Making Intel Wireless 3945ABG Work Better on Ubuntu Hardy

In Ubuntu 8.04 the Intel wireless cards have switched from the ipw driver to the iwl driver.  The version of the iwl driver that ships with Hardy is slightly buggered.  The driver does not support SCAN_CAPA = 0x0 which prevents it from connecting to hidden networks.  Though Network Manager has been pachted with a workaround for this.  It also doesn’t have any support for controlling the LED light.  Luckily a new version of the iwl driver has been backported in the linux-backports-modules-hardy-generic package.

To install this package, first go System→Administration→Software Sources.  Go to the Updates tab and enable the Hardy Backports repository.

Software Sources

Click Close then click the Reload button when prompted.  After that is done open a termianl and enter

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-hardy-generic

Afterwards, reboot and you should have your LED light working as well as possibly better wireless performance.

I still have some problems connecting to my network.  Sometimes it won’t connect when I boot the computer and I have to fool around with Network Manager by disabling wireless, enabling wireless, disabling networking, enabling networking, and a number of combinations of those things with some waiting thrown in there too.  So if you’re having problems connecting to the network, play around with Network Manager for a while. It might take a lot of tries.

Getting Scroll Lock to Work in Ubuntu

For some odd reason the Scroll Lock button doesn’t work in an Xsession in Ubuntu. There’s an old bug report here. However it works as it should in a virtual terminal. 😕 The interesting thing though is that Xev will detect the key press. So how do you get the Scroll Lock functioning again? Well first let’s run this command

xmodmap -pm

You should get an output like this

xmodmap:  up to 3 keys per modifier, (keycodes in parentheses):

shift       Shift_L (0x32),  Shift_R (0x3e)
lock        Caps_Lock (0x42)
control     Control_L (0x25),  Control_R (0x6d)
mod1        Alt_L (0x40),  Alt_L (0x7d),  Meta_L (0x9c)
mod2        Num_Lock (0x4d)
mod3
mod4        Super_L (0x7f),  Hyper_L (0x80)
mod5        Mode_switch (0x5d),  ISO_Level3_Shift (0x7c)

Notice mod3 has nothing listed.  This will be what we will use to assign Scroll Lock.  It may be a different mod for some people.  Either way use the one that has nothing listed.

Before we do anything else let’s test this to make sure it works.  We’re going to run this command

xmodmap -e ‘add mod3 = Scroll_Lock’

Replace mod3 with whatever the blank mod listing was.  Your Scroll Lock should work now.

I hate making changes like this locally to only my user, so I’m going to do this globally.

Now we need to create a file in /etc/X11 called Xmodmap.  So start up Gedit or your favorite text editor

gksudo gedit /etc/X11/Xmodmap

Now add this to the file

add mod3 = Scroll_Lock

again, change mod3 to the one that was empty from the first command.  Now the Scroll Lock key should get set when X starts now. 🙂

HP Photosmart C7280 with Ubuntu

You’ve got to love HP for their printer support under Linux. It’s unmatched as far as I can tell. Well I just picked up an HP Photosmart C7280 printer/copier/fax machine. It’s listed here as compatible with HPLIP and sure enough it worked out of the box, well almost. HPLIP wasn’t giving me the correct driver when I was trying to set it up. I found out I needed to install the hpijs-ppds package. Then I tried again and I was given the correct driver. I have it hooked up wirelessly. Yes this printer is wireless! 😀 HP Toolbox contains a load of tools from fax stuff to scanning and everything in between. And I can access this printer from any of the computers on my little network. 🙂 Another great new hardware experience in Linux. 🙂

I say that if you don’t want a hardware nightmare in Linux do your research first. 😉

Wow! Windows Vista!!

I just bought Vista Ultimate and I must say it p0wns Linux. It’s better in every aspect, even security! It’s got a much better implementation of sudo called UAC. I love it. It makes sure I don’t accidentally do something to my system or install rogue software. Whoever says UAC is annoying should check out sudo, now that’s annoying. And the Aero interface, wow! Aero totally owns Compiz Fusion. I mean just look at this blurry shiny glassy interface, there’s nothing like it! And when it comes to hardware, nothing beats Vista. And I can get my work done so much faster with Vista. And I find the EULA much better than the GPL. I’m sorry but Linux isn’t ready for the desktop. I’m going back to Windows.