Wifi happens

Over the weekend, I spent many hours tinkering with my laptop to get it connected to Wifi at home. I’ve gotten nowhere messing around in NetworkManager (even with help from my hubby who knows how to navigate in the Terminal). I was starting to worry that the TRENDnet wireless PC card I bought due to the attraction of hefty rebates would not work with my laptop or Ubuntu in that matter. But all the frustration flew out the door in less than an hour today.

I read that the major leap of Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn was its excellent wireless networking support in which network roaming makes it possible to connect and disconnect from various dynamically configured networks. Since roaming was the only thing I haven’t tried, I thought I’d give it a shot today. The other element of my success today is Wifi Radar. I don’t remember how I found out about it. I installed it at the beginning of my tinkering but I didn’t know how to use it.

Anyhow, I decided to enable network roaming and let Wifi Radar to scan for signals. The cool thing about it is that I can see a list of networks and their signal strength in the familiar short-to-tall bar symbol. Most of the networks floating around my house are too weak. They show up in Wifi Radar with zero signal strength. I went back to try my home network and it didn’t work at first. I messed around with the network profile by testing each Wifi Mode down the list (my hubby doesn’t know which mode we’ve got). Midway down the list, I hit jackpot.

I read many frustrated posts in Ubuntu Forums and found no definite solutions over the weekend. The answers were actually right in front of me and I just didn’t know it. It’s not easy to use Ubuntu. However, when you figure out how to get it to work like the rest of the computers out there, it’s super satisfying.

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