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(links)-> (Parent)->incompatability Hell submited by Russell Fri 18 Aug 06
Edited Mon 21 Aug 06
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So I cam apon a Used IBM Thinkpad (390x)
Wiki page detailed specs (pdf)

It's a nice laptop, the screen gets buggy but bumping it usualy fixes it. I installed a linux on it, and it's quite useable, we have a wireless hub at home so I figured I'd get a PCMCIA wireless card, slap it in and it would work.

Sadly this was not to be...

I got a simple $20 adapter from tiger Direct, and the unit refuses to idenify it. I did some reading and found that the PCMCIA standards include both 16 and 32 bit adapters. The IBM 390X only supports up to PCMCIA 2.1 which is only 16 bit... Ok I can deal with slower speed. It wasn't all that long ago that All the networking in my office was over 10Mbps 16bit network cards. ( OK it was a long time ago) but my thought is that I could clearly browse the web at that speed and not die, and I'd be wireless ... well guess what... So far, I have looked all over ebay and still haven't found a wireless card ( even the old 802.11b 11mbps cards ) that doesn't require the faster "32-bit cardbus" PCMCIA conection.

This laptop must have been made at the tail end of the use of the older busses and none of the wireless networking adapters that I can find were made to be compatable with it.

So Now I have a useless wireless network adapter. ( my wife's laptop has built in Wifi ) I supposed I could sell it on Ebay.

I'll have to try a usb solution but linux support for that is probably a lot more questionable.

Linux Laptop and Notebook Installation Survey

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