Coal-burning wifi
January 10, 2007 6:54 AM   Subscribe

I have an old laptop and want wireless on it.

Are there any wifi cards that fit the OLD pcmcia I/II slots? All the wifi cards I can find are Cardbus-era, which won't even fit in the slot. I don't have USB on this thing either, so that's not an option.
posted by sonofsamiam to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Orinoco Silver ought to do the job. It's a PCMCIA Type 2 card, and probably one of the best ever made.
posted by majick at 7:06 AM on January 10, 2007

This might sound kind of bizarre, but when I installed a wireless card in my mom's ancient laptop, there was a problem where the wireless signal actually induced a current on the laptop's improperly shielded speaker wire, causing an annoying buzzing noise whenever data was sent over the network. This probably was only an issue for a scant few models of laptop, but it might be something you want to watch out for. Changing the volume had no effect, but plugging in headphones solved the problem.
posted by zixyer at 7:19 AM on January 10, 2007

Response by poster: majick: sounds great, thanks! I see they are cheep on ebay and have found several forum posts that say configuring it on my linux distro is a dream, so it looks to be exactly what I want.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:33 AM on January 10, 2007

FWIW, lots of companies make Orinoco Silver/Gold cards. (Gold means 128-bit WEP.) also look for Dell TrueMobile 1150 or Lucent WaveLAN cards (be wary about the WaveLAN ones though since Lucent used the name on some really old pre-802.11 cards too - make sure it says 802.11b).
posted by mrg at 8:48 AM on January 10, 2007

The orinoco silver cards are wireless workhorses.

I got one as a hand-me-down from a friend, and it got better reception than most of the built-in ones my friends had. I knew someone who had one that had lost all of its casing and been otherwise mangled, and it still worked like a charm.

My only problem with it now is that the attached laptop has no working hard drive.
posted by that girl at 8:52 AM on January 10, 2007

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