Monday, December 31, 2012

Wistful Thinking

Maybe someday, I'll be able to afford a tiny place on the outskirts of Bozeman, or somewhere like it, for the summer. A small college mountain town in the summer is just about the best place I can imagine. Most of the college kids take off, leaving mostly friendly people and a town just big enough to have everything you really need without all the garbage that you don't. Spectacular, spectacular views from pretty much anywhere in town. Minutes from mountain trails, rivers, and streams where you can forget that you live on a planet with 7 billion people; or anyone at all for that matter. That's what I miss the most, being able to quickly get to the wilderness and tap into the kind of still and quiet that resets all of your normal operating parameters. I miss the mountains, always there, looming higher than any building, calling to you, reminding you constantly that stressing is a useless waste of time; that they care not for the petty drama of humans and neither should you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Enabling Linux Mint 14 Wireless on Dell E1505

Mostly I'm saving this off so if I ever have to get wireless in linux working on this machine again, I'll know how to do it. I hope that it saves someone else the 5+ hours it took me to solve this.

# Open a terminal window and run this:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove bcmwl-kernel-source
sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf

# If the blacklist-bcm43 file does not exist, don't sweat it.

# Now you need to comment out bcm43xx in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
# In its place you will need to add blacklisting of ssb_hcd and ssb
# So do this launch the editor that comes with Mint 14 to the conf file:
sudo pluma /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

# And in the editor, change this:
blacklist bcm43xx
# To this:
blacklist ssb_hcd
balcklist ssb
# save and close.

# Now run these to install the correct driver and firmware:

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

# After installing b43-fwcutter, make sure to REBOOT your PC!!

# When you're back up, run the following Terminal commands:

sudo modprobe -r b43 b44 b43legacy ssb

sudo modprobe b43
sudo modprobe b44

# Then RETEST wireless. (Fn+F2 should re-enable it and turn on the wifi LED).
# If the LED comes on, you're home free. 
# Right click on the network connection thing in the tray 
# and use the wireless tab to hook up to your router. 
# These settings should all stick when you reboot.

Special thanks to dwhitney67 for getting me 95% of the way there in this thread:
Most of the text is copy-pasted from there, with a few very important tweaks without which the process does not work.