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Duke of URL: The Struggle For Wireless LAN on Linux

Oct 21, 2000, 13:34 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Howard Hinde)

[ Thanks to Patrick Mullen for this link. ]

"When Xerox completed the Ethernet project in the early 1970's, the face of computing was changed forever. Now users could share and access resources at fairly high speeds. And the costs of these new networks are fairly low. The hardware costs were low, the wiring costs were low, and the necessary cabling skills where already in place with telco technicians."

"But there are limitations to this wonderful new technology. For one, you are tethered to the network by a wire. That takes all mobility out of the picture. Also, you have to rip into your walls to run the cabling. And in many instances this is not an option in older buildings because of asbestos cleanup and removal. It just wouldn't be very economical."

"Then some genius came up with the idea of using wireless technology. We have seen it most of our lives; cordless phones, cellular phones, pagers. "Well," they thought, "let's do it for a LAN." And they started to develop, and develop, and develop. After many of years of developing they still have yet to come up with a "really good" product. But the products that they have now are useable. The problem now is the choice of protocols. And most of them aren't compatible with each other. We will take a quick look at the more popular protocols and the cards that use them, at their advantages and disadvantages, and at how cross platform they are, i.e. will the work in other non-Redmond OSes."

Complete Story [ Story in small parts spread across multiple pages ]

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