Mysteries of the WirelessDriver beta 5.1 for MacOS X Unveiled


By Chris Murphy et. al. (originally posted 12/08/04)

How to Install the WirelessDriver beta 5.1

  1. If you have been playing with another driver such as the IOXperts driver demo uninstall it now (or buy it and read no further).
  2. If you have been having trouble installing the WirelessDriver, run the included uninstaller. "/Volumes/WirelessDriver beta 5.1/Utilities/Uninstaller.command"

  3. Reboot
  4. Insert your wireless card
  5. Go to /System/Library/
  6. Delete Extensions.kextcache
  7. Also delete Extensions.mkext
  8. Run the WirelessDriver installer. "/Volumes/WirelessDriver beta 5.1/WirelessDriver Beta 5-1.mpkg"

  9. Reboot (leave card inserted)

The driver should work now. Settings are located in System Preferences --> WirelessConfig.

Installing the WirelessConfig command

This is an optional feature of the WirelessDriver.

The WirelessConfig command lets you adjust settings and get status from the command line. Note that it does not accurately report WEP status (It reports no WEP encryption even when there is).

  1. Inside the WirelessDriver disk image inside the Utilities folder ("/Volumes/WirelessDriver beta 5.1/Utilities/WirelessConfig") copy WirelessConfig to the follwoing location on your hard disk: /usr/local/bin (You can press command-shift-g and enter that path in a finder window.)

  2. Open the Terminal and type WirelessConfig to run the newly installed command

WirelessConfig -Help shows the help options.

The most useful to me, is WirelessConfig -status (which shows signal strength)

Getting the "Troubleshooting Info" script to work

This is an optional feature of the WirelessDriver, but requires that you install the WirelessConfig command (see the above section).

  1. Follow steps listed above and install the WirelessConfig command.

  2. Inside the Wireless Driver disk image inside the Utilities folder copy Troubleshooting Info to your Desktop. "/Volumes/WirelessDriver beta 5.1/Utilities/Troubleshooting Info"
  3. Drag Troubleshooting Info to BBEDIT or another text editor.
  4. Modify line 17 to say AirPort instead of Airport

  5. Save and close.

You can now double click Troubleshooting Info to get info about your setup.

Installing the SigMeter (displays a signal meter in your menu bar.)

The following section is outdated, see the comments below to download a new, improved SigMeter. If the links don't work at some point, you can always make your own as I describe here.

This requires Apple's free Developer Tools, specifically, Interface Builder.app.

  1. If you have been attempting to run SigMeter, you should now quit it by going into Applicaitons/Utilities/Activity Monitor and quitting the SigMeter process.

  2. SigMeter is missing a file to work properly.

  3. Download the WirelessDriver CVS tree: http://sourceforge.net/cvs/?group_id=34453

  4. Open in Interface Builder: "~/WirelessDriver/WirelessConfig/English.lproj/SigStrength.nib"
  5. Dismiss the Interface Builder Error.
  6. Save and close Interface Builder.
  7. Two files will be created SigStrength.nib and SigStrength~.nib

  8. Copy the first to the clipboard
  9. Now go to Applications/SigMeter and control click it (right click) and choose "Show Package Contents".
  10. Go into English.lproj and choose paste from the Edit menu. (This should add the missing SigMeter.nib file)

  11. Close the package contents window
  12. You may have to reboot
  13. Launch SigMeter by double clicking.

You should now have a signal meter in the menu bar.

Comments, Tips, Hints

This driver works but sorely needs updating, so would some competent developer please work on it?! One thing that I really like about the IOXperts driver is that it seems to get an IP address from the AP very quickly. The WirelessDriver on the other hand seems to take its own sweet time. Also the IOXperts driver finds networks automatically which sure is convenient and more Mac like.


If your connection goes down and then you go to check the WirelessConfig Preference Pane and that, in turn, locks up OS X, remove your WiFi card (do not reinsert it!) and save all open work. Then reboot. I think Tiger 10.4 should fix problems like this, but the driver may have to be rewritten.


This is a link to the WirelessDriver FAQ: http://wirelessdriver.sourceforge.net/faq.html

It does not contain information found on this page.


Newer, improved SigMeter than described above...

ftp://olympus.wwc.edu/pub/faculty/frohro/SigMeter.app.sit

Or if you like zipped better...

ftp://olympus.wwc.edu/pub/faculty/frohro/SigMeter.app.sit.zip


I tried this but it's so user unfriendly it's pretty much unusable. Kismac has an option to connection to scanned networks from orinoco cards. Pitty nobody has updated this in 3 years ! Danny Cork.

Response: Actually, the driver is updated by the community bit by bit but very slowly. If you subscribe to the developer mailing lists, every month or so someone submits a patch that fixes something or enables something. It doesn't seem like these patches are getting tested or integrated into a release due to lack of leadership (e.g. the recent updates for Tiger). It doesn't help that the IOXperts driver is pretty darn good. - CM



CategoryMacintosh CategoryHowTo

WirelessDriver (last edited 2010-08-15 13:46:22 by JasonMcArthur)