OK. I am working on the ath0 interface. I ran VASM and it configured wireless networking as well as some things it had never asked me about before.
Following your instructions for ath0 same as for wlan0:
ifconfig ath0 lists correct
ifconfig ath0 up works - no errors (later .... how do I get this to work automatically on boot?)
iwlist ath0 scan reports "interface doesn't support scanning : Invalid argument"
iwconfig ath0 has all the correct info
iwconfig ath0 mode Managed works - no errors
iwconfig ath0 channel Auto reports "Error for wireless request "Set Frequency" (8B04) : SET failed on device ath0 ; Invalid argument."
iwconfig ath0 ap any works - no errors
dhcpcd - t 25 -d ath0 returns the MAC address and exits
anything need fixing? how do i then connect? how do i start the wireless connection? vwifi-connect keeps reporting that dhcpcd is not running if i specify the ESSID. i issue command "dhcpcd" as root with no errors, but vwifi-connect still says dhcpcd not running.
I posted in the Madwifi forums about the compile for Vector Linux but got no response so far. The hype says it is platform independent, but then the readme files list a limited number of Linux versions. When I was an IBM developer, we tested on every Linux we could get our hands on and made sure we had no system dependencies! The source files for Madwifi are system dependent, and the comments don't give a hint how to change the target system except on the make command .... which has no effect. The code is getting a return from VL that doesn't match its valid system targets. I have no ambition to crawl through all their code and figure out how to bypass the target specification but I suspect it creates workable binary for any I386 or I486. Their source has errors, also, such as expecting files to be in certain directories. I played like I did when I was a developer and resolved each problem as it appeared, but then at the end of its makefile it fails on the system target. I think that's the only error left.
Getting this card to work .... or giving up and getting another one which comes with Linux support .... is the main thing I need to do to be able to proceed with anything else I want to do with this computer. The sound card still doesn't work but that is not important until maybe much later. For this laptop, I need to connect to the Internet, some day connect in my home network which has both ethernet and wireless, use AbiWord for editing, check email, and nothing else is important.