I had some "bad" experience with orinoco_proxima wifi pcmcia card. Not mine but my friends. On RedHat, the card is almost useless.
On Slackware 9.1, the card was detected and the driver loaded. But I couldn't get it map to eth1.
Anyway, it is not entirely hopeless then.
So much for that.
What you got to do is get the right driver loaded, driver in linux = kernel/kernel-module.
Here is a step by step guide.
1. Don't panic!!!
2. Plug in the card into the pcmcia slot. (I am assuming it is a pcmcia card)
3. Boot up your linux.
4. Log in as root
5. Check whether the LED on the card is blinking?
6. If LED blinks, then issue command at the console:
it should report the type of card and what not.
else, you need to do some work. (longer procedure, later posting if necessary)
7. Now you should be able to assign ip add to it using ifconfig and whatever your distro does it.