9 Aug 2000 Dodger   » (Journeyer)

2:28pm CDT

Lots of kernel hacking lately. NetBSD for my z50 wasn't working so well, so I decided to take out the 32MB memory module and try Linux on it again. Once I got the mipsel kernel sources from Linux VR's CVS server and began work on getting a kernel compiled. Since I had already gotten this working in the past before, it went quite easily. After I was up and running, I decided to try getting my new Lucent WaveLAN Turbo 802.11 card working in it. This proved to be more difficult than I thought. I took the wvlan_cs patch for 2.3.50 and applied it to linux-mipsel-2.4.0test1(CVS version). It applied fairly cleanly, however, it broke the pcmcia_net.o build. I'm still pretty green as far as getting around the Linux kernel and build system, so it took a lot of reading the source(thank god for ctags) and grepping to figure out what was going on. I did a lot of whining to myself about not being able to find things on the "bigger picture" of the kernel. "Use the Source, Luke", seems to be the proper phrase for learning more about the kernel. And learn I did, I understand a lot more about the way modules(compiled into the kernel or external) and the PCMCIA subsystem(which, thankfully, is documented well by David Hinds). When you first look at the kernel, it's quite a daunting piece of code, but once you dig under the surface, and have the proper tools for finding your way around it, it reveals it's secrets little by little. This afternoon at lunch, I believe I put in the last fixes to the Makefile that I needed to get the wvlan_cs driver going. Now I just need to copy the kernel over to my Compact Flash card and try booting it up on the laptop when I get home. I've also been wondering if PCMCIA Card Services exposes anything in /proc to see which ethernet cards have support in the kernel. When the pcmcia_net.o build was breaking, I was having problems not knowing if wvlan_cs was actually being linked into the kernel or not. If there was some way to see a listing of the cards that PCMCIA CS has drivers for, from /proc, that'd be helpful. Of course, now I think have it fixed and really wouldn't need that functionality, but I still wonder if it exists or not.

Survivor comes down to the final four tonight, I wonder who makes it.

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