I never knew what the heck my laptop’s PCMCIA card slot (type II) was for, but today I learned it, uhuh.
It appears that I have a good chance of being able to insert an external soundcard into it, a soundcard that will have an optical digital audio output, so I can run my computer to my stereo without using my headphone jack.
My headphone jack on my laptop is starting to get staticy, which means it is wearing out from being jostled around too much. If it stops working, I’ll plug an external soundcard into the PCMCIA card slot.
However, the soundcard’s manufacturer warns that some computer’s PCMCIA controllers are incompatible. So as soon as I get home (I’m at work right now) I need to check to see what make and model PCMCIA controller my laptop uses, and hope it isn’t on their list. Of course, it still might not work, since their list is user-reported.
I’d get a used one on ebay in any case, since it is an older model and because it’s the only way.
Note to self: PCMCIA SoundBlaster “Audigy 2 ZS Notebook”
Addendum: Also, there are cards made that plug into the PCMCIA card slot on one end, and have extra USB or eSATA or Firewire ports on the other end. There are also cards made that have a TV tuner, or have an extra wireless gizmo. But most computers already have these. It seems like it is basically an emergency port for when a part of your computer breaks.