今個兒, 我想談談這個卡用的 TI acx100 chipset 的故事...
首先, 我個人覺得這是張不錯的卡, 然而不錯在那我並不十分清楚.
只不過, 如果有人和我一樣是個 linuxer 又恰巧買了 Dlink 650+ 那就十分不妙了...
Dlink650+ 用的是 TI 的 acx100 chipset, 而前一代 Dlink 650 並非用 acx100 chipset, 而且 Dlink650 在 Linux 上 support 還算不錯.
當有些 linux 朋友見到功能更強的 Dlink 650+, 而希望在自個的 linux 上使用時, 便開始了一連串的惡夢....
首先, 來看看外國人的討論 SeattleWireless: DlinkDwl650Plus
I just checked and D-Link (listed as D Link Systems Incorporated) is a member of the Better Business Bureau (their ID is 13033848). Since D-Link and TI and not listening to us this way, perhaps they will listen if their BBB status is at risk (this is valuble to companies for many reasons)..
Here are the facts:
* From around August 2002, D-Link support began telling Linux users that a driver would be released in December, so we should just hang on until then.
* Eventually, an offical FAQ item showed up on their web site stating this.
* In December, it was annouced that the driver had be delayed til Quarter 1 of 2003.
* At the end of December, D-Link reversed course and began telling users that there were no plans for a Linux driver because they coundn't obtain the source code from TI. After the Eusso driver became available and Eusso support stated that they obtained the source for the driver from TI under an NDA, this statement was retracted by D-Link
* At the current time, the driver's development has apparently been frozen and now we're all stuck with card we were told would be supported.
僅管 Dlink 在不久前放出了 linux binary driver for Dlink 650+, 但是有些 hacker 已耐不住性子了, 開始了 Acx100ReverseEngineering計畫, 想利用已有的 binary driver(linux/windows)作逆向工程, 並在 sourceforge 開個 acx100 oss driver project...
從 20030706 release 的成果來看, 已令我十分吃驚. Ad-Hoc without WEP 已可使用. 而且整個 source tree & code 整理的十分好. 很難想像是完全沒有任何文件或技術支援下硬幹出來的產物.
這個 porject 會發展起來也算是對製造商的一種抗議, 據我所知, Dlink 事實上也想 release linux station driver source, 只不過 TI 基於一些商業因素(可能還有其它)並不願意釋出 source. 也可能 source 裡有一些機密形成的商業考量.
最後, 我想節錄一段 acx100 oss driver project 的 README 作為結束, 我不便譯為中文, 那會失去一些原味, 請各位好好細讀一翻 :-)
Let me mention that we REALLY dislike the way very stupid hardware vendors
name their cards containing DIFFERENT chipsets!!
One of these vendors is SpeedStream/Siemens: a card that uses the same
name "SS1021" is available in both Orinoco chip and ACX100 chip versions.
Another one is D-Link: they have "DWL-650" and "DWL-650+".
"DWL-650+" is simply an improved version of the "DWL-650", right?
The standard versions use Prism2.5, whereas the "+" versions use ACX100
chipset. Good luck in finding a (correct) driver!!
And it's even WORSE: I just found out that there is some newer
version of the "DWL-650" out that also contains the ACX100
(it uses the same hardware as the "+" versions).
This BRAINDEAD STUPIDITY in device naming easily entitles D-Link
for the "Most Braindead Hardware Vendor 2003" award. And of course
they were also talking about developing another Linux driver for some time,
without any results (although I guess that's because they wanted to
develop it, but were not allowed to, unfortunately, so it's understandable).
IF you dare to release cards with a different incompatible chipset
that doesn't even have proper driver support for a popular alternative OS,
then AT LEAST change the card name in order to let people know and discern
which hardware to avoid like the plague, for heaven's sake!
This is such a
Finally, let me mention that we really dislike the way how
Texas Instruments handles Linux driver support. It's a really shameful
pity, with delays to be measured in years versus the Windows driver
support, and with poor and buggy binary driver support.
All in all our team would be very grateful to receive proper
development support and cooperation from TI in order to create
proper Linux drivers. That would be The Good Way to do it...
(although admittedly that would still only be the second-best way to do it,
with the best way being to have paid company developers work on a
well-working OSS driver, of course)
After all it's the hardware VENDOR that's earning money via OUR, the
customers', payment, so it should be the damn responsibility of the
hardware vendor to ensure good driver support, not the other way around!
Just imagine the weird looks of thousands and thousands of Linux users
when they discovered the lack of support for the product that they just
shelled out considerable amounts of money for...