After the problems I had connecting to wireless networks overseas with my kogan agora netbook, I emailed kogan support and explained the issues I had been facing.
A support representative emailed me back rather promptly (6 minutes later!) and acknowledged the under-performance of the VIA wifi card. They also offered to send me a replacement card, which is now being used in the agora netbooks.
I quickly took up the offer, and a week later, the new Ralink wifi card arrived in my mailbox (see the picture gallery below).
Change over of the card was very easy – power down, remove battery, remove single screw for the back panel and slide open the panel. Next I used small pliers to carefully lift off the two antenna connectors, and then after removing the single screw holding the card down I was able to pull it out. Installation of the new card was the reverse of the removal of the old.
Upon rebooting I was delighted to see the new wifi card worked out of the box – no driver installation required (unlike the VIA card). It also connected to my wireless network at home, just like the old card had.
I then checked to see what networks were available – knowing after a quick check of another laptop that three networks were in range. Unfortunately, there was still only my network available.
The next day I tried to connect to the wireless network at my workplace. Again I had the same issues that I had faced with the old card. The netbook associates with the wireless access point, but cannot obtain a DHCP lease.
I am now pretty much convinced that this is a issue with ubuntu, and dhclient. More investigation is required though – I will keep you posted.
I do recommend that anyone who has an early kogan agora or agora pro netbook with the VIA wifi card to email kogan with your original order number, and request a replacement wifi card. I was offered the option to have the card mailed to me, or to send in my netbook to have the new card installed.
With the new wifi card, you do not have to worry about drivers in ubuntu, and also the card apparently performs better than the VIA card, so it is worth the email!
- kogan support email – firstname.lastname@example.org