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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Getting the PCMCIA card operational in my desktop PC

The Dell Optiplex GX1 does not have a slot for the WaveLAN PCMCIA card. The challenge is to get it working by using a Texas Instruments bridge card and Linux Mandrake. Plugging the PCMCIA card into the bridge does not make the little LEDS light up on the PCMCIA. Initial thought are that the bridge has not been installed/enabled/configured.

The challenge is to enable the bridge.

Some research has lead me to believe that the Mandrake installation (9.1) has the PCMCIA card disabled by default. This I discovered after reading the pcmcia-cs-3.2.3 man pages (Ref Linux PCMCIA HOWTO, David Hinds, v2.91, 29 May 2001, http://pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net). Paragraph 2.6.2. states that the PCMCIA startup script is located in /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia , with "PCMCIA=yes". Using vi, I found my installation to have this parameter set to "no". I've edited the file to "yes" and will restart Mandrake...lets hope for the best...
Pity, the lights are still out... So that wasn't the only problem. I still have to check the bridge configuration...

Taking a lead from David Clemmer's posting of 26 April 2004 (http://lists.infradead.org/pipermail/linux-pcmcia/2004-April/000793.html):
> The key problem, though, is that none of the ports accept cards. If I
> start it up with a card inserted (or use 'cardctl insert'), I get an
> 'unable to apply power' message for the occupied ports.

I ran "cardctl insert", and got back "no pcmcia driver in /proc/devices", so guess what I'm doing next...

With my limited Linux experience I now have to determine how to install a PCMCIA driver. It seems its not sufficient to install the pcmcia-cs package, one still have to manually configure some files...
I found the following useful information to confirm that the driver was not installed:
[ source http://www.ambicom.com/support/linuxfaq-2.htm ]
To find the PCMCIA package installed on your Notebook PC:
After you start the Linux operating system, type "cardmgr -V" after the Linux prompt sign. This command will show you the version of the PCMCIA package installed on your Notebook PC. For example: Cardmgr version 3.1.8

To verify that the PCMCIA package is properly installed:
Type "lsmod" after the Linux prompt sign. This command will bring you the result similar to this:

Module Size Used by
ds 5740 2 [cb_enabler]
i82365 22640 2
pcmcia_core 39912 0

Symptoms indicate improper installation of the PCMCIA package:

When starting Linux, the message " Starting PCMCIA [Fail]" comes up.
Kernel version mismatch error is reported when the PCMCIA startup script runs.
After startup, the result of the "lsmod" command does not show any PCMCIA modules.
In the system log file, Cardmgr shows the output "no pcmcia driver in /proc/devices".

Some stuff I think is useful, but still does not answer my question on how to install the driver ( http://www.ambicom.com/support/linuxtroubleshooting-1.htm )
Q: I am not sure which commands to use to verify the installation of the PC card and the network configuration on my Linux Notebook PC?
A: The following Linux commands are recommended to check the status of installation and configuration.


lsmod: shows information about all loaded modules
cardctl ident: displays card identification information
cardmgr: monitors PCMCIA sockets for card insertion and removal events.


Ifconfig: displays the status of current active interface
netstat: displays network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, etc.
route: shows and manipulates the IP routing table
It looks like I should set the following IRQ mode to enable the SCM TI bridge:

With SCM Microsystems SBP series PCI card readers (which are also
being distributed with Lucent WaveLAN IEEE cards), and for the Synchrotech PCM-CR-PC2IF and PCM-CR-PC2IR, it is necessary to specify ``irq_mode=0'' for the i82365 module, to force use of PCI interrupts. *
I have not figured out what the "*" is for...

17 June 2004
When starting Mandrake in "interactive" mode, I get
"Starting pcmcia:
Start service portmap ...[y]
cardmgr[881]: get dev info on socket 0 failed: Resource temporarily unavailable
plus a high-low beep.


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