0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01) take two:

My Broadcom WiFi card is finally working with free software in gNewSense so I decided to make a post to explain how to make that happen for your card as well.

First you need to check your Broadcom WiFi card model: the OpenFWWF site says that 4306, 4311(rev1), 4318 and 4320 are tested and that they work. Not having one of those models is not a reason to try it, though.

Now, you need to install git-core, curl, bison and flex if they are not installed. Get b43-tools (http://git.bu3sch.de/git/b43-tools.git)and compile it.
After that’s done compiling (it should take 2 seconds or so), you need to download the firmware. Lastest firmware as of today is 5.2.
Extract the tar.gz and just “make”. When that’s done compiling (it also takes very little time) you’ll have 3 .fw files in your openfwwf directory. Those 3 files need to be copied to /lib/firmware/b43-open/ .

Then you need to install Linux-libre v2.6.30. A neatly packaged image can be found at my friend Ali Gündüz‘s Freedom Shoppe.

After that you need to pass an option to the b43 module. You do that by adding a line that says “options b43 qos=0” (without quotes) to the /etc/modprobe.d/options file. I also added b43 to /etc/modules but that might not be necessary.

Here’s a step by step copypastable list of all the commands for you (you may need to change the version number of the firmware or the kernel, depending on when you read this post; also make sure that WordPress is not using formatted quotation marks):

sudo apt-get install git-core curl bison flex
git clone git://git.bu3sch.de/b43-tools.git
cd b43-tools/assembler
sudo make install
wget http://www.ing.unibs.it/openfwwf/firmware/openfwwf-5.2.tar.gz
tar zxvf openfwwf-5.2.tar.gz
cd openfwwf-5.2
sudo mkdir /lib/firmware/b43-open
sudo cp *.fw /lib/firmware/b43-open/
wget http://aligunduz.org/gNewSense/freedomshoppe/linux-image-2.6.30-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.30-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb
sudo -i
echo “options b43 qos=0 nohwcrypt=1” >> /etc/modprobe.d/options
echo “b43” >> /etc/modules

I restarted and booted with the 2.6.30 kernel and my card was working. dmesg confirmed that I was using the free firmware:

[ 8460.884239] b43-phy0: Loading OpenSource firmware version 410.31754 (Hardware crypto not supported)

I would’ve liked it to say “free software”, just like I would’ve liked the firmware to be called free and not open, but that’s extra.

Enjoy your WiFi with freedom!

EDIT: I updated the openfwwf version to 5.2
EDIT2: updated the git repo for b43-tools

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Watch out, it’s an update

No, I’m not going to explain how to make qemupuppy run. If you need help to make qemupuppy work look for it in the interwebz. I’m also not going to recommend qemupuppy either since it is not a Free OS. If you want a Free OS that runs from a prendrive try FUSBi.

Since my last post a lot of things have changed: I have lost most of my patience (probably all of it) and I decided I won’t be publishing any more tutorials that can be found somewhere else on the web. I also migrated to a 100% free GNU distro: gNewSense (but I am, of course, using KDE). Before gNewSense I was using Debian Lenny, but gave up on it when I discovered that some people were making Debian go against its own DFSG. I’m happy to say that not all the people wanted that, but apparently the ones trying to use the Social Contract and the DFSG as toilet paper (yet again) were the majority.

Now, why did I decide to break the silence and come up with an update after all this time?

I’m sure that by now you can tell this is going be a [long] rant. So… here be tigers:


I want to talk about peer pressure. I have seen a lot of people getting bent by peer pressure to use nonfree software and that makes me angry at the peer preassurers and the peer pressurees but mostly at the latter, because it’s their mental weakness which makes peer pressure so effective with them. I have seen people installing Adobe Flash because they have been told that they __have__to__ watch this or that flash video which refuses to work with swfdec; instead of being strong and not letting their will be broken, they go against their ideals because some people tell them they are stupid and freetarded. Flash video is a horrible format and unless we fight it back it will continue being massively used. People are not aware that their conformism regarding this format doesn’t allow them to see the big picture, that unless someone breaks this vicious circle things are never going to change.

The same thing can be said about Sun’s Java (as opposed to IcedTea), AIM/Windows Live Messenger, Google, Launchpad or Linux (yes, the vanilla Linux kernel is non free, I’m sorry to tell you). Unless more people take action against this, we will only see an increase in the usage of nonfree apps/services.

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0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI (rev 01) for GNU/Linux

EDIT2: There’s another post for a working explanation to make a broadcom card work with free software.

EDIT: The method I had explained in this post made use of nonfree firmware. Thanks to Broadcom’s lack of cooperation this wifi card can’t be used nowadays with a Free Software OS.
I’m a Free Software advocate so I decided this post had no place in my blog. If you hate freedom you can ask Scroogle how to make this card work, but the best thing to do would be to complain to Broadcom and refrain from buying from them ever again.

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Ututo XS 2006 Vivo

I have recently been testing some Lignux distros: it’s not that I’m not happy with Kubuntu it’s just that I want a distro where I’m in more control of the contents installed and since I consider myself a kind of Lignux power user (keywords: “kind of”) I don’t think I really need ‘Linux for Human Beings’.
(Just to be fair, I’m not saying Kubuntu is bad, I’m saying that Kubuntu usually just ends up being Ubuntu’s ugly stepsister).

The lack of more interest on Kubuntu from the developers and the need for a distro that gave me more control made me decide to start trying new distros. It is weird that after so many years of being a Lignux user I only tested 2 distros: Slackware and Kubuntu.

So the first distro I decided to test was Ututo.
Ututo, a small lizard that lives in Salta, Argentina, gave its name to the Ututo project. From the Ututo project came the Ututo GNU/Linux distribution which, to this date, is one of the few that follows the 4 rules of software freedom by RMS.

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Stallman said in an interview:

All of the commercial distributors of the GNU/Linux system going back something like 7 or 8 years, have made a practice of including non free software in their distributions, and this is something I have been trying to push against in various ways, without much success. But, in fact, even the non commercial distributors of the GNU plus Linux operating system have been including and distributing non free software, and the sad thing was, that of all the many distributions, until recently there was none, that I could recommend. Now I know of one, that I can recommend, its called “Ututo-e”, it comes from Argentina. I hope that very soon I will be able to recommend another.

[This interview is a little old, now there’s also gNewSense which is free according to the 4 freedoms.]

Stallman’s support for Ututo is so that Ututo’s ISOs are hosted by FSF.

Ututo comes compiled for many architectures, which makes it faster for most computers. It comes with a choice of KDE, Gnome, IceWM, or Fluxbox and it has Beryl too :S It has its own package manager (uget) and the repos do __not__ include any proprietary software.

Now, what I tried was the Live CD from 2006 not the latest installable version (2007) and the 2006 Live CD comes with Gnome and IceWM. So, in case you were wondering… yes, I have been using Gnome for a while (but if I decide to install Ututo I will install KDE, of course).

I should also point out that Ututo was one of the first distros to produce a working live cd, something that was seemingly impossible at the moment.

Overall I really enjoyed the Ututo experience and I like that it provides the freedom that all the other distros lack. And who needs Flash anyway? Gnash won’t let me watch YouTube videos, but I don’t really care, I can download the FLV and watch the videos with my media player of choice.

Here’s link to a screenshot of the Ututo XS 2006 Vivo. To find out more about the Ututo project (which includes much more than just the GNU/Linux distro) you can visit Ututo’s website.

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ooxml, the April fools’ standard

I was reading /. to find out those juicy April Fools’ news and I read this article [0] that says that ooxml was approved by ISO. I wasn’t 100% sure it was just /. trying to be funny, but I didn’t believe it at first. Then I read another article in KDE Dot News [1] saying that KDE had voted “yes” on ooxml after receiving an anonimous donation. That allowed me to breath again: the ooxml article in /. __had__ to be a joke!

Well, I woke up this morning to face the sad reality: ooxml had, indeed, been approved by ISO.

I read the official ISO press release [2], I read the report article that appeared in nooxml [3] which called ooxml the banana standard and had nice logos that say ‘MISOSOFT’ and ‘ISO, A division of Microsoft’ (I would put the images here, but I try to adhere as much as I can to the semi-official, semi-serious ascii ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the web [4]).

I even read the comment by Idiot de Icaza on his personal weblog [5] where he acclaimed ooxml (not surprising, after he called it a “superb format” [6]).

Some people would say that ooxml turning into a standard doesn’t change anything for free software, but it does. ISO and all its standards have been discredited: if we complain about this new standard then we lose, because then all of our standards mean nothing (ODF); if we don’t complain, then we lose, because ooxml has no opposition.

I wish I could use ODF at all times, but I still have to exchange documents with people that don’t even know what ODF is and since M$ Office doesn’t work with ODF, I’m forced to save as .doc (which I hate doing, not only because I hate .doc, but also because I don’t like OO.o a whole lot; I’m a KDE guy, I’m all about KOffice).

So, yeah, ooxml is a standard now, even after all the corruption involved in its voting. The Free Software lovers should start a bigger campaign to promote OO.o, along with Sun, then people may not even use ooxml, regardless of its standarization.

[0] http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/01/2229207
[1] http://dot.kde.org/1207000153/
[2] http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1123
[3] http://www.noooxml.org/
[4] http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~ghelman/ascii.html
[5] http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Apr-02.html
[6] http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniaorg-blog-comments/browse_thread/thread/2a07b8b50038d8c8/d582162af2d63d57

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Jamendo will charge for their music

After the major failure with their new “orange” layout (that still doesn’t work with Konqueror), Jamendo has surprised the free software community and freedom fighters by issuing a press release stating that they are going to start charging 20 Amerikan dollars per album downloaded.

One of their admins said: “We tried to make people donate to keep this service free, but we are not Radiohead and we can’t even make enough money to maintain our severs”.

EDIT: just look at the date 😛

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Hello, world!

Python 2.5.1 (r251:54863, Mar 7 2008, 04:10:12)
[GCC 4.1.3 20070929 (prerelease) (Ubuntu 4.1.2-16ubuntu2)] on linux2
Type “help”, “copyright”, “credits” or “license” for more information.
>>> print “Hello, world!”
Hello, world!

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