4 entries tagged network

Time to add a second Ethernet card?

My network at home uses what is now old-fashioned coax with BNC connectors. New computers—such as, for example, a visiting iBooks—only have connectors for new-style cat-5e cables. Rather than replace my entire home network, I’m experimenting with a second NIC and a crossover cable. This means powering down my desktop (uptime: up 170 days, 15:55).

Update: some hours later I have managed to get my first card working again, after Red Hat’s auto-configuration clobbered my settings! My attempts to load the module for card #2 so far unsuccessful. I have downloaded a newer kernel (I was running 2.2.12, this is 2.2.22), which is currently compiling. Maybe it will do better. ¶ It has now finished after 15½ minutes. I will not try rebooting until tomorrow, however.

Update (Sunday): Turns out that kernel 2.2.22 hangs on boot-up. Argh. Returned to 2.2.12 for now. On the otherhand, I discovered that make modules modules_install is different from merely make modules_install. It appears that the install target does not imply actually building the modules? Anyway, I did this and I now have an rtl2039.o that can be loaded with modprobe. Alas! trying to bring up the interface complains of a ‘Resource temporarily unavailable’, which I take to mean that the card needs to have an IRQ assigned to it, something that may be doable through the BIOS? Something to try later in the week. I have other things to do today.

Second network card

A while back I installed a second Ethernet card in my Linux box and could not get it to work before the iBook returned to where it belonged. Having had another notebook computer visiting us last night, I finally got the thing up and running.

All in all it was a simple matter of:

  • Wasting time examining the floppy supplied with the card for evidence of a program for setting the card’s IRQ.
  • Downloading rtl8139-diag.c and running it. It informs me in no uncertain terms that I need to visit the BIOS settings. The error message has the important hint that there is no way to do this other than the BIOS set-up panel itslef.
  • Shutting down the operating system so I could do this little thing. Fiddling with the BIOS always makes me nervous, but after a couple of attempts I managed to get it working. I knew this when I rebooted Linux and it detected and activated the second network interface automatically.
  • Changed the network settings for the borrowed laptop. Poked it some more until it believed that the network was there and it was possible to ping back and forth along the wire.
  • Changed Internet Explorer’s own special control panel for the automatic dial-up. One of the options makes it so that it does not dial up if there already is a working network. Duh. Now MSIE can visit but cannot resolve domain names.
  • Changed my dnscache settings to permit my newly created network to use it. (A simple matter of touch /services/dnscache/root/ip/192.168.100, as it turns out.)

At this point it was possible to browse the WWW from the laptop. Yay.

Airport Express requires Panther

Apple's Airport Express is a dinky wireless-network access point that also plugs your PowerBook wirelessly in to your stereo. I'm actually tempted to (finally) join my friends in their wirelessness. There is one snag: you need the latest Mac OS X version. Read more