Using Netstumbler with a Netgear WG511 PC card

When I run into trouble, the first thing I usually do is throw some words at Google and see what turns up. Half the time, my questions are answered within minutes. The other half of the time, I have to keep digging and figure things out for myself. Today was one of those times when I had to do my own figuring out, so I thought I’d be nice and publish my findings on the trusty ol’ weblog so Google can index them for the benefit of future sufferers.

The problem: After upgrading the drivers for my Netgear WG511 (an 802.11g PC card adapter), I was shocked and dismayed to find that Netstumbler, a program I use frequently, began crashing silently immediately after loading. This especially bothered me because I knew Netstumbler had worked with the card before, when I was using the drivers from the CD that came with it.

A Google search turned up no answers, but did lead me to several forum postings in which other poor souls mentioned they were experiencing the same problem and heartless bastards flamed them and posted links to the Netstumbler readme file, which clearly states that Netstumbler doesn’t support Netgear cards. “Funny,” thought I, “it supported them on the old drivers.” Thus, I began a search for older drivers that were still newer than the ones on the CD and that didn’t crash Netstumbler.

Lo and behold, faith an’ begorah, I found the solution in the same place I had found the problem to begin with: Netgear’s website. As luck would have it, you can still download an older—but not as old as the CD version—set of drivers from Netgear that works like a charm with Netstumbler. Mission accomplished.

Now index away, Google.