3Com PC Card 3C589C Combo

I have a 3Com PC card (PCMCIA) 3C589C Combo. From what I've been able to learn, the "C" is a redesign of the "B" and should be functionally identical. The combo supports both 10BASE-T and 10BASE2 (thinnet). One neat thing about it is that it draws less than 50 milliamps when using 10BASEt. 10BASE2 uses four times more power.

3Com has a 3C589 FAQ. You can pick up the lastest 3C589 adapter software package from their latest drivers ftp directory. It's a good idea to fetch 3C589N.EXE, unpack it and then delete everything except INSTALL.EXE. Having a copy of this on is handy if you need to change the IRQ or want to run diagnostics on your interface.

I run my 3C589 at:

IRQI/O addr

Note that the 3Com web pages had not be updated to reflect the "C" revision of the product at time this was written.

Also, 3Com apparently shipped some 3C589C's that report the wrong adapter id.

Extra dongles are available from most of the mail order computer stores. Ask for the following part numbers:

3Com Part numberDescription
3C-PC-TP-CBLtwisted pair only
3C-PC-COMBO-CBLtwisted pair and thinnet
The twisted pair dongles are only about $20 but I believe the combos are a lot more expensive.

Here's the Linux Alpha Test 3C589 Linux Device Driver page. It's by the driver's author, Donald Becker, and has detailed instructions on how to get and install the driver under Linux.

Xircom Pocket Ethernet Adapter III

Xircom makes this neat parallel printer port ethernet adapter. It almost always works because it's so simple; you just plug it into a parallel printer port. But in the best case you get at most 1 Mbit/sec of bandwidth (this limit is imposed by the parallel printer port). There's a driver page that has device drivers for most of the popular PC operating systems. And the standard BSD/OS installation diskette supports network installation using the Xircom adapter.

Note that source for the BSD/OS driver is not available due to licensing restrictions imposed by Xircom. For this reason, I do not recommend buying this device. (Not having source prevented me from fixing three annoying bugs I discovered while using it.)

IBM Home and Away Ethernet and modem PCMCIA card

IBM makes an inexpensive Ethernet and data/fax modem PCMCIA card ($70 at the time of this writing). It's called the IBM Home and Away Ethernet and modem. Since the modem is the same speed as the Butterfly's built-in, this unit is only attractive as a cheap PCMCIA ethernet card.

You can pick up the Windows 95 driver directly from IBM.

Generic Ethernet information

A great source of information about ethernet is the University of Texas Ethernet Page. (nice!)

If you want to make your own ethernet cables, this Telco Wiring Chart can be helpful.

Related Craig's Butterfly pages:
satan inside

Back to Craig's IBM Butterfly page

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005
Craig Leres