If your laptop does not recognise the card you just inserted it is because the PCMCIA configuration file does not contain information for the card. This is done by looking at the manufacturer and product codes supplied by the card. The file /var/log/messages lists these two ID fields, and is thus the place to look for their values. In the case of the LinkSys WPC-11, these numbers were 0x0274 and 0x1613 for the manufacturer and product code, respectively.
To fix the missing data, fire up your favourite editor on the file /etc/pcmcia/config and add the following lines:-
card "LinkSys Instant Wireless Card" manfid 0x0274, 0x1613 bind "orinoco_cs"
The numbers on the manfid line were those discovered above.
The bind line specifies the module to be loaded to handle this device. The orinoco_cs module will handle the Prism 2 chip in the WPC-11. There is a Prism specific driver, however it is not a regular part of the kernel source. Further details of this driver are in the Linux Wireless HowTo
Restart the PCMCIA system by typing in /etc/rc.d/init.d/pcmcia restart
Now inserting the card results in a beep, although no networking happens! But, the card was recognised, and the orinoco_cs driver (the Orinoco driver for PCMCIA) and its dependents were loaded! Use the lsmod command to verify the loading.