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Windows 3.x and wifi?

harshbarj

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Feb 23, 2011
Messages
28
Location
Omaha
I have an old Grid 486 tablet pc and want to get it on my network. It only has one type I/II pcmcia slot and one 9-pin serial port for expansion. The only 2 cards I have that are of the old 16-bit pcmcia type are a 3com type III card (takes the space of 2 type I/II cards) and a dlink dwl-650.

Just for fun here are some pictures of it

grid1.png

grid2.png

grid3.png
 

Raven

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DE, USA..
Cisco Aironet 350. I have one (won't give it up for the world) and it DOES work under Windows 3.x - it's also supposed to work under DOS but I couldn't get it to associate under DOS. Under Win3x it works, but I couldn't get WEP to work. Rather limited, but it DID work, and I had a laptop running Win3x googling around wirelessly - it was quite a sight. :D

They also produced a PCI version (basically just the PCMCIA version bundled into a PCMCIA to PCI adapter) which would be compatible with the same software. I'd love to get one of those sometime and add it to a PCI 486, heh.

Your picture links are broken as I type this, but perhaps they are still uploading..?
 

glitch

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IIRC, the Orinoco PCMCIA cards work fine in Windows for Workgroups 3.11. The Orinoco Gold cards are excellent devices...even have an external antenna port! I keep a few around for older PC/Mac laptops.

They also produced a PCI version (basically just the PCMCIA version bundled into a PCMCIA to PCI adapter) which would be compatible with the same software. I'd love to get one of those sometime and add it to a PCI 486, heh.

There are also ISA-based PCMCIA adapters -- I had one in that Prolinea Net/25! I think it was a Vadem based card...worked fine under Linux, I believe I used it under DOS as well with CF cards in PCMCIA adapters.
 

Raven

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When you guys say "drivers" for MS-DOS do you mean NDIS drivers for the workgroups package for DOS, or do you mean a packet driver. I'd kill for a wifi card with a packet driver, heh. I realize there are NDIS shims, but they don't always work right..

I think the Aironet 350 is supposed to be packet-driver-compatible but since I couldn't get it to connect to anything it wasn't really relevant..

Edit: Whoa, just saw the pictures now that links are fixed... I'd love to own one of those with a color screen (and sound, dunno what the options are on that thing)..
 

carangil

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Jun 3, 2009
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Oakland, CA
3.1 on wifi... thats crazy

Closest to that is I ran a x-over cable from my 286 to my laptop, and used the laptop to bridge onto the wifi network. But the 286 was running DOS.
 

Unknown_K

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Sep 11, 2003
Messages
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Ohio/USA
WFW on wifi isn't much different then using ethernet. Like others here I have old mac laptops (wallstreets) and having cards that work in PC (DOS to XP) along with mac is nice. That is a nice GRID system, I passed on one a year ago because it was missing the pen and there was no power supply (and that looked very proprietary).
 

Anonymous Coward

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If you have any routers that do WDS, you could always just create a wireless bridge. That way you could just use any old ethernet adapter with an RJ45 port and not have to worry about wireless drivers.
 

Raven

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But that's cheating. ;)

Plus it assumes an ethernet port with access to what you want is available - what if you're at someone else's place with a portable box running DOS? I've been there. :p
 

harshbarj

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Feb 23, 2011
Messages
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Location
Omaha
I am mainly interested in wifi so I don't have to run another cable. Also I already have a 16-bit wifi card, though I can't find dos or windows 3.x drivers. Problem is dlink made at least 2 versions of this card with the same model #. One was the short lived 16-bit PCMCIA version and the other, more popular cardbus version. Going to dlink would have you think that ALL DWL-650 cards are cardbus, that's not the case.


Also I too did not get the pen for this system, but I did get the floppy drive. The PSU is highly proprietary and will be hard to replace when it dies. The laptop itself has no power connections so the psu plugs into the now dead battery.

Now in a pinch I guess I could just use a null modem cable, but again that's another cable I don't really want to run, and it is SLOW!
 

njroadfan

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Jan 21, 2011
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if you have a 16-bit D-Link DWL-650, its nothing more then a rebranded Intersil Prism. I don't think there were ever 3.1x/DOS drivers for it (I have one too).
 

kishy

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Just wondering - ok, so there are drivers for some Wifi cards in early Windows and MS-DOS environments. Is there then a utility you can run to view available APs to connect to, or do you edit a configuration file with the 'profile' for it to connect to or what?

I would imagine that any security of any kind is out of the question - this is supposed to be OS-integrated.

Funky idea, but has there ever been such a thing as a wifi card that presented itself to the computer/software as a wired ethernet card, but which had a control interface (say, a little touchscreen LCD on a cable) attached to it to handle the wifi connection in firmware? I really doubt such a thing existed, but it'd be pretty awesome.
 

Raven

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In DOS with the Aironet 350 you're supposed to be able to list the available APs and then configure manually (could probably write a nicer tool to wrap them) but in Win3x there was no way to list the APs - unless the DOS tool worked there too.. hard to know, because all of the DOS software for it wouldn't work for me.

The Aironet 350 is SUPPOSED to support WEP, and the drivers have places for WEP keys, etc.. so at least some form of encryption is intended to work, but in practice I could not get it to associate when WEP was set up. Not a problem with the card, btw, because it does WEP just fine under Linux (it's an Atheros card, so it's also good for Linux.. 802.11b only, though).

Speaking of chaining a router to a machine... I did something even more hilarious. I had my Panasonic Sr. Partner set up as a terminal to a laptop running BSD which had the Aironet 350 in it and was connected to wifi. I wanted to do PPP and dial into the laptop to give it a more legitimate connection, but couldn't get it working on the BSD end. Anywho, I had wifi on DOS 2.11 on a Sr. Partner with an 8088. :p

I then dragged this Sr. Partner (and laptop combination, to use Links for www when needed) around college for about a month and did all of my work on it, printing using the internal thermal printer when needed. I was so bored during college... I was acing every class, but I dropped out due to stress and boredom. Anyway that's beyond off topic now, so I'll leave it there - lol.
 
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Raven

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I was using 802.11b, which is g-compatible, but not as fast - it's fast enough to compare with a fairly high-end broadband connection (in the US, that is).

There are 802.11g cards that work under Win98, but I'm not sure if any g-capable cards had Win3x or DOS drivers. However, you need to keep in mind that Win3x was still used in the embedded arena until as recently as 2003 or so - officially supported by Microsoft, even. DOS is still used in industrial applications and perhaps also in the embedded arena. This means drivers for modern network hardware are produced for DOS and 3x, at least for hardware that finds itself in embedded situations - until recently, that is.

My modern Core 2 Quad desktop's onboard gigabit LAN has DOS drivers, however.. heh..
 
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