I know I’m a little late to the wireless party, but damn, computing in the living room with nary a cable in sight is a neat trick. With only a slight bit of tinkering (and a good deal of pre-purchase research), the new wireless setup also runs flawlessly under linux. What a deal!
Finding an adapter that works well with linux wasn’t exactly easy. There are some very good resources for wireless linux hardware, and some chipsets work very reliably. Others, however, are quite nasty to our friendly neighborhood open source operating system, and those are the chips that most vendors are packaging in their current adapters. As a result, finding a card locally was a little problematic, but with a little digging one turned up.
And yes, the card I turned up, the only one I could buy locally that supports my free operating system of choice, is made by Microsoft (MN-520, for your information is flawlessly detected and supported with one small config file update). I know, I know, the concidence is rather thick, thank you very much, but it’s really all about chipsets. And although I feel a little bit in league with the devil just sitting here beaming these keystrokes over MS-provided 802.11b waves, I also feel self-consciously badass.
Downsides? Wireless seems to eat battery power quite a bit quicker than a non-networked or cabled setup; this is a little hard to evaluate, because my battery monitor is a little bit wobbly. Still, it’s a lot easier to plug in AC power than drag ethernet around, so it’s an easy price to pay. Also, I have yet to see my productivity increase, but I do expect that soon.
That, after all, is the Promise of the Internet.