Hmm, some good questions there
, and as I have been 'super-scouring' the web for days myself in an intense search for info on some mystery motherboards, I'm pretty beat so let me answer the easy question first: Where am I?
I'm between Stewiacke and Shubenacadie, pretty much right in the middle of them, in the boonies
though I am from Halifax.
Now the more obscure questions.. I'm far from any sort of expert, and pretty new to Linux too, so much of the info I locate is done the same way -- Here on LQ, and with Gooooogle.. As for my Prism54 card, the firmware was free from prism54.org or something like that. FOr cisco, I can well imagine they are tight fisted; pretty insane how a motherboard worth $250.00 with INTEL stamped on it is suddenly worth $4500.00 when the label reads 'Cisco' but that's beside the point
I would continue with google, and also, despite the initial comprehension troubles, I have found valuable info on more than a few occasions by browsing foreigh sites, like in russia and taiwan and stuff like that. Much of the text is illegible, but the specs, filenames, and usually the bottom line (location bar?) of the browser will still read in english, so you know where the links lead.. Google-translator does a decent job too, of deciphering enough of almost any language to help you read the stuff on foreign sites.
Sorry if this is oretty indirect assistance, but I really cannot point you to any particular place for Cicso software or other Cisco products.
I don't currenly use wireless either, I'm on dialup/LAN.
The prism54 is made of Intersil hardware, and Linux compatibility is good in my experience, so maybe you can locate a WiFi device with Intersil hardware in it? Then maybe atleast the firmware would be free. Also try locating a device that doesn't need external firmware?
.. I'm off to bed -- internet burnout :/