[ltp] Multi-platform Wireless LANs (esp for Linux/Macs)

Harry Mangalam linux-thinkpad@www.bm-soft.com
Mon, 09 Oct 2000 12:30:00 -0700

Hi All,

I started this out as a quest for advice, but by visiting all the sites
that occurred to me during the composition of this note, I think I've
answered my own question which was:

Does anyone have any words of wisdom about wireless LAN products that will
support both Linux and Macs (running MacOS <10)?

Yes, Apple Airports can be made to work with Linux, both on PPC and Intel
Hardware.  That being the case, and as long as the Airport really is an 11
Mb/s system as they claim, it looks to be one of the cheaper Wireless LAN
systems that support both Macs and Linux.

Here are some of the paths I traversed to get at this tentative answer.
Maybe they'll be useful to others.


Bob Mayhoff has posted that the Zoom Air LAN cards work well on Linux, and
there was a thread on slashdot:

that was illuminating and from which I found:


which was extremely useful, especially the FAQ at:

But it doesn't adddress the Apple Airport/wLAN cards.  However, 
has gotten the Aiport to run with PPC Linux.

and it looks like wavelan (Lucent) http://www.wavelan.com/ actually DOES
support the 
Aiprport card under linux. 
Both Zoom and Apple are running at 11 Mp/s (they claim) using the  IEEE
802.11HR Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 11 Mbps and 5.5 Mbps draft
standard IEEE 802.11 DSSS 1 and 2 Mbps standard.  Apple uses the Lucent
WaveLAN/IEEE chipset, while Zoom uses something else..?

What are the reasons that an Apple Airport card couldn't work with a
ThinkPad 770 - are their PC cards incompatible?  Is the API different?

Apple's Airport technology would be great if it worked with ThinkPads. 
Anyone try that?

I live in a split Mac/Linux house and buying support for one without
support for the other would be a BAD THING.

If anyone has direct experience with Aiports under linux, I'd be grateful
to hear about it; else I may risk getting one to satisfy one half of the
house and try to hack my Thinkpad kernel to use it.

Harry J Mangalam -- (949) 856 2847 (v&f) -- hjm@ncgr.org ||
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