> I recently acquired a machine with a 3COM Etherlink III ISA and am about
> to purchase a second ethernet card so that I can configure the system as
> a server/router/firewall. I have been reading the ethernet HOWTO which
> mentions that PCI cards are auto-detected and that ISA cards need to be
> properly configured as modprobe might be harmful to them.
3Com should be OK, even in an ISA version. misprobed NE2K clones can hang
the machine; but the NE2K driver doesn't even do probing anymore, IIRC,
precisely because of this. myself, i'd still look for a PCI card, just
because it's so much less hassle and worry. having to set hardware parameters
the hard way got old with me a _long_ time ago...
Quote:> Would it then
> be worth my time to save the hassle and fork out the money for two PCI
> cards (I can get the same card as is present in PCI form for $10 used,
> so it's not a big expense) and replace the ISA card?
how much is your time and effort worth? for hardware functionality, 3Com
is good enough that ISA versus PCI shouldn't make a difference; but how
much work, thinking and manual configuration are you willing to do over
the lifetime of the card just to save ten bucks?
Quote:> Or is configuration for ISA ethernet cards easier than it sounds?
you set the card's parameters (the one 3Com i owned, you had to run a
dos-based program to set them in the card's NVRAM), write the same
parameters down somewhere, boot to linux, and edit the isapnp and
modprobe configuration files to reflect whatever values you set the
card for. unless the driver is compiled into your kernel, in which case
you'll be editing the kernel's boot command line in lilo.conf instead.
and then you can forget about it, so that the next time you fiddle with
your hardware, it'll be time to scratch your head all over again trying
to figure out what you did and how...
Quote:> Also, I'm looking at hubs as well and some (like the 3Com HomeConnect
> 5PT) run at $150+. Is this a decent price to pay?
for a 3Com, i'd say so. i've seen noname sixport hubs for $60, and likely
you could get second-hand stuff even cheaper still, but for a new 3Com
that sounds like a fair price.
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