System Status: Mail server SSL certificate updated; some older mail clients (e.g., Eudora) are having problems. See welltech.374 for more info.


inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #76 of 91: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 17 Aug 03 10:23
    
mcb's post reminded me that we're working on a hotspot recipe in Austin:
http://www.gizmopartners.com/wireless/
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #77 of 91: Jeff Loomis (jal) Sun 17 Aug 03 13:01
    
Wireless routers aren't that much more expensive than PCI adapters,
does it make any sense to get a wireless router and plug an existing
PC with a wired connection into it, rather than getting a wireless
adapter for the PC, assuming a wireless access point of some sort
somewhere else in the building?  That way for a few extra dollars
you would get you some extra wired connection points in the room with
the new router.

And you wouldn't have to install a PCI card, if you were averse to
doing so.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #78 of 91: John Ross (johnross) Sun 17 Aug 03 15:13
    
Your talking about apples and oranges. A router is a device that moves the
data from the wireless network to a wired network. It is most often a stand-
alone box, rahter than something that uses a full-function computer. An
adapter is the device that connects a computer to a network. Two entirely
different things.

It's true that a few vendors offer software that can turn a computer with a
WiFi adaptor into a base station (I think I've played with the Zoom
version).

If I understand what (jal) is proposing, he wants to use a PC as the access
point, and connect the PC through a wired ethernet card to a LAN or the
Intetnet. I don't see any advantage to that approach. Would be much easier
to use a gateway router/hub with both ethernet ports and a wireless access
point, and connect that to the nearby PC. You can get a decent ethernet card
for $15 or less. Just go ahead and hard-wire the PC to the hub, and use
wireless for the distant computers and the laptops that are sometimes within
range.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #79 of 91: Jeff Loomis (jal) Sun 17 Aug 03 21:01
    
"use a gateway router/hub with both ethernet ports and a wireless access
point, and connect that to a nearby PC"

That's what I was thinking of.  But after a little brick and mortar
shopping (just Office Depot, not much open Sunday evening) routers,
relative to access points and adapters, were more expensive than
in the catalog.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #80 of 91: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Sun 17 Aug 03 22:52
    
I wonder when ISPs will start selling instant networks, i.e., a cable
or DSL modem with integral wireless router/access point/hub.  It makes
sense as a mass-market product, and I think you get some savings in
putting it all in one box.  

In any case, some basic numbers to work with:

Ethernet NIC card, PCI bus: $15-30
Ethernet NIC card, PCMCIA: $30
802.11b card, PCMCIA:  $40-60
Wired 2E router with 4-port hub: $40-60  (Linksys, D-Link, etc.)
Wireless 802.11b access point and router, with 4-port 10BaseT hub: $50 and up
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #81 of 91: Where's the Flying Car (airman) Mon 18 Aug 03 01:03
    
In a Washington Post article on Monday August 18th (today) there is a
n article talking about wireless (cellular) interference with emergency
frequencies.

How does WiFi look? Who else shares the bandwith and who are the
neighbors?

Is there anyway to minimize interference, John Ross?
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #82 of 91: Jeff Loomis (jal) Mon 18 Aug 03 09:23
    
Tinfoil?

But seriously, (mcb), is that the price for a PCI wired card or wireless
card.  Seems like the price for a wired card.  If so, what would you
say would be the basic number for a wireless card?

I am torn between buying online and saving a few dollars and just going
out to a store and getting started right away.  On the one hand, I've
waited a while already, on the other I'd like to relate my story before
this topic peters out.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #83 of 91: John Ross (johnross) Mon 18 Aug 03 10:07
    
(jal), the big box office supply places advertise low-end name brand WiFi
and ethernet stuff at loss-leader prices. Even witht he sales tax, the price
is comparable to mail order. Look at the color inserts in your Sunday
newspaper.

(airman), WiFi (802.11b) uses the unlicensed 2.4 gHz band. That band is
basically a free-fire zone. Among other things, it's also used by Bluetooth,
cordless phones, microwave ovens and a bunch of other things, including some
other point-to-point services. There's no legal protection from interference
(that's the trade-off for having no required license).

The theory is that different types of modulation can co-exist, so, for
example, WiFi and Bluetooth won't interfere with each other.In practice, a
strong local signal like a microwave oven or a phone can create noise that
will slow down the data transfer speed of a WiFi link. But the regulations
limit the maximum output power of any of these radio trasnmitters, in order
to minimize the amount of interference.

It's the short signal range that prevents massive interference. Because the
signal peters out at around 100 meters (more or less), the number of WiFi
singals at any specific location on the ground is relatively small, except
maybe in a downtown with a lot of highrise offices. And because it's a
digital packet radio system, interfering signals will usually just slow
things down, rather than drowning each other out completely. Compare this to
CB radio at the peak of that fad, when there were dozens of analog voices on
each channel, all coming out of your speaker together.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #84 of 91: Kurt Sigmon (kd-scigmon) Mon 18 Aug 03 14:26
    
I know that my WiFI causes odd clicks and pops on my cordless 2.4 gHz
phone.  The microwave also hassles it. 
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #85 of 91: John Ross (johnross) Mon 18 Aug 03 16:00
    
It works both ways. The phone and microwave are interfering with the WiFi
links as well. You aren't listening directly to the WiFi signal, so you're
not as aware of it, but you'll probably see a drop in "signal quality" and
maybe a drop in data speed when you turn on the microwave.

I don't know how far the RF emissions from a microwave oven carry, but it's
probably a matter of ten feet or so before it drops down to something
insignificant. So the solution is to keep the oven away from either end of
the WiFi link; as for cordless phones, I would fin one that uses a different
frequency range if I needed cordless in a building with a WiFi network.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #86 of 91: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 19 Aug 03 17:44
    
What is the future of WiFi? I've been thinking that we'll have pervasive 
service (or tending toward pervasive, like cellphones), and that we'll see 
more and more innovative devices that use wireless networks. How about 
games? Sony has a wireless Playstation on the boards.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #87 of 91: John Ross (johnross) Tue 19 Aug 03 20:42
    
It's pretty clear that Microsoft got into the broadband networking hardware
business to support video games and video-on-demand set top boxes. And
several companies already offer WiFi video cameras.

Within five or ten years, a broadband network will be a standard home
utility like cable TV and telephone wiring. Some will be wired, others will
be wireless. But as networked appliances and other "smart house" products
move from the gee whiz early adopters to the upscale to Joe and Judy
Sixpack, network access will be standard in new construction and a common
add-on to existing houses.

As for the public hotspots, I'm less sanguine (if I'm sanguine at all). The
real product is high-speed wireless Interent access. Whether it's WiFi or 3G
or something else entirely remains to be seen.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #88 of 91: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 21 Aug 03 05:08
    
If mobile wireless data services are to work as 'product,' they have to 
solve the problem of roaming, no?
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #89 of 91: John Ross (johnross) Thu 21 Aug 03 10:28
    
Yes and no. It's not exactly like cellphones, where you need a way to hand
off a call in progress as the user is moving around. Sure, there will be
some people trying to use wireless data inside a van or on foot (with a
PDA), but I suspect an acceptable system could just support users who are
standing still.

But there is a need for a way to grab a link and assume that your existing
account will be billed for the service. As it stands now, you need accounts
with several different service providers.
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #90 of 91: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 21 Aug 03 20:24
    
I've noticed that Wayport has billing arrangements with some other WISPs, 
so that you can select to have billing done for Wayport services by your 
own provider, if it's one of those.

I've wondered how it'll work with devices that are networked to 
communicate with other devices. They might have more of a need to roam, or 
some kind of network presence that's unmetered, perhaps. 
  
inkwell.vue.191 : John Ross, The Book of Wi-Fi
permalink #91 of 91: David Gans (tnf) Sat 23 Aug 03 09:39
    

The interview has been supplanted at center stage by our conversation with
Mary Mackey, aka Kate Clemens, but there is no reason it can't continue as
long as everyone has anything to say.

John and Jon, thank you for an informative discussion!

The topic remains open.
  



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Non-members: How to participate


Non-members: Please enter your comment or question:
All non-member comments are read before posting. All spam is discarded.

Your email address:
We will only use this email address to contact you for clarification.

Your real name:
Your name will be used to identify your comment if it is posted.



Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook