There aren’t a whole lot of things that overwhelm me any more with Linux; I’ve seen miracles happen and I know too many cool things are possible. Unless it’s something that I’ve run aground with personally, I will take for granted that this operating system can solve just about any issue.
I did get a pleasant surprise with create_ap today though. There’s not much I can show for it, aside perhaps from this screenshot:
And if you have experiences setting up software access points, that might not even enthuse you. For me, it was a far less painful process than picking through the Arch wiki to get one machine to relay its network connection through another.
And it worked exactly as it said it would, with all but the most trivial setup: Give your network a name. And now I have two or three machines (both Linux and Windows, if I must be honest) piped through a fourth, and reaching the world beyond.
Sorry if I sound over-enthusiastic. I am sure everything on the wiki page is a cake walk for some folks. But I can remember as far back as Internet Connection Sharing between Windows 98 and 2000 machines, and recall weeping over their obtuse refusals to work.
So a script like create_ap, that just makes it into a whiz-bang one-line magic trick, is pretty darned cool. And I can also testify that there have been times, even in the past year, when a machine without a proper ethernet port is suddenly just an expensive flyswatter, because there’s no wireless access in range. 😦
I should mention that there is a small hardware requirement — your wireless card has to allow itself to be put into master mode. One machine with an Intel PRO/2200 wouldn’t do it, but a PCMCIA card with an Atheros 5K chipset would. Good to know.
Either way, this I will definitely keep around, because it simplifies the procedure and prevents me from pulling out my hair. And hey, it just might put a smile on your face. It did that for me.