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Re: pcmcia ethernet cards

> Hi,
> I should be getting DSL service in a few weeks so I
> need to get an Ethernet pcmcia card for my Dell
> Inspiron 7000. Are there any pcmcia ethernet cards
> particularly recommended? 

I use a Dlink that has been supported for a long time - it
has been reliable (even under adverse hub conditions) and
its cord has not been fragile as certain others have.

"Certain others" having been 3com cards.  After a colleague
told me he had broken 4 cords in the previous 6 months, I
wondered if he had a run of bad luck, but others in the office
reported the cords as fragile also.  (You can guess, I suggested
we change the standard issue PCMCIA ethercards)  Cords can be 
about half as expensive as the whole card, so fragile cords
can really rack up the price for some manufacturers.

> Should I get or avoid a
> cardbus card? 

If you are hoping to use it in more than one laptop, you should
*not* get the latest/greatest, because there are not just cardbus, but 
now there is some extension to the standard (called ?? I forget)
which produces a little more power...

Such cards can be more featureful, but can also fry both the card
and a laptop's card-bridge if plugged into an old enough laptop. Brrr.

My information was from a recent print article on the subject -- sorry
I can't recall which, but it's one of the laptopper magazines.

> Does anyone have experience with cards
> that are ethernet + 56k modems? Are there any problems
> using 2 ethernet cards in one machine, i.e., will the
> card + wires both fit?

I have successfully used more than one ethercard - though they have
flat specialty cords, not xjacks or in-card ports.  The placement of
an xjack may cause it to not be shareable with all things, and an in-card
cord port is tall, so would force it to be type III even if the firmware
doesn't require that.
> I'm planning the following setup:
> - Dell Inspiron 7000, running Debian w/ firewall
> options compiled into the kernel as the "permanently"
> connected machine.
> - On occassion, a second laptop will be networked with
> the Dell, so it can also use the DSL connection [it
> runs Windows 95].
> - Rarely I'll need to bring the Dell with me places
> and I'll want to use a modem.
> With this in mind I think I may need 3 cards (please
> correct me if I'm wrong -- I have never setup a
> network before). One card for the DSL-Dell connection,
> 2 cards for the PC-PC connection [one each]. And I
> guess one of the three card should be an ethernet +
> modem. Obviously, this means 2 cards in the Dell.
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
> Richard

If you get a card type which the Dell and your MSwin box are
both happy with, which uses flatcords and therefore is happy
to be type II slot friendly, you'll be happiest.  

If one of the cards in the Dell is for connecting to the DSL,
when you're one the road you won't need that because the modem
will be serving the same purpose (outside world connectivity).
So, that could be one dual-natured card, or you can simply get
3 of the ethercard, and one plain modem. For a total of:

DELL -  slot 0 (ether and/or modem)
        slot 1 (ether to speak w/mswin-top)

mswin-top - slot 0 (ether to speak w/DELL)

plus one cross-connect cord.

You didn't mention if your DSL codec also doubles as an etherhub.
Most don't, though my Trancell does.  

-* Heather Stern * Starshine Technical Services * star@starshine.org *-

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