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> I just got back from a long trip around the country and had my laptop 
> with a wireless card along to keep up with email.  In a few cases I was 
> never able to get connected at hotels that advertised access.  I wasn't 
> able to run Windows 'cause I screwed up the networking settings by 
> installing an Earthlink POS that appears to have trashed something and 
> now my wireless card isn't recognized by windows any longer but that's 
> another story.
> 
> The question is, "Is there something that would prevent me from getting 
> a connection on Linux?" 

Yes. Having the SSID set to the wrong value will do it. The SSID is a
string value that identifies a network; each access point and NIC that
participates in a particular wifi link needs to share the same
SSID. In Windows XP, the OS tells you which SSIDs are available and
lets you pick one to connect with. In Linux, there are tools to let
you do that (I guess iwlist and kismet are two, though I've never used
them). From the command line in Linux, the "iwconfig" command (with no
args) will tell you the configuration of each wifi card in your
system, and

  iwconfig wlanX essid "NETWORK NAME"

will set the SSID for adapter wlanX to NETWORK NAME, and

  iwconfig wlanX essid any

will disable SSID checking and let the card attach to any
available network.

-- Joe


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