PCMCIA support

I would like to request PCMCIA support in Haiku.

I’ve heard PCMCIA wasn’t officially supported by BeOS R5, so I imagine support for it isn’t slated until Haiku R2, but there are a lot of ancient laptops out there that Haiku would breathe new life into who’s only networking option would be through PCMCIA cards.

I have an old Compaq Armada M300 which would make a great little “netbook” type device, and runs Haiku fantastically, but it has no internal network card or USB 2.0 port.

Yes, it would be great to have PCMCIA support added to Haiku but unless a developer wants to work on it; not likely to happen. I’d guess most developers are using desktop systems and also have more recent laptops with working network.

Your laptop should have a USB 1.x port. That is all you need. Haiku has support for certain USB to (wired) Ethernet adapters which would give you networking. USB 1.0 speed is 12 Mb/s. My internet connection is 6 Mb/s which is considered very fast. Most users will have speeds of 512 Kb/s to 6 Mb/s and USB 1.0 is fast enough to handle internet even accounting for overhead (speed ~ 10 Mb/s). But make sure you get adapter which is supported if you go this route.

PCMCIA support likely in R2 ( just my guess ).

I brought this up in the IRC channel the other week. I was disappointed because I wanted to try the experimental WIFI as I have an Atheros based PCMCIA card. What could be so difficult about PCMCIA? Perhaps a student could implement it (I do not have the skills yet, but maybe one day).

Actually, this raises a broader question. Does Haiku want to be “the OS for old hardware”? GeoWorks once tried that line and see how it worked out for them.

When I first loaded Alpha 1, I was relieved to see that the goal of duplicating BeOS R5 hadn’t been taken to the literal extreme of writing drivers for long-obsolete 14.4 modems. With so many drivers needed for current hardware, channeling the limited dev energy into supporting obsolete machinery does not seem to make much sense right now. Perhaps it could be developed as a 3rd-party driver, installed separately from Haiku itself.

A reaction to the same question about PCMCIA was (years ago) that eventually Haiku R1 would include it. Also, there’s a ticket in Trac about this: http://dev.haiku-os.org/ticket/3702

What was said years ago may not be true today. Check this page out to know what to expect in R1:

Presently, PCMCIA is not listed in there so I do not expect it in R1.

PCMCIA likely will be held off until R2 though it could make it into R1 if there is lots of demand for it.

Then that ticket ought to be closed. Until it has, there’s hope… :stuck_out_tongue:

“I’ve heard PCMCIA wasn’t officially supported by BeOS R5”

As far as I remember, my PCMCIA ethernet card worked perfectly on my really old (pre win98) laptop when I tried BeOS PE.

Same here. I used BeOS app. ‘PC Card Wizard’ for that: http://www.bebits.com/app/601

Edit: more info here: http://betips.net/1997/09/09/configuring-pcmcia-cards/

4nntt, as you understand by now PCMCIA support is not likely anytime soon.

But I have great news for you: Your Compaq Armada M300 can be connected to the net using cable (RJ45) if you get yourself the Mini PCI card with the Intel NIC on it. I presume you have the Mini PCI card that only has the modem.

I have the bigger brother, the Armada E500 model, and I can tell you that the Intel PRO/100 chip in this card is very compatible, it will work with just about any OS you throw its way. The only OS that I have installed that doesn’t come with drivers for it is Windows 2000, and I’ve tried many. The reason I bought this MiniPCI card several years ago (even registered with ebay for this sole purpose) was to be able to get BeOS connected to the net from this laptop. That’s right! You will be able to use BeOS as well on this laptop. It works great, just get the sound and graphics card drivers from Bebits.

You will find this MiniPCI card on ebay by searching for the part number. Just make sure you read this first (I stumbled upon it while searching about your specific model):

But don’t let that stop you, you’ve already got an excellent machine for both Haiku and BeOS (and Linux too)! Good luck.