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PCMCIA WiFi compatibility

On Mon, 19 Apr 2004, Derek Martin wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 18, 2004 at 12:39:37PM -0400, Bob Keyes wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Sun, 18 Apr 2004, Duane Morin wrote:
> > > Does anybody recommend a pcmcia wireless 802.11b card that is
> > > plug-in compatible with Fedora?
> [SNIP]
> > The most compatible, and most tested card in the world is the
> > Orinoco series.
> I'd like to point out that Orinco is a chipset, not a card...

Actually, Hermes is the chipset. Orinoco is a brand, a line that has been
passed around between corporations. Was Lucent (where it was known as the
WaveLan), then Agere, and sold off to someone else I forgot whom. Several
companies have resold the Orinoco cards uner their own names over the
years, including Dell.

What makes it ever so more confusing, is that WaveLAN also refers to an
older, pre-802.11 family of wireless equipment. There are
Linux/BSD/Windows drivers for these.

And to just top off all of the messiness, there are great similarity
between the Hermes and Prism2 chipsets, enough so that you can often use
the Linux Orinoco driver with Prism2 cards. This is what Red Hat does, (or
has done in the past), but it is not recommended.

> It's
> often a little difficult to determine what cards have what chipsets.
> This has, in the past, kept me from getting into wireless.

Not a good enough excuse ;)

> Basically, I was too lazy to do the research.  Having read similar
> recommendations in the past, I went to the store and looked for cards
> that had "uses (Orinco|prism2) chipset" or similar imprinted on the
> box, and found none, unsurprisingly.  So I didn't buy anything.

They won't tell you. Ever worse, some manufacturers switch design to
another chipset, and don't use a different model number. Which is why it's
really important to have a good recommendation.

SMC 2532W-B is my recommendation, having owned a large collection of
wireless cards over the years.

> If Dwane is like me, what he's looking for is a recommendation for a
> specific card -- brand and model number.

SMC 2532W-B

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