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To be completely honest, I'm not completely sure this really qualify as a howto, but it's been such a pain in the ... neck to configure it, I'm pretty sure others have faced similar problems.
Anyway, here goes :
First of all, My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite 1900-101, and my WIFI card a PCMCIA Orinoco Gold, from Lucent.
Officially, this card works out of the box with Mandrake (and it did in 9.2), but since Mandrake 10 (both the Community and the Official releases), it has been a pain in the ass.
Step One :
To begin with, you must install the card. For me, it has always just been a matter of pluging the card in after boot. Assuming the card's lights do flicker (if not, see below), you then start the Control Center, go to Network and Internet (or something to that effect, my box isn't in english). There, you just configure a new connection, choosing wireless on the second page. You then should have the choice to configure either manually, or to go for a Lucent Technologies card. Use that last option.
You then have to configure the various wireless network parameters, along with the gateway.
Once you're done, you may or may not be able to connect, depending upon step three.
Step Two :
First problem. For some reason I don't really get, next time you reboot, you can do whatever you want, the card will not come online (no lights or anything). It actually is a problem with the pcmcia card manager.
You have to, as root, first add the line "yenta_socket" (without "") at the end of /etc/modprobe.preload
(that is if you're running kernel 2.6 - check it with kernelversion. If instead you're running 2.4, you'd have to modify /etc/modules; but beware, I'm not exactly sure of this).
You then do (still as root) depmod -a, and reboot.
Hardware issue should then be taken care of.
If you haven't been able to do Step one, it should go okay now.
Step Three :
Second Mandrake config issue. You may have problems with your firewall - hint, everything seems to connect okay, and yet you can't access the network in any way (but that may be because I did an upgrade through lan before anything else).
Anyway, the Control Center seems to have problems updating Shorewall. The easiest way to correct that is to edit manually /etc/shorewall/interfaces (as root), and to add "net eth1 detect" under :
#ZONE INTERFACE BROADCAST OPTIONS
(that is assuming your wireless connection is eth1. It may be eth0, adjust accordingly).
Restart shorewall (Control Center -> System -> Services), and you should be all set.