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NewsForge: Open Source for the Wireless Generation: Installation shows Bright Future for Sputnik

May 03, 2002, 20:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

"Want to launch wireless networking into open source orbit? Then Sputnik, founded by the trio behind Linuxcare, wants to help you.

"Sputnik lets you turn an ordinary PC into a dedicated 802.11b wireless access point (WAP). In the future, Sputnik will be able to run as a daemon on Linux systems and will also support the faster (54Mbps vs. 802.11b's 11Mbps) 802.11a wireless protocol. While this GPL project is still in beta, there's enough there to see that Sputnik will achieve a successful launch.

"If you want to give Sputnik a try today, it's easy to meet the basic hardware requirements--32 MBs of RAM, a bootable CD-ROM drive, a 486 or better Intel processor and a CD-ROM burner -- but the network requirements are more exacting. You must have one ordinary Ethernet card and an available PCMCIA slot for an Intersil Prism II chipset 802.11b card with 8.0.3 or higher firmware. These PCMCIA 802.11b cards are common enough, but many cards, like Lucent and Orinoco, use other chip sets. You can expect most cards to be supported in the future, and the company is working on PCI wireless cards, but for today, it's Intersil Prism II and PCMCIA cards, or you can forget about Sputnik getting off the ground..."

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