Friday, May 27, 2005

New wifi card for my Pocket PC

SanDisk Connect Plus Low Power Wi-Fi Card with 128 MB

This post is for those with a spare CF slot or looking to replace a dead-beat compact flash wifi card. The first thing I can say with confidence about this card is that the reception is better than that of my old Belkin Wifi card AND it's not so wide that it impedes the audio jack on my iPAQ h2210. My only fear is that this is not so low-power, fairing a bit over 2 hours in my estimates using a 900mah battery.

There are a couple of key features that make this a good card:
  • supported by MiniStumbler for wardriving
  • seems to have great reception (at a cost?)

  • For 29.99 (coupon code: Techbargains) at Surplus Computer with free shipping, it's a decent deal for casual use. The included PC Card adapter and 128 MB of flash memory are bonuses. Comes with a 90-day warranty.

    Note: There's no WPA support, so if you're concerned with privacy, you'll have to be extra careful. There also doesn't seem to be a 'Flight Mode' to turn off the radio without unplugging the card (or using PocketWarrior). Drivers for PPC 2002/2003 available here.


    Cogito said...

    Is wireless so important?
    I mean that, other than our own homes with wireless rounters, the univeristy campus and starbucks, there is nowhere providing free wireless service.

    But if i were in any one of them, i could easily find a PC or Mac within 20 feets.So, that s y I didnt pick a ppc with wireless option.

    Will said...

    There are two ways to justify having wireless access on a PDA. First, as more and more hotspots start popping up (announced or unannounced), you'd best be able to take advantage of them. Combine the scarcity of public computers near these access points with a lack of a notebook computer, it was natural for me to enable my PDA.

    There are also some unique benefits to have a connected pda:
    A) You can use war-driving software like PocketWarrior to find more hotspots.
    B) Having data on your mobile device and being able to add more on the fly makes your PDA more useful in the ways it already is. You can download documents, emails, webpages, and RSS feeds at one hotspot and process them on your way to the next without having to sit down or boot up.
    C) Real-time tools like instant messengers and VOIP (Skype in particular) are also useful on to the go to make brief phone calls in areas of poor reception or when you run out of minutes.

    It's not so much a necessity (as neither is a PDA) so much as a tool that allows you to make the most of your wireless-capable device. You're right in that a lot of it is redundant, but nevertheless fun and every once in a while, indispensable. Of course, it can also be frustrating when your battery dies in two hours to you have a connection but your signal is too low, or if you're limited by the device itself (in my case, lack of sufficient Javascript support, and if you'll believe it, pop-ups among other things).

    Cogito said...

    just like an old joke in Hong Kong, ppl say that along the whole Nathan Road, the backbone of the city, everyone can access hotspots, although neither providing nor enjoying these wireless connections is legal.

    ha, i ve never thought of using skype to replace the cell..haha..nice.

    o but if i would like to enjoy this, i better got another device instead of having a SDIO wireless. I have heard so many times that ppl broke the cards.