Linz WLANs

Now that I have Kismet working, my search for a WLAN hotspot was successful. I found an open net just a few metres from my front door. I don’t know exactly where it’s coming from but I hope they mean it to be open. While the weather is good this should allow me to at least cvs update, work offline, then cvs commit.

I’m amazed at how many WLANs there are. At the end of the road, there’s a high lookout over the Donau/Danube, in a park, and there seem to be several networks available there. They seem to be coming from the other side of the river.

It turns out that my borrowed Cisco Aeronet 350 was probably one of the best cards I could have had, but they seem to be hard to buy in Austria and Germany. I tried all 3 cards in the local Saturn shop – The US Robotics 2210 and a Belkin one didn’t show up in RedHat 9’s network control panel. The slightly-more expensive Netgear MA401GR did so I’m trying it out.

It’s really a MA401AR apparently. I’ve read that the regular MA401 has an orinoco chipset but the MA401AR has a Prism2 chipset. Well, RedHat 9 is setup to use the orinoco driver with it. It works, but it’s incredibly slow, and there’s no monitor mode so Kismet doesn’t work with it. I read that you could use the wlan-ng drivers (normally for Prism2 chipsets) with it instead so I installed them from rpm I wonder why RedHat doesn’t ship/configure the wlan-ng drivers. That works – it’s far faster and Kismet works again. But the Redhat Network control panel doesn’t recognise the card anymore and can’t be used to configure/activate the connection. You have to edit /etc/wlan/ configuration files manually and do a manual /etc/rc.d/init.d/pcmcia restart. That’s dull and might make it more difficult to glom onto random open WLANs.

If I can find someplace that’ll sell me a Cisco card then I think I’ll take this one back to the shop.