That ACX 111 chipset has a Linux driver, but I don't think it gets much attention. It doesn't appear in my modprobe --list
output in Fedora, but there is one out there
. The last time I checked it didn't support WPA encryption. That 3Com adapter may have a Prism chipset according to some Google searches that I did. Fedora does have some Prism driver modules
. But they need firmware from elsewhere, and the installation of that may not be straightforward. Maybe somebody else will have hands-on experience with one of those adapters. I don't. Too bad that built-in Intel adapter is busted. It probably would have just taken off by itself in Fedora.
Compiling ndiswrapper is not difficult. Start by installing kernel-headers and kernel-devel (or kernel-PAE-devel, depending on your kernel). Then install the "Development Tools" package group. Get the ndiswrapper tarball, untar it, read the INSTALL or README file, and follow the steps (usually just make
then make install
Now, I can't promise that setting up ndiswrapper will be a cakewalk. And some Windows drivers will not work with it or with Fedora kernels. I have no way of knowing about that regarding your adapters. I used it with Broadcom chipsets and XP drivers back in the days of Fedora 5 or so without any issues at all. Anyway, after ndiswrapper is installed, the basic steps to install the Windows driver are...
ndiswrapper -i [driver INF filename here]
Use a driver that makes your adapter work in Windows 2000 or XP. Not Vista or Windows 7 drivers. There are variations to those steps, and there may be some tweaking, adjusting, and thrashing around to do.
Lastly, with Fedora fully supporting many more chipsets nowadays, and almost fully supporting others, and with RPM Fusion's stuff for even more, I think you were just unlucky in your choice of those two adapters. For the price of a trip to Burger King, you can get new a USB or PCMCIA adapter that you can plug in, install firmware with yum, connect, and forget about it. I recently bought a ZyXEL USB adapter with a ZyDAS chipset just see to what it would be like to have a wireless adapter that I didn't have to do anything to for it to work. (and to try a USB adapter for a change). It's nice. Just a thought.