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Review: Adapter Card Shines, which touts its site as the source for hard-to- find parts, offers a unique PCMCIA to PCI host controller card that works with any 32-bit PCI slot. The adapter card is ideal for switching mobile wireless WAN cards between notebooks and PCs, and works with USB 2.0, FireWire and LAN, including legacy network devices such as modems and RS232 devices. The adapter is compatible with most broadband cards, according to controller 32-bit PCI FireWire broadband

CRN tested the adapter using an Orinoco 11b/g PC card installed on an IBM notebook running Windows 2000 Professional. Installation of the Orinoco card went without a hitch and, after a quick setup, performed flawlessly once placed on an Intel-based system running Windows XP.

The adapter card is a full-size PCI card that probably won't fit on some dedicated servers and PCs with small form factors. (Test Center engineers could not fit the card into a small tower HP server.) When offering small PCs, system builders must consider motherboard configuration, case size and peripheral connectivity before installing these cards.

The card is especially useful in electronic training centers where desktops need to be set up with external digital hardware on a daily basis. For instance, the external access port allows users to quickly switch data acquisition modules such as Wi-Fi spectrum analyzers, multimeters and digital storage oscilloscopes without having to open the systems.

Custom-system builders also can offer the adapter card in PC systems that must connect to external peripherals. According to, the adapter works with Serial ATA and just about any external hard drive, as well as printers, scanners, PDAs, Webcams, digital cameras, CD-RWs and Zip drives.

The card supports any Type I/II/III CardBus/PCMCIA and is compliant with the i82365SL register set. In addition, the card supports 16-bit cards using PCMCIA 2.1 and JEIDA 4.2.


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