F12/13: Ndiswrapper, topdog Wifi, Thunderbird & network degradation...

Daniel B. Thurman dant at cdkkt.com
Sun Aug 29 17:55:43 UTC 2010

I have a gateway M-6750 laptop which sports a
Marvell TopDog wifi chip.  I have obtained the
latest drivers for this chip, and used ndiswrapper
to hook itself to the XP/Vista topdog driver, and
it at first appears to be working... although there
are crash data appearing in the log files but other
than that, it continues on working.

I can use Firefox, and Pidgin and the network
appears to work fine.

But the minute I start Thunderbird, it  appears the
wifi/network performance is severely degradated
as TB is trys to sync the IMAP server data with
local data storage.  It knocked out pidgin. gkrellm
displayed Xorg was hitting CPU hard, Nautilus
froze for a time, gnome terminal blocked text entry,
basically, everything appeared eratic.  But given
several minutes of time for TB to settle down and
to finish its tasks, the system seemed to return to
some sense of normalcy - just slightly better.

While this was going on, I thought I'd ping a local
server to get some sense of what is going on with
the network since I cannot think of a better diagnostic
test, and the summary is shown below but watching
each ping line, there appeared many times, complete
line display stoppage running several seconds before
the next display appears.

42 packets transmitted, 41 received, 2% packet loss, \
    time 41873ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.754/359.603/2005.013/581.445 \
    ms, pipe 3

Line by line data, the highest delay was 4000ms at that
short time of testing.

Is there anything I can do to see why there is network
degradation and if it is related to ndiswrapper or not?
I tried wired LAN and there is no network degradation?

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