 has a touchscreen that can be toggled on and off, but I don’t want to be forced to use one. An ebook device will be smaller overall with a touchscreen than without (if the screen size is the same). Look at the Nook Touch to see how much smaller it is than the Kindle because it doesn’t need the keyboard.

I want to touch my ebook screen like a real page without flipping pages or making things pop up while reading.

Please Amazon, don’t make me use a touchscreen on the Kindle 4!