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Thread: PC Cards

  1. #1
    Senior Member Raion's Avatar
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    PC Cards

    First off let me state that I'm not very familiar with laptops and PC Cards.
    I have a Dell Inspiron 1000 and it doesn't have an integrated wifi card. I'm looking to buy either a USB Wireless Adapter or a PC Card. I never used either and assume that a PC Card will provide a longer range and I hear USB Adapters heat up a lot. My problem is with compatibility. My question is, do PC Cards universally fit into all laptops with a PC card slot? If not what should I look for?
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  2. #2
    Assuming you mean PCI (a PC is Personal Computer whereas a PCI is a Peripheral Component Interconnect) then sort of yes, assuming there is physical room for the card.
    I've never heard of USB adapters heating up much.
    The expected range is something you're likely to find on the box.

    Software compatibility is another issue altogether.
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  3. #3
    Just Another Geek
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    I think he means PCMCIA but that's the "old" name. It's called cardbus these days.

    As for the universality of them, yes, they should fit. Just be on the lookout for Type I or II. The latter takes up 2 slots and might not fit. Most cards are type I though.

    I'd go for a cardbus type. It integrates better, meaning it'll slide inside the laptop as opposed to an USB dongle type sticking out. Probably better support for anything other than Windows too.

    What are you going to use it for? Wardriving? Or just general wireless connectivity?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Godsrock37's Avatar
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    my 2 cents

    usb ones dont give you as good connectivity and cardbus are significantly better. I'd agree with SirDice on the convenience of a more conceiled option rath than the sticky-outy of the usb. the only convenience of the usb ones, u can put them on a key chain, thats about it, oh, and probably generally cheaper but i could be wrong there too. anyway, i just recommended a cardbus wireless card to a friend and hes a pretty happy kid, so ya.
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  5. #5
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
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    If you get a USB one, you pretty much know it can interconnect.

    But for PCMCIA/Cardbus cards, one lookout has to do with their size--or rather, their thickness. Looking at specs online, your laptop will probably support either a Type I or Type II card, which are the most common. (Type III is pretty thick and usually gets used for small hard drive etc.)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Raion's Avatar
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    These things have TOO many names, the dell manual says PC Card, everyone else calls it PCMCIA/Cardbus.

    Assuming you mean PCI
    uh? Laptop + PCI?

    As for the universality of them, yes, they should fit. Just be on the lookout for Type I or II. The latter takes up 2 slots and might not fit. Most cards are type I though
    I have a hunch that a wireless card won't be type II unless it's really sophisticated

    What are you going to use it for? Wardriving? Or just general wireless connectivity?
    General connectivity.

    I'd agree with SirDice on the convenience of a more conceiled option rath than the sticky-outy of the usb. the only convenience of the usb ones, u can put them on a key chain, thats about it, oh, and probably generally cheaper but i could be wrong there too.
    Yeah, that was my argument and I was looking around on eBay for a good deal on one and low and behold I got one for $14.37 (shipping included) :-D It's a "NETGEAR RANGEMAX WPN511" which is cheaper than the cheapest USB wireless adapter I found which was at RadioShack for about $20 + tax.

    I also got a nice wireless router for $27 (My free one wasn't cutting it.) I love eBay.
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