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Author Topic: Best/easiest PCMCIA wireless adapter?  (Read 17802 times)
big_anemone
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Posts: 3


« on: May 07, 2007, 07:11:47 am »

First, a prelude to my question:  I'm in the process of acquiring an old subnotebook - an IBM thinkpad 240.  We're talking limited hardware -- Celeron 300, max 192 meg ram, external floppy, no cdrom (and it can't boot from a USB cdrom!).  My theory is that Vector is the best distro for this machine, because if I can get the iso onto the windows partition I can then install it from there -- not to mention the fact that Vector is fast & small.

Now, the question:  does anyone know of a PCMCIA/cardbus adapter which will be configured automatically (or as close to it as possible) by Vector's initial install?  I need to buy a wireless adapter for it, and I'd rather have one that works out of the box (I've had _bad_ experiences with wireless on other distros!).  It would be a big plus is it supported WPA well...  I've looked at lists of wireless adapters compatible with linux in general, of course, but just because a driver exists doesn't mean that it's configured right by a particular distro...

thanks for reading!
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tanelle
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Posts: 24



« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 11:15:34 am »

The wireless card was the biggest pain on my old (not that old) laptop. I had no wired connection too, to download packages. My Card was a prism2 and I haven't been able to get it running till now. To let it work out-of-the-box will be to much to ask I think, but if you could acquire a card with realtek chipset it should not be to hard.

For myself: I bought a new card, with Realtek chipset and it was easy to install with Ndiswrapper.

I'm always happy to help, just ask.
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Running VL since 2002.Ubuntu and VL6.0 final on Thinkpad dualcore 1.6ghz /1 gb. VL 5.8 SoHo on mediapc 2.8ghz/768mb vl5.8 std+kde on 1 daughter's pc 550mhz/192mb other daughter runs Ubuntu 8.10.
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 05:59:39 pm »

Are you sure that old computer has a Cardbus (32-bit) slot? If it has just 16-bit PC Card, I doubt you'll find any wireless cards for it.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
big_anemone
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Posts: 3


« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2007, 07:15:39 pm »

I _think_ it does - the documentation on www.thinkwiki.org says that it should, and I'm inclined to trust the information there.  It's from 1999 or so, and Cardbus is older than that, so I'm not too worried about it.  Thanks for reminding me to check, though!
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uelsk8s
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2504



« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2007, 07:53:11 pm »

I have 2 that work for me out of the box
one is a dlink airPlus G dwl-g630
the other is a Airlink+ WLC3010

HTH,
Uelsk8s
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windancer
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Posts: 4



« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2007, 08:04:33 pm »

there is a 16 bit card that worked out of the box for me till I got my internal wireless working. found out I didnt actually need the card that my internal wireless also worked out of the box  Grin. The Netgear 802.11b pcmcia model number MA401 sells on ebay for about 10 to 15 bucks.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Netgear-MA401-802-11b-Wireless-PC-Card-16-bit-NR_W0QQitemZ170107937898QQihZ007QQcategoryZ42196QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


I have found this card to work with most distros of linux. works best with Damn small linux with absolutely no config it starts up on boot. you may want to consider damn small linux as its really small 100 meg install and is made for older laptops. I used to run it fulltime on an old panasonic toughbook p166 with 92 megs of ram and it flew!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 08:12:37 pm by windancer » Logged
big_anemone
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Posts: 3


« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2007, 04:49:36 am »

Thanks for the great recommendations -- I'll see if I can track down one of them.  I had no idea that DSL could configure wireless out of the box, so I'll need to investigate it more thoroughly.  Thanks for the help!

big_anemone
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raymac46
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Posts: 32


« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2007, 07:58:12 am »

I have a Compaq Armada 1700 of about the same vintage. It has a Cardbus slot and I use a D-Link DWL-G650 PCMCIA card with the Atheros chipset. It runs fine on VL 5.8 since i maxed out the RAM at 160 Mb.
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easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2160



« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2007, 10:46:53 am »

All I can say is keep away from any cards that have Ralink wireless chips.
Ralink Tech Corp.'s drivers are flaky at best, and the improved community versions still lack stable SMP support and general reliability.

At least for now, cards with Ralink chips are not a very good buy.
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gwt
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Posts: 69


« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2007, 04:12:25 pm »

What about a Linksys Wireless-G 2.4GHz  - -  WPC54G ver. 1.2

Any distros work with those?
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bigpaws
Vectorian
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2007, 04:23:18 pm »

That one could be a challenge due to the version #

There are some posts of problems and some that say the
card runs fine. So 50/50.

Bigpaws
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gwt
Member
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Posts: 69


« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2007, 04:51:30 am »

That one could be a challenge due to the version #

There are some posts of problems and some that say the
card runs fine. So 50/50.

Bigpaws

Any Linksys PCMCIA card recommendations? 

All my wireless and router gear is Linksys, so changing the card to something that's Linux-friendly or Vector-friendly would be most welcome.     Smiley
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bigpaws
Vectorian
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2007, 09:45:03 am »

The problem is that linksys as well as everyone else changes the
chipset even on the same model.

Short story install a distro on a laptop with a Broadcom
chipset real trouble. So I every linksys that I have used
had an easy install and no problems. Well then I picked
up a pcmcia card and the chip was changed the Atheros chipset.

There is no guaranteed card.

The card I currently use is a WPC54g rev4 (different chipset then ver 1.2)
and have had no problems with it.

HTH

Bigpaws
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LLL
Global Moderator
Vectorite
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Posts: 263


The sun is shining...


« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2007, 03:06:23 pm »

D-Link AirPlus DWL-G650 worked out of the box for me. Not a problem to speak of.

LLL
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Lost & Lovin' Linux...living on:
VectorLinux 6.0 with XFCE on Thinkpad T43p (2.13 GHz | 2GB | 60GB)
gwt
Member
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Posts: 69


« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2007, 02:31:05 pm »

The problem is that linksys as well as everyone else changes the
chipset even on the same model.

Short story install a distro on a laptop with a Broadcom
chipset real trouble. So I every linksys that I have used
had an easy install and no problems. Well then I picked
up a pcmcia card and the chip was changed the Atheros chipset.

There is no guaranteed card.

The card I currently use is a WPC54g rev4 (different chipset then ver 1.2)
and have had no problems with it.

HTH

Bigpaws

Interesting.  The ver 1.2 card I got in mid-2004 and it still works!    Cheesy

I think I got my money's worth, so I'm not adverse to spending $50.00 or so on a new Linux-friendly Linksys PCMCIA card.  I tried using Xubuntu with the WPC54G ver 1.2 and couldn't get it to work, so I'm using an ethernet connection at the moment.  Haven't tried it with Vector.

So I should look for one with an Atheros chipset?  Is that what your WPC54g rev4 uses?

-
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