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first thing's first: upgrade your kernel and install the source with mandrake's rpm utility; download these; they are the 126.96.36.199.26 kernel and source; reboot your computer once you downloaded and installed
installation in mandrake can either be done by double-clicking the files or by going into a terminal and doing rpm -Uvh packagename
Let's get a few things straight. Because you don't know what this bz2 format is yet, doesn't make it "weird". That makes you sound a bit dense.
This is a compressed archive file. Think of it as you would a Winblows .zip file, ok? So it's compressed and inside of it are several directories and many files. You will need to learn how to uncompress tarballs eventually, so now is as good of a time as any. I bet Mandrake's graphical file explorer (Nautilus, Konqueror) will untar it for you.
All the same, as root you would move this file to the /usr/src directory and do
tar jxvf linux-2.x.x.tar.bz2
That will take care of that.
But to get back to your comment about not getting a clear answer: you did get one. I told you to look for an existing module in /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/wireless or wherever wireless modules are kept.
Then if you already have support for the card, insert the module. Let's first find out if you have a wireless module already.
Then if you do not, find the Mandrake rpm for prism2 and install it the Mandrake way.
Your question could probably be solved much quicker in the Distributions/Mandrake forum here at LQ because somebody there already KNOWS how to do this on Mandrake.
only thing i don't see is modprobe... did you modprobe your module?
find out what your module is named and then do
in a terminal or konsole; it will load the driver and take care of dependencies; then either use ifconfig eth0 up or whatever tools mandrake gives (although i wouldn't recommend them if not absolutiely necessary)
[root@192 wireless]# modprobe prism2_pci
/lib/modules/2.4.21-0.26mdk/kernel/drivers/pcmcia/ds.o.gz: init_module: Operation not permitted
Hint: insmod errors can be caused by incorrect module parameters, including invalid IO or IRQ parameters.
You may find more information in syslog or the output from dmesg
modprobe: insmod /lib/modules/2.4.21-0.26mdk/kernel/drivers/pcmcia/ds.o.gz failed
modprobe: insmod prism2_pci failed
[root@192 wireless]# wlanctl-ng wlan0 lnxreq_ifstate ifstate=enable
wlanctl-ng: No such device