I posted a response and my related question to a topic that I'm now starting to fear is dead. Below is a link to my post, and I have also pasted the original message below. The counter on wimsmios shows there have been almost 6000 visits to this dead thread since 2005. There are a lot surplus toughbook CF-25's out there, and I think people would be willing to pay if someone could just write a BIOS update that would allow these toughbooks to recognize a USB adapter card.
he Bios for the CF-25 MK III toughbook is proprietary. Panasonic put out its last major revision almost 10 years ago, and put out its last bios patch in 2003. In the last year or so, Panasonic has quietly abandonned all support for this dinosaur taking down seemingly all references to it on its Americas and European websites. But, there are thousands of us out there that still have & love these things because they go where our dell's and vaio's cannot -- and you can literally drive a small pickup truck over one of them and then boot it up. They work fine on 98 SE, but the BIOS flaw that makes the laptop unable to recognize and/or use a pcmcia card with USB ports is starting to take its toll now that floppies are becoming an archaic storage and transfer medium.
I don't know how (or if) it is possible, but I would certainly be willing to pay or donate something if a qualified BIOS programmer could write a patch that would give my laptop a new life. Judging from the wide scatter across many tech sites of people looking for a fix, my guess is that lots of other cf-25 owners feel as i do.
If possible, I'd appreciate if the Moderator of this forum could share some advice about how one might be able to convince a programmer to write a patch that would open the ability to use usb on these virtually indestructible machines.