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Date:      Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:16:41 -0500 (CDT)
From:      "Valeri Galtsev" <>
To:        "Duane Whitty" <>
Cc:        "Polytropon" <>,,
Subject:   Re: Wireless on Dell Latitude D630
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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On Mon, July 31, 2017 10:44 am, Duane Whitty wrote:
> On 17-07-31 12:40 PM, Polytropon wrote:
>> On Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:19:27 -0300, Duane Whitty wrote:
>>> Polytropon, in an earlier thread on this list (FreeBSD 11.1, Xfce, and
>>> laptop screen and external monitor resolution) you mentioned you were
>>> using a Dell Latitude D630.  Do you have the wireless working under
>>> FreeBSD on that machine?  I am writing this email from D630.
>> Yes, it works very nicely, even though I do not regularly use it
>> due to a "fixed installation" of that particular machine, even
>> with a docking station. :-)
> That's awesome.  Thanks for your quick reply.

Incidentally, Dell is known for changing chipsets almost on daily basis.
With the same laptop model you may have multiple choices of wileress
adapter. Intel one may cost a few dollars more (but you know what you
get). "Dell wireless card" may mean any chipset Dell can get their hands
on at lowerst cost to them, and the "re-brand" it as Dell; if you are
lucky (from the point of view of FreeBSD compatibility), you may get
Atheros, if you are not, you may get crap like Broadcom BCM 43xx (the last
is proprietary with very little of info about internals disclosed, but the
worst is: it has 64 bit bus front end, but is 32 bit internally... mess in
other words).

So, good luck. If worst comes to worst, you can get different WiFi card on
e-bay, make/model that is known to work under FreeBSD. The good news about
Dell is, they do not make in BIOS list of "approved" adapters, as opposed
to nasty guys like Compaq, I'm not sure is after HP bought them out they
still do so. But I grew big tooth against them as I had to unsolder BIOS
EPROM chip, dump its content, and edit it with hex editor to make my
compaq laptop boot with good WiFi card to replace Broadcom BCM 43xx crap.
Incidentally, that is the same Compaq who used "clean room design" to
reverse engineer, write full specs, and another group wrote new BIOS and
made their IBM PS compatible:

(and made hundreds times more in revenues during the first year compared
to what they invested). This was the most upsetting fact for me (that it
was they who had "whitelisted" hardware in BIOS), so I gave up on Compaq
for good.

Good luck!


> Best Regards,
> Duane
> --
> Duane Whitty
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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