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Thread: Intermittent Airport.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    18

    Intermittent Airport.

    G'day all,

    I'm a relative newb to Linux and even newer newb to Ubuntu, so I'm needing a bit of help.

    I've managed to install Ubuntu 12.10 onto my PPC G3 iBook and while it runs ok, it will never be a speed demon. The machine has 640 Mb of RAM and runs at 700 MHz so it will struggle a bit. I don't intend to use it for any high demand work, I have a quad core iMac running Lion for that sort of stuff, so generally, speed is not an issue.

    It was only after I had it installed for a few days that I realised that 12.10 is still in alpha, go figure. For the most part, it runs really well, I've installed cairo-dock and a few other things so I'm finding my way around the OS ok.

    As the subject line indicates, my issue is with the Airport card, common issue from what I read. The first time I booted up, the system recognised the card and the network but would not login. After some trying, I eventually grabbed the Belkin Surf & Share USB dongle I bought for my Puppy Linux install and plugged it in, voila, it connected straight up. So at least I have a working back up for when the Airport just won't work.

    I tried all the suggested fixes and workarounds and none seem to work. When I installed wicd and deleted the network-manager (using sudo apt-get), as suggested in a couple of posts, I didn't have any wifi, not even with my Belkin. There wasn't even an interface I could use to configure the wifi. Fortunately, ethernet came to the rescue, I quickly removed wicd and reinstalled the default network-manager.

    Having done that, I see that wicd is still installed and running as a start-up process. According to one how-to about this whole issue, there can only be one wifi manager running, how is my situation possible?

    At the moment, I get wifi intermittently, at first it was for about a minute then drop out but lately it has been connecting permanently but not every start up. I'm finding that I have to restart a few times to get it to connect. Is this normal? If anyone has any suggestions as to where I can look to make it to work every time I boot up, I would appreciate that.

    Also, I am looking for kernel modules that I can stop from loading at start up just to get a bit more speed out of it. As I said before, I'm not needing a lot of speed but anything to get just a little more would help it run a bit smoother. Where would I start looking?

    Thanks for any help. Also, if I need to add any further info, please let me know, I'm only too happy to supply what I can, I just don't always know what is needed. Cheers all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    953

    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    You may have more joy asking in the Network forum http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=336 .

    The PowerPC FAQ does have a section about Airport cards https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#W...reless_work.3F

    To uninstall wicd:

    sudo apt-get remove python-wicd wicd wicd-daemon wicd-gtk

    For more speed try the Xubuntu desktop and make sure you have your graphics acceleration optimised. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ#H..._derivative.3F
    Last edited by rsavage; August 11th, 2012 at 11:27 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    320

    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    Lubuntu is the lightest of the ubuntu distros. It is somehow a bit different from Xubuntu even. You should try it I have successfully installed it on regular pc with 700 MHz cpu, and I rarely was able to benefit from much more than 300MB RAM with a cpu like that (I had managed to install 1GB on it). These days we often operate with very differnt hardware and specs, however lubuntu was not that different from the regular Windows 7 computer, at least running one or two applications at a time. Absolutely no struggle, promise! Light running and fast booting. I went straight for lubuntu 12.04 when I set up my old iBook G4 with 1.42GHz cpu, thinking most functions in Totem player and desktop environment in regular Ubuntu would not run very well on this old thing.

    There are two "restricted" packages to be found in package manager / soft ware center where one of them activates hardware drivers for differen wireless cards. These two packages usually sort out most issues with hardware drivers and different codecs. They are the first ones I go for after running Update Manager.

    I have had wifi issues like yours with both a new dell laptop and with an iMac, after a lot of fuzz and expert help, the solution was to get a new router. Even when the router worked fine with several other computers, the iMac was not able to stay connected. I have now a white apple router. Wireless can have weird issues some times.

    Your iBook G3 should run fine with most applications. The most difficult area for ppc seems to be media players in browser and different flash streams.

    Best of luck ;- )
    Last edited by 2blue; August 4th, 2012 at 06:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2012
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    18

    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    Thanks rsavage and 2blue,

    I did try Lubuntu on my emac at one stage, just the live CD, I think it was about 10.X not sure now, but at that time I was just looking around for different Linux distros and trying whatever I could as long as it would run from a liveCD. I will consider trying L or X again on this machine on the recommendation of you two wise ones.

    I am actually sending this from my iBook, I have a connection at the moment. Thanks too for pointing me to the Network forum, I'll give them a go.

    The PowerPCFAQ was one of the places where I read about the workarounds that included the wicd step that didn't work. I'll continue to refer to them and of course the forums,

    ...but thanks again you two, you

    PS which version of L or X would you recommend I try?? The latest stable version? Thanks once more.

  5. #5
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    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    I usually go for the latest stable version, at least if I depend on that particular comptuer for something. I have installed beta-relases too there is no point really unless you have time to report to the dev-and testers team. At least when you are fairly new to Ubuntu, it is much easier to determen what the bugs are and the solutions are all there. Come october most of us will do the upgrade. I think 12.04 is longterm support though, but for the odd computer I suppose that doesn`t matter too much.

    For me I have had Ubuntu run very slow on hardware it really should work well with, sometimes speed and functionability can be very dependant on model and hardware. It might have been driver issues, but I never found solutions for it. Ubuntu usually does very well though, it has only been the odd case. For Lubuntu, it is made to run well on minimal specs, that is why I recomended it. I have used it on three different computers with advantage to the other versions. I am on the lubuntu iBook now ;- ) I suppose you have to try it to see the difference, and if you like it. Lubuntu has LXDE desktop, but it is not the only thing making it run lighter. I used to take a screen shots of terminal running htop with different applications, it is a good indicator for load on cpu and memory at least. If you like Kubuntu and it runs fine, keep it. How does Totemplayer work with the old iBook?
    Last edited by 2blue; August 5th, 2012 at 12:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    Thanks 2blue,

    I've just installed Lubuntu 12.04, mainly because I had already downloaded the iso sometime ago, and it certainly is quicker that Ubuntu 12.10. Of course, some of the same issues are there as they were for the Ubuntu install. I can't get a wifi connection with the Airport card but my Belkin USB dongle is fine, it has been a lifesaver. I will head over to the Network forum and check out solutions there.

    One other issue that has reared its ugly head that wasn't in quantal is difficulty restarting and shutting down, for some reason neither process will complete. On the upside, the hibernate function isn't the problem that suspend was in quantal, it will actually come out of hibernate.

    I'm not sure what Totemplayer is, 2blue, so can't report on it's functionality at this point.

    I like the LXDE desktop system and am familiar with most of the apps installed with it so at this time I might keep lubuntu installed although I might give kubuntu a go at some time in the future, I guess I can install side by side with lubuntu??

    Anyway, cheers for your help, all the best and see you around the forums. You too, rsavage.

  7. #7
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    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    There seem to always be some stuff needing attention on a fresh install!

    Sorry, my fault on the video player, Totem might be long gone by 12.10, hope not! I haven`t booted in full Ubuntu in some time, but I like it a lot.

    I had the same trouble with hangups on the first few shuttdowns for some reason forcing use of on/off button, but it sort of smoothed its` self out. I actually don`t know if this was fixed by regular updates or some auto configuration sorting it`s self out. I think I had it on something like two shuttdowns and my iBook has behaved all fine since. I hope you sort out your Airport activation with ease this time.

    If I remember correctly you need a good swap partition to make hibernation functions work, and usually it is provided for by default installation. Dual boot is fine with different versions of Ubuntu, easy if you have already an available partion. It is a good way to compare the setups.

    Regards
    Last edited by 2blue; August 6th, 2012 at 12:03 PM.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2012
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    18

    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    Well, I've had my iBook running all day, even with the lid closed, and had wifi for most of it. Since it connected after the first 5 minutes or so, it has not dropped out at all, that I am aware of. I was at work for about 6 hours and the lid was closed the whole time.

    My wife tells me that at times, it would make a few disk noises but it was still running ok when I opened it up again. I have found that both Suspend and Hibernate don't work, it requires a hard shutdown and hard startup. I've read somewhere that the only reason for shutting down a Linux system is for hardware maintenance, so I'm considering leaving it run the whole time, just close the lid when not in use.

    Does anyone know how an iBook goes being left running? Is heat an issue over the long term? What about battery life and staying on mains power? I know that the battery will last about 2 hours if it is not working too hard but if I let it get too low, it will go into suspend and I will have to do the hard shutdown routine.

    It doesn't worry me to shut down at night (that is my normal routine with all my Macs) but the wifi is the only hassle to restarting each time. Of course, if it connects consistently each time, it won't be a problem only a minor inconvenience.

    Anyway, I'm liking lubuntu a lot, I think I'll keep it. Cheers all and that for your help.

  9. #9
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    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    How large is your swap? As I mentioned I have lubuntu 12.04 on a G4 iBook, 1.42GHz, 512 RAM. We should have pretty much the same hardware? I let lubuntu take all of the harddrive, using default installation method (wizard type), now disk utility shows 1.5 GB swap. I think there is a minimal swap space needed to make hibernation functions work properly, I cannot remember nubmers exactly.

    On this old iBook hibernation seems to work fine. If left alone I`m quite sure the system goes to sleep and I have to press enter (or something) for it to wake up and hard drive activates, I get a black screen with the cursor arrow, and a second press on enter makes the screen light up (I have bootup into active system, no logon password). I usualy leave lid open when I don`t do a full shutdown.

    I even get the white dot of light blinking when computer goes dormant, the one indicating power cord is plugged in (exactly like osx do, charging battery I suppose). In previous versions of lubuntu I have had trouble with both lubuntu and ubuntu dormant functions, but this time it seem to work fine with no extra fuzz. There has been no heat problem, or even the normal amount of heat when returning to a dormant computer. I have been assuming it worked fine, maybe I should double check.
    Last edited by 2blue; August 7th, 2012 at 04:24 PM.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Intermittent Airport.

    You are right killabuntu, by iBook doesn`t go completely dormant either. There is something ever so slightly buzzing from the electrical. I think I will bootdown completely, it can`t be good for a hd to be on at all times? There is no detectable heat though, I left it for two hours and all cool when I came back.

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