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Re: I bought a used IBM Thinkpad T20 - is the wireless...
This Notebook doesn't come with abuilt in wireless , so you need to get a wireless adapter for this if you want to make it work wirelessly you can get this one from Linksys WPC54G or WUSB54GC. By the way this is the complete specs of your laptop http://www.dealtime.com/xPF-IBM-ThinkPad-T20-2647-264745U
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Most T20 models did not have wireless built into the computers by default. You may have to add a wireless adapter to your computer. To verify whether or not you have a wireless card, open the middle cover on the back of your computer (with the computer unplugged and the battery removed) ... you should see a small card about the size of a business card next to an even smaller card. If the larger card has two antennae wires connected to it, you have wireless. If not, you don't have built in wireless and will have to use a USB or PC Card adapter.
I believe the T23 has a built in wireless slot located on the bottom under a panel. If so, you will need to purchase an internal wireless card and download the drivers for it. You can usually get a good deal on one at Ebay. Or, you can go to Walmart and buy a universal wireless card that slides into the bus port or usb port, depending on the card. Walmart sells universal wireless cards for anywhere from $25 to $125, depending on what you want. I suggest the $30 to $40 range, they will work fine for you.
A few years ago, i too had an IBM thinkpad and encountered some issues as well when connecting to the internet.
The IBM 2647 does not have a built in wireless card, meaning that you need to purchase one from your local electronics store to use wireless internet. The software provided with these CD's can often be quite helpful and will help you set up the connection.
The 2647 only supports an analog modem connection, and the modem in the area you are attempting to connect via ethernet may use a digital modem. Adapters are available although they are quite pricey (ranging from $200 and up.)
There are a few requirements other than the laptop and the wireless card. You need to also have an Wireless AP/Router that must be connected to the modem that connects to your ISP. All your PCs must then connect to this router either using the wired/Ethernet ports or WiFi.
If such a device (WiFi AP/Router) already exists and is connected to your modem and your other PC(s) are tied up to it and can access the Internet, you need to install the drivers (in a CD that came with the wireless card) to your IBM ThinkPad. Thereafter, you need to configure your laptop's wireless networking to access the AP/router. Your AP/Router must also be configured to accept wireless clients.
Please post back with brand/model of your AP/Router.
Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned out or should you need additional information.