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i just put etch on my box running on an athlon xp 3k+
previous system was suse 10.1, which had neither of these problems
(1) i found surprisingly little about this (most of it was outdated and often applied to 2.4 kernels): the driver for the orinoco usb wlan client from lucent/agere is said to be included in the kernel (the sources wont even build because they have a check included).
the device is listed in lsusb and i can modprobe orinoco, but no network interface is created, even if i unplug, then re-plug it in. (all other usb devices work)
(2) i found a lot of similar threads, but none was exactly like this problem: the ati 8.37.6 proprietary drivers installed, but after "aticonfig --initial", the screen stays black when i start the xserver. the system does not hang, though, since i can get back to ctrl-alt-f1 (when i go back to ctrl-alt-f7 after that, a blinking cursor appears, like no xserver was running).
modprobing the fglrx module succeeds (the kernel's own drm module is not loaded, so no conflict here).