[CDBUG-talk] freebsd -> ibm t20 success! 802.11 ideas?

Steve Moon steve.moon at gmail.com
Tue Mar 8 06:33:33 EST 2005

After a long struggle I finally got FreeBSD installed on my old IBM
T20 thinkpad.

The install is easy enough, but the system wouldn't boot, and refused
to boot unless the hard drive had a DOS partition as the first
partition with a normal DOS MBR (no bootloaders). I couldn't find my
floppy drive, and the BIOS was too old to use a USB floppy, so I was
pretty much dead in the water.

I got a 2.5" --> 3.5" ide kit and was able to boot from the laptop
harddrive on a different system -- no problem, so the install was
good. Then began a few hours of experimenting which finally culminated
in finding an updated BIOS that fixes the non-dos boot sector thing.
Installing that was an adventure all by itself, but eventually I got
it, and then found that the bootloader still didn't work correctly --
only boots if it's got a plain MBR which launches BSD (no extra
partitions or bootloader).

All in all, a major pain in the neck, and therefore a lot of fun.

Now I've got to get X working and probably wait a few weeks for some
of that stuff to finish compiling, but I'm confident it will at least

Anyone have any 802.11b/g cards they would recommend? There was some
noise on undeadly a while back about campaigning for free access to
drivers, so I want to be careful to buy a card that will A) work, and
B) will work without some bullsh*t binary driver. 2 of the chipset
vendors I'm unfamiliar with, Symbol cards are available, but expensive
($150+). Would like to find something that can do both 802.11b (11mb)
and 802.11g (54mb). Would also like to find something that comes with
a basic antenna, but has a jack to plug in a different antenna. Any
ideas appreciated!


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