This is a short story for those people who think it is always easier to do things in Windows.
I have a Lenovo T61 laptop. Lovely machine. I bought it almost exactly a year ago. It came with Vista Business installed to an 80 GB SATA drive. Naturally, I immediately went out and purchased a 250 GB drive, cloned the existing drive to the new one, and installed several Linux distros.
I was using a ZyXel 660H router, had it for a couple of years. No wireless support. Never mind, don't really need wireless. However, a few weeks ago, my ADSL line went down. No idea what the problem was, but in checking that it wasn't my end, I replaced the microfilter and put a new router in (ZyXel 660HW). ADSL returned as mysteriously as it had vanished, but I'm much too lazy to pull the hardware. And now I've got wirelss. Might as well see if I can get it going....
Under Vector and Zenwalk (and Salix), no problem. Open wcid, select the wireless link, use advanced to put in the WPA passphrase and off we go. Works pretty well.
Now, for most of the time I've had the machine, Windows gets fired up once a week, mainly to pick up updates and updated virus signatures. I'd remove it completely, except I need it for customer support occasionally.
When I went to get updates, I forgot that I'd not had the wired interface plugged in, so Vista came up without a network connection. Should be easy to fix - after all, this is Windows, everything is easy, isn't it?
First problem - the LED for the wireless interface isn't lit. Oh, I remember, that happened a few weeks back after an update, and I do have things set so that the wireless interface can be powered down when not in use. Not a problem - go to Control Panel > System and power it back up.
Hmm. No, that didn't work. I can click the 'enable wireless' box as much as I like, but I'm still not getting any indication of wireless activity, and I'm certainly not getting connected.
After much mucking around, I found that only by reverting the driver to an older version can I get the wireless interace powered up. And with that driver, the 'allow interface to be powered down when not in use' doesn't work. Never mind, at least I've now got a wireless interface. Now to get connected....
As already mentioned, I'm not much of a Windows user, so I couldn't remember where to go to enter the WPA passphrase. Still, shouldn't be hard to find - this is Windows, everyting is easier.
I did eventually find it and enable it. Wow, wireless working under Windows. Only it doesn't seem to be very fast at all.
Comparing Linux and Windows wireless preformance, Linux is much faster. No idea why, and by this time, I don't care all that much.
Time to get wireless running under Linux - less than a minute. Time to get wireless enabled and running under Windows - about an hour and a half.
Yeah, Windows is always easier.....