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Thread: Newbie questions on Linux wifi

  1. #1
    Haines Brown
    Guest

    Newbie questions on Linux wifi

    I've got a Thinkpad X61s loaded with Debian sidux and am able to connect
    to my wireless router AP. So my questions are, in effect, where do I go
    from here?

    a) I've got AT&T wireless service, and am told that when I happen to be
    within a hotspot location, I should be able to scan for APs and identify
    the AT&T netork as "attwifi". Is the procedure to head out to a hot
    spot, scan for this attwifi AP, and then set up a profile for that
    network? That is, I'd like to be able to connect with wifi from console
    or terminal.

    b) Will that one profile serve for all AT&T hotspots across the country?
    Is there anyway to find out the location of hotspots without actually
    being there? If I plan to travel to Podunk Hollow, for example, can I
    know in advance there's a hotspot in Joe's Barber Shop?

    c) I scanned for hotspots using a gui utility named "wifi-radar". Can I
    do the same thing from command line? That is, what commands would be
    used to 1) scan for hotspots, 2) define their profiles, c) connect to
    one?

    d) When I boot with a CAT5 cable connected to my router, I find that
    eth0 is UP and obtains an IP address from it, while the wlan0 interface
    is DOWN. To connect by wifi, I have to issue the commands # ifconfig
    eth0 down and # ifconfig wlan0 up. This works, and I prefer a command
    line, but not sure if this is the proper way to do it.

    e) How would I reverse priority so that when I boot wlan0 starts in an
    UP condition, and eth0 is down. Do I simply reverse the order of the
    stanzas in /etc/network/interfaces ?

    --

    Haines Brown, KB1GRM




  2. #2
    Haines Brown
    Guest

    Re: Newbie questions on Linux wifi

    Following up on myself, After a couple days spent doing it, I've managed
    to answer most of my questions, although my answers remain tentative and
    were picked up by accident as I stubmled about in the dark. Life would
    have been easier had I known of a handy source for the definitions of
    key terms and concepts and had found a simple overview.

    My only remaining question:

    > Is there anyway to find out the location of hotspots without actually
    > being there? If I plan to travel to Podunk Hollow, for example, can I
    > know in advance there's a hotspot in Joe's Barber Shop?


    --

    Haines Brown, KB1GRM




  3. #3
    DTC
    Guest

    Re: Newbie questions on Linux wifi

    Haines Brown wrote:
    >> Is there anyway to find out the location of hotspots without actually
    >> being there? If I plan to travel to Podunk Hollow, for example, can I
    >> know in advance there's a hotspot in Joe's Barber Shop?


    Not really. Any centralized list would require the hotspot provider to
    put themselves on the list. And there could be many non-related lists.

    Now commercial hotspots likes McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. can be found
    on their respective home pages.

  4. #4
    Haines Brown
    Guest

    Re: Newbie questions on Linux wifi

    DTC <me@nothingtoseehere.zzx> writes:

    > Now commercial hotspots likes McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. can be found
    > on their respective home pages.


    That's actually a helpful reply, for I never suspected such. Thanks.

    --

    Haines Brown, KB1GRM




  5. #5
    dold@91.usenet.us.com
    Guest

    Re: Newbie questions on Linux wifi

    Haines Brown <brownh@teufel.hartford-hwp.com> wrote:
    > > Is there anyway to find out the location of hotspots without actually
    > > being there? If I plan to travel to Podunk Hollow, for example, can I
    > > know in advance there's a hotspot in Joe's Barber Shop?


    You might try a google search for
    hotspot "Podunk Hollow"
    Quite effective. A more structured approach might include
    http://jiwire.com which has a lot of spots, and any spot can list
    themselves there.

    --
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

  6. #6
    Haines Brown
    Guest

    Re: Newbie questions on Linux wifi

    Clarence, thanks for the information. I spent some time yesterday just
    stumbling about on line, and slowly a picture is beginning to
    emerge. There's no system for finding free hotspots, but with
    persistence it seems one can identify most of them at a remote place.

    In experimenting with a search for "Podunk hotspot" (no hits for
    "'Podunk Hollow' hotspot" ;-), came to realize there are "hotspot
    directory" list such as http://safari.oreilly.com/0789733277/app02. A
    search for "hotspot directory" on google brings up quite a few
    directories of hotspot listings.

    --

    Haines Brown, KB1GRM




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