Just in time for a holiday weekend project, a book review
regarding wireless networking and information about a software
package that replaces the firmware of several wireless access
points with an embedded Linux distribution designed to provide
enhanced functionality by providing a complete Linux
"There's a wealth of reference information on antennas,
cables and where to put them, including surveying with the aid of a
GPS. After reading this, you should be able to order a "pigtail" or
an "omni" for your site with confidence. If you prefer to build
your own, there are plans, photos and instructions for making the
famous Pringles can antenna. To solve lack of line-of-sight, you
can build a repeater out of two Airports or a surplus 486 "tablet"
PC. The projects will inspire your own ideas, and the connector
information certainly won't change as rapidly as the software does.
Finally, there's the question of authentication and a partial
answer in the form of an intro to NoCatAuth, a web-based login
service similar to those you might have encountered in a hotel.
It's under development and looks very promising as a way to keep
possible abusers under control.
If I had to come up with some savage criticism of this book, it
would be that Flickenger's web articles, and others out there, are
good enough that you could probably get started with just on-line
information. But the book does provide a way to get the basics
down, get up to speed, order parts with a lower chance of getting
the wrong thing and having to return it, and find other local
enthusiasts who want to network with you."
LinuxDevices.com reports that Instant802 Networks Inc.
has announced the release of OpenAP, an open source Linux
distribution for 802.11 access points. OpenAP is said to be a
complete set of open-source software (including a customized
Embedded Linux distribution) needed to produce a fully 802.11b
compliant Linux-based wireless access point.
"Here you can find the complete source code, build
environment, and instructions for flashing an 802.11 access point
with linux 2.4.17. The end product is a linux-based access point
providing full wireless services, including multipoint to
multipoint wireless bridging (802.1d), while at the same time
distributing fully standard 802.11b connections to end