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Re: PCMCIA wireless cards....\'just works\'?

On Sun, 2004-12-19 at 07:31, cjlesh wrote:
> Hey all:
> I've been searching on google all day, and not finding the answer I'm looking for.
> Is there a  list of wireless pcmcia cards that 'just work' in Fedora core 3? 
> No downloads, kernel recompiles, ndiswrappers, etc...I want to plug it into my laptop, and have it work.
> If you have a card that 'just works', please post the name, model number, and revision in this thread. Maybe if there are enough responses this could become a FAQ?

I think this has been asked many times in this list. It _is_ a FAQ, but
apparently not _in_ the FAQ. FWIW, here's my experience:

I tried a couple of WiFi cards under FC2, and while I finally got them
to work (kinda, sorta, d/l voodoo binaries, yuck!), I finally went out
and bought two that were "recommended". Of these two, I have tried one
under FC2, and I can report that it "just works". The card? "Orinoco
Classic Gold PC Card"; it is mf'd by Agere Systems, and the P/N is
"026258/A". I found a vendor through pricegrabber.com. Just so there's
no confusion, here's a URL with several vendors listed:


Other valuable resources you may want to check out:


In summary, if you want a card that's really supported under any
open-source OS with no bullshit voodoo/proprietary/kissmyass binaries
required then you must find a card that uses one of the "supported"
chipsets (i.e. hardware). You will hear the term "Prism chipset" used;
Prism chipsets were (are?) manufactured by Intersil - apparently they
published enough data on their chipsets to allow folks to write drivers.
Most of the other chipset manufacturers (notably Texas Instruments) have

In this free-market economy we all get to vote... we vote with our
purchases. So - if you buy a WiFi product that has open-source support,
you are "voting" for the chipset manufacturers that support open-source
software - you are telling them all that if they want your business, you
require them to support open-source software. If, on the other hand, you
buy a WiFi product that requires closed-source drivers you are voting
with the "Windows crowd". 

The bad news is that there is no open-source support for the "newer
technology" 802.11a & g WiFi (caveat: AFAIK - someone please correct me
if I'm in error here). Therefore you're limited to a "mere" 11 Mbps
under 802.11b  :) The good news is 11 Mbps is still pretty strong, and
most of the AP appliances out there also support 802.11b. 

Well - I've digressed... hope this helps, and don't forget to "vote".


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