On some liberal religious blogs (Michelle Murrain and Scott Wells), there has been discussion of open-source alternatives to the proprietary and costly Microsoft and Apple operating systems.
Most of this discussion has been on using the Ubuntu Linux versions as a free alternative.
Last night, I was setting up some old cast-off PCs with Ubuntu Linux 6.06.
These older PCs were a generic clone with an AMD Athlon CPU and a Compaq with a Pentium III CPU. I also wanted to put these systems on our church's wireless LAN and I found that the following card was reported to work "out of the box" with Ubuntu Linux 6.06 and 6.10 versions on the user support sites for Ubuntu:
D-Link WDA-1320 PCI 802.11g Wireless Adaptor for Desktop PCs
This card can be found for the $40.00 to $50.00 range. I found them in Shreveport for $39.95 and for $49.95 with $10.00 mail-in rebate.
Ubuntu 6.06 recognized these cards and there were no special Linux "tricks" needed to make them work.
This card worked with both PCs and I'll probably purchase the same card for use with the three additional cast-off Compaq Pentium III systems as well.
The card found our Wi-Fi LAN and connected with no problems once I used the "hexadecimal" choice for entering the WEP code. These wireless cards when used with Ubuntu were as painless as wireless networking with Windows XP and Mac OS X.
If your congregants have donated older computer hardware to your congregation, this wireless LAN cards is worth considering for use with Ubuntu.