xirc2ps_cs now completely unusable

STEPHEN POWELL zlinuxman at wowway.com
Tue May 19 23:23:30 EDT 2009

> (1)Could you post the full output of dmesg?
> (2)Could you try the kernel 2.6.29?
> (3)Does your Compaq card work, 
>    if you type ifconfig eth0 etc
>    instead of DHCP?

Hello, Ken.  Thanks for responding, and for responding so quickly.

In the process of collecting the data you asked for, I have
stumbled upon the problem.  As the Debian bug report mentioned
earlier describes, there are two laptops involved here.  One runs
Etch (kernel 2.6.18) and the other runs Lenny (kernel 2.6.26).
The Compaq Netelligent 10/100 PC Card adapter works in the Etch
machine and fails in the Lenny machine.  I concluded therefore
that something must have changed in the driver (xirc2ps_cs) between
Etch and Lenny that caused it to fail.  Well, there are differences
in the driver between the two releases.  But that's not the problem.
The problem turns out to be the Ethernet cable / dongle connection.

The cable that
runs to the Etch machine uses an older style of connector.  The
cable that runs to the Lenny machine uses a newer style of connector.
The cable that runs to the Lenny machine has a flexible plastic
sheath around the back of the hard plastic snap clip.  It is intended
to protect the hard plastic snap clip.  In particular it is intended to
keep the hard plastic snap clip from snagging on something and breaking off
when the cable is being pulled out from under the floor, or otherwise
being treated roughly.  The cable that runs to the Etch machine does not
have this protective plastic sheath.

As it turns out, the newer style of connector with the protective
plastic sheath does not mate securely with the RJ-45 connector in
the short patch cable, sometimes called a dongle, that transitions
from the miniature connector on the edge of the credit card adapter
to a standard RJ-45 connector, into which the Ethernet cable is
plugged.  There is nothing wrong with the card.  There is nothing
wrong with the patch cable (dongle).  There is nothing wrong with
the Ethernet cable.  But the patch cable (dongle) does not mate
properly with that kind of Ethernet cable.  Substituting a different
Ethernet cable with the older style of connector (no protective
plastic sheath) solved the problem.  The newer style of connector
does not allow good electrical connections to be made between the
dongle and the cable.

In other words, it's a hardware problem, not a software problem.
Sorry to bother you.

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