OK, I managed to pull the ZyDAS 1211 for the USB dongle (unsure of make) I have. It has worked pretty well for the last week or so, and all of a sudden this morning, I cannot stay connected for more than 10 minutes at a crack. No pages load, Opera 9.5 freezes out (not even Activity Monitor or kill -9 as root will put it to rest), and half the time, it takes the Finder with it.
As a result, I've had to restart my computer about 70 times today. I've tried to verify what it could/couldn't be--I've determined it's not the USB ports (iPod charges, 60GB disk is picked up by OS X, it's not Parallels (this happens regardless of whether I shut down its virtual NATs), and it's not Opera (Safari and Camino 1.6 crash as well). Reinstalling the driver (126.96.36.199) does not do anything to rectify the situation. Moreover, it has to be on my end, as I can seem to connect in via my iPod Touch.
I seem to suspect it's something with the dongle itself (although it seems to work OK on Windows XP), or something in OS X between the dongle and the network interfaces.
What happens is that the ZD WLan app shows a cut in signal (75-84% vs. 88-95%), no transmission or reception of packets. Pings back to the gateway (set up as 192.168.0.1) show 100% packet loss. Moreover, the dongle's light stops blinking and does not return. I am at a loss as I had interviews today and I had to struggle to get the basic stuff I needed.
The USB ethernet is set up as en3--en2 would be the ethernet if I had it working, and en0 and en1 were installed with iATKOS and have never worked.
I have no idea what the heck is going on, or how to rectify it. Right now, the wireless is my only way online--and any help in the right direction will be greatly appreciated
Running iATKOS 2.0i (10.5.2/build 9C7010) on a stock Compaq SR2180NX--if anyone needs more specifics, please PM me.
Thanks in Advance!
Update (20:54 CDT): The problem continues, having required 26 hard restarts (flip the power switch off) in the past 90 minutes. I cannot get more than 20 minutes of online access without OS X freezing and throwing a fit. This is really starting to get annoying, and I'm mulling just starting over (despite nearly 100GB of stuff to move)...