ethernet via PC Card (general)

ethernet via wireless PC Card

Wired & wireless ethernet and modem compatibility list

ethernet via IR

Internet via a desktop computer

What about sharing folders with Windows?

Connecting to the internet using a mobile phone











ethernet via PC Card

It is possible to set up an ethernet connection using the original netBook OS (build 156) plus the alpa-release ethernet drivers, or better, upgrade your netBook to the latest OS (build 450), which includes final release versions of the ethernet drivers.

To set up an ethernet config, use the 'Ethernet' control panel icon. First of all the, you must select the correct 'Device' when creating an Ethernet control panel entry. Refer to the (W)LAN compatibility list to see which driver to select (the chipset column).

There are two ways to configure TCP/IP addressing information; either manually or via DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol). If you are using only a hub to connect your LAN together, you will have to use manual configuration; if you have a 'cleverer' box, such as a router or gateway, then the chances are it will have a DHCP server built-in, and can supply all the addressing information your netBook will need.

Once you have entered the configuration information, you will need to perform a low-level test of your connection. To do this, download FLFinger. This program can perform a 'ping', which is the simplest form of contact you can make to another computer on a LAN. Choose the IP address or domain name of a different machine on your LAN, start a Ping, and the 'Connect to Internet' dialog should appear. Select the ethernet configuration that you set up in Control Panel, and wait for the results (N.B. You should now see the lights on the connector 'dongle' working - the Link light should be on, and the Data light should flicker). If you get a string of OKs, you know that you have successfully made a TCP/IP connection; any further problems you experience beyond this will be to do with the configuration of the software you are using that uses the TCP/IP connection you have made. If your ping does not work, then you have a problem. If the lights on the dongle do not illuminate, then a serious problem with support for your card is suggested - I can only suggest contacting Psion support to see if your card is supported. If you do get lights on the dongle, then re-check your configuration information (or enter manual config instead of DHCP).

For those who like to know what goes where, the IP information obtained via DHCP is stored in C:\System\Temp\DHCPLease.txt. Also, it is possible to set up a 'hosts' file (C:\System\Data\hosts for the format do a search on your PC for a file called 'hosts') , to map domain names to the IP addresses of local machines, and thus prevent your internet connection dialling up needlessly.



ethernet via wireless PC Card

(thanks to _JJ_ at the PDAStreet forums for some of this info)

As a starter, the list of compatible PC cards listed in my (W)LAN compatibility list will tell you the first line in what card to get for the Psion - this is the biggest limitation, since the current OS supports only two wireless chipsets. The other part of the equation is a wireless access point - the other end of your wireless network link. This will plug into the ADSL or cable modem so as to connect your wireless LAN to the broader internet.

In theory, any wireless access point that supports 802.11b WiFi should work with any netBook-supported PC Card. There are several types of wireless access point, however. In the situation where you have no wired networking kit at present, the simplest type to get is a 'home gateway'. This will share the broadband internet connection amongst all computers within range of its aerials. If you already have a wired ethernet LAN, then 'wireless bridge' devices are available that you can plug into your existing wired ethernet hub.

I have divided this howto guide into three sections:

How to configure my PC Card?

Initial Tests

Security Issues




How to configure my PC Card?

I have only used Lucent-type cards. These use the '802_11 Lucent' setting in the ethernet control panel. I suggest that you 'copy' this setting, so as to make your own based on its defaults, name your new copy and hit the 'Edit' button. The wireless-specific settings are on the 'Service' tab and within the 'Options' button on that page. Here is what I have learnt about what the settings mean and what you should set them to:

Tap the 'Options' button. If you're using the Cisco driver, the only option you'll get is SSID, which must match the value you've set on your access point. The Lucent driver has a ton more options, to whit:

Right! Now you're ready for some...



Initial Tests

Once you have configured the card, attempt a Ping as described in the last paragraph of my general ethernet guide. The first sign that things are working is that the light(s) on your wireless card will start to flicker (if they do not, then you have chosen the wrong driver or your card is simply not supported by your machine). Once you've initiated the ping, open NetstatRF, which you'll find on your extras bar. This will show you raw radio information about your wireless connection, and will at least tell you if the radio part is working, even if you fail to get a ping.

If you ping successfully, all is well and good, move onto the next section. If you do not get a ping, either your TCP/IP configuration is wrong at the netBook or access point end (go here for my quick TCP/IP refresher guide). If this is all correctly set up, all I can suggest is restarting your access point, or perhaps selecting channel 1 on the access point; one of these is what got it going for me.

Once you've made a connection, browsed your first web page, and grinned at how massively cool wireless ethernet really is, you're ready to improve your security.



Security Issues

If you've now got yourself a wireless ethernet network, and perhaps you've connected this to the broader internet via some sort of broadband connection, then I'm afraid you have opened up your computer systems to new forms of security risk. Virus protection alone will not protect your computers here on in!

The security issues relate to the broadband connection and to the wireless ethernet; I'll discuss them in turn.


Wireless Side

Now that you've got a wireless access point, you must keep in mind that you LAN is now accessible to all computers within range, not just those inside your house! If you do not want strangers either using your internet connection, or potentially spying on the data you send via your wireless connection, then you must take steps to protect your LAN.

MAC Filtering.
The very first and best thing you can do, if your wireless access point supports it, is to filter connections by MAC address. All network cards have a totally unique ID number called the MAC (Media Access Control) address. Somewhere in the config of your access point may well be the option to only allow connections from a editable list of MAC addresses. You are strongly advised to enable this feature, and add the MAC addresses of all your wireless ethernet cards. The address of the card will either be printed on the card itself, or can be obtained from the DHCP table elsewhere in your access point's configuration screens.

SSID restriction.
The second thing you can do to protect your network, once again only if your access point supports it, is to only accept connections from clients that have the same SSID as is set on the access point. This is not as good a security feature as MAC address filtering, but its better than nothing.

Okay, so your network is now protected from being used by unauthorised clients. Your connection however remains open to 'sniffing'. In order to prevent a client within range from 'listening in' on the data you transmit to and from your access point, you must encryt that data in some way.

Wireless LANs have a feature built-in to support this, called WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). This is easy to set up, but has a number of pitfalls:



Broadband Side

When you move from a telephone line to a broadband connection, you no longer dial up when you wish to access the internet; your computer connects up as soon as it is switched on and boots up. This means that the computer connected to the ADSL or cable modem tends to keep the same IP address for much longer periods of time, and consequently the machine becomes a target for a new class of 'viruses' - so-called 'worms'. These pieces of code do not subvert the use of your computer away from you at all, their aim is not to damage your computer but simply to 'borrow' some of your computer's processing time to do their master's bidding. This could include being an unwitting participant in directed denial of sevice (DDOS) attacks (ping or ICMP floods). Other more recent types of intrusion include unexpected Windows Messaging pop-ups, and other tracking software that keeps an eye on your browsing behaviour, and then targets you with advertising for products that it considers might be of interest to you. Whether you want this to happen is a judgement call, but personally I consider the installation of software on my computer without my permission to be a brazen invasion of my privacy.

The solution is a so-called 'firewall', separating your local network of computers (your LAN), from the broader internet. The better class of home gateway tends to have a firewall built in. For the more technically-minded (and for those desirous of higher security and lower costs!), an alternative is a cheap old PC (even a 486 or Pentium I) with only 32Mb RAM or so, upon which you can install a GPL- licensed (and therefore free!) firewall product such as Smoothwall. I have this configuration and can vouch for its simplicity and solidity :o)




(W)LAN card compatibility matrix


First of all, here are the proven results of testing by netBook/7Book users. Please read the notes and text following the table; many more cards are supported than this list might suggest, conversely some cards are available in multiple configurations, not all of which are supported!

For MalayBook refer to the netBook column, and for 7Books (Series 7 modified with a netBook personality module) the OS number refers to the OS revision the machine was originally supplied with - this gives a rough guide to the amount of current the PCMCIA slot can supply.


Make/Model Chipset FCC ID Max. current (mA)4 netBook 7Book (OS 751)11 7Book (OS 754) 7Book (OS 756)
Belkin F5D6020 Intersil Prism II/Atmel 10 7 K7SF5D6020 350 yes      
Buffalo Technology WLI-PCM-L11GP Lucent Hermes   285 yes yes yes yes
Cisco Aironet 340 Cisco   580 yes no    
Cisco Aironet 350 Cisco   500
yes no    
Dell Truemobile 1100 Intersil Prism II 7   350 yes no    
Dell Truemobile 11502 Lucent Hermes IMRWLPCE24H 285 yes yes yes yes
Enterasys Roamabout2 Lucent Hermes IMRWLPCE24H 285 yes yes yes yes
Linksys WPC11 (not V2.5 or V.3) Intersil Prism II 7 07J-GL2411010700 350 yes     yes
Lucent/Orinoco/Avaya Silver2 Lucent Hermes IMRWLPCE24H 285 yes yes yes yes
Lucent/Orinoco/Avaya Gold2 Lucent Hermes IMRWLPCE24H 285 yes yes yes yes
NetGear MA4018 Intersil Prism II7 PD5LMWP100   yes   yes yes
Psion CombineIT gold card LANGlobal 10/100 Ethernet CombineIT LGPF0C-001E1P   yes1      
Psion CombineIT gold card v.90 56K + 10/100 Ethernet9 CombineIT     yes     yes
Psion Dacom NETGlobal 56k+fax+105 9 Dacom (Olitech/SMC)     yes no/yes6   yes
Psion Dacom 10/100 Ethernet LAN Global9 Dacom     no no no no
SMC EZConnect (#SMC2632W) Intersil Prism II/Atmel3 7     yes yes    


1 - early cards need hardware patch to stop occasional triple-beep reset.
2 - the aerial on these cards obscures the stylus hole.
3 - two chipsets used; only the older card works (picture here), using Intersil Prism II chipset. Newer chipset is Atmel ('Prism 2.5') and card will be marked 'V2'.
4 - check here and  here for more on power consumption.
5 - need to change modem setting 'Wait For Dialtone' to 'on' from the default of 'off'. Sometimes setting 'Modem Type' to 'fixed line' helps too.
6 - the Dacom modem is intermittent with the 751 release.
7 - WEP does not work with the Intersil Prism chipset; it only works with the reference Lucent Hermes chipset.
8 - NetGear MA401 must be an older model (check the FCC ID). Newer models use the unsupported Prism 2.5 chipset (FCC ID: PD5LMWP200).
9 - if your modem will not connect, try reducing the Speed in the control panel entry for this card to 57600.
10 - only the V.1 has the Intersil chipset and is supported. V.2 has Atmel chipset, its FCCID is different (K7SF5D6021) and is not supported.
11 - the 751 vintage 7Book is only just capable of supplying enough power; concurrent CF card access may cause a triple-beep reset.


Beyond the list above, here is information gathered from a variety of sources, that should help you to work out if a card not listed above will work or not. First of all, check this URL ( It provides the most concise explanation I've found of the chipsets out there that our machines support.

Another method (thanks be to Fladda from Psionplace forums) is to use the FCC's searchable database to find out more info about a given card via is FCC ID. Go to this address:, and (to quote Fladda's post), "Use the 'grantee code' search option. First three digits of the FCC ID number are the grantee code. So for the PD5LMWP100 the grantee code is PD5, this is a Chinese company called Delta who are the OEM for Netgear."

The Lucent chipset has been rebranded multiple times over the past couple of years, so the following list of card/chipset brands should also work:

The following list of cards was found by Fladda at this URL ( All use either Lucent's original chipset (Hermes) or Intersil's copy of the reference design (Prism II), and should therefore work. One thing lacking from this list is knowledge of whether each card is a PCCard (16-bit, supported by netBook/7Book) or CardBus (32-bit, not supported), so make sure you buy on a sale or return basis :

I've also found this URL ( - this guy is compiling a similar list to mine, but is not Psion-specific. He does however list the chipset used, which is what we need to know; Hermes, Prism or Prism 2 are the ones that work for us. Same story as above though, the list does not differentiate between PC Card and CardBus, so proceed with caution.

Finally, there is the Linux Wireless LAN HowTo ( As per the previous link, this is not Psion-specific (obviously!), but it does contain some excellent information about the various chipsets used on WiFi cards.



ethernet via IR

Claranet and Compex make IR-to-ethernet bridge devices. EPOC PDAs can talk ethernet via their IR port in one of two ways:



Internet via a desktop computer

Yes, it is possible to connect your EPOC PDA to your PC, and 'pass through' its connection to the internet (modem, broadband etc.). This requires installation of some (free) software on your PC, and some configuration of your Psion. There are several piece of software that support this, as follows (thanks to Michael Kintzios for some of these links) :

Michael Kintzios has also supplied me with this link of his own for the PC RAS setup.



What about sharing folders with Windows?

Windows uses its own proprietary protocol for sharing access to files and folders, called CIFS (Common Internet File System. As if!) or more commonly, Microsoft Networking. AFAIK, nobody has yet written an MS Networking client for EPOC, so this form of file sharing is not possible.

An alternative that offers greater security, if slightly less utility, is to use FTPeither with the server on your PC and a client on the netBook, or vice versa:



Connecting to the internet using a mobile phone

This is a very big subject area - so big it deserves a FAQ all to itself. Fortunately there is one! Check out Mike McConnell's site for the best in EPOC mobile phone connectivity, plus much more besides.

As a starting point though, I will suggest these basic requirements:



Page last updated: February 27, 2005