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-- by Serdar Yegulalp
Ositech makes PCMCIA peripherals with a twist. Its latest PC Card offering, the Five of Diamonds, provides solutions to some compatibility problems that have been plaguing business travelers and international users.
Plug a regular PCMCIA modem into a PBX like those commonly used in hotels and businesses and-Poof!-you've got a french-fried modem. Enter the Ositech Five of Diamonds, a 33.6Kb-per-second PCMCIA modem that is currently the only PC Card able to work with a digital PBX as well as with conventional analog lines.
This nifty little card includes a handset adapter that lets you jack the modem into a different-sized handset connector plug-perfect for hotels that don't have a data port on the phone, and for international travelers (phone handset plugs, as opposed to wall plugs, are the same the world over). A conventional phone connector is also provided. Both plugs have a special clip on the end of the card that prevents the cable from being yanked out. We tested this feature ourselves, by accident, and the plug stayed in.
In the box are 32-bit drivers for Windows 95 and NT, but the cellular cable is sold separately. The Five of Diamonds also comes with software to configure the modem for various types of PBXes. Generally, no configuration is needed, but some PBXes have different voltage levels that can impact the data rate.
Documentation for this card is straightforward and sufficient for getting started. But if you want deeper technical information, you'll have to contact the company directly. On-disk utilities include a Windows help file version of the manual, which is installed as a Start menu icon.
The Five of Diamonds' closest competitor, the Motorola Montana, has no PBX capacity. Because the Five of Diamonds provides business travelers with a unique solution for digital and analog phones, it replaces the Montana on the WinList.