A "Linus main tree" kernel is fine for x86, but for MIPS, most of the bleeding-edge stuff happens in another tree, before inclusion into the main tree.
This is the linux-mips.org cvs repository, that you can find here.
So, my patches are made against that later kernel, rather than the "main tree". Also, I work on the 2.4 "branch" for convenience, so here is the proper checkout command:
cvs -d :pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/home/cvs co -r linux_2_4 linux
patch -d linux -p1 < patch_file
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