Unwired Tap – April 2005

While preparing for this column I decided to focus on something that I felt could be of interest and add value to anyone that would take the time to stop by the TDAN website and this column. 
I settled on starting with some basic wireless fundamentals and then moving to more advanced topics in future columns.  I decided to describe the steps and nuances of setting up a home network
and then, for those already with home networks, add a little more flavor by discussing media servers.  I laid out an outline of the steps to install a home network and was busy filling them in
with specifics when I took a break to review incoming emails and newsletters.  While I was skimming through the March 11, 2005 CNET Tech Specials newsletter I saw the following question:

“I’d like to setup a wireless network connection for my home PCs (two desktops and two notebooks), all using Windows XP to share a single Internet ADSL broadband account. How should I start?”
was submitted by a CNET member – P. Low from Penang, Malaysia.

There were many responses to this email but two stood out in their depth, clarity and completeness. 

Submitted by Joe M. of Chicago Illinois:

“In the modern day, setting up a wireless network is easy, and so is limiting its use, as long as you set it up properly. A well -set-up wireless network is virtually impossible to hack (and in
most cases not worth the effort, unless it’s for a government installation or…”.  Joe went on to give a comprehensive primer on setting up a home network.  Joe’s full response.

Another response was submitted by Dana H. of Wayland, Massachusetts.

“Setting up a wireless network can be a relatively simple task if all goes well. Just to give you an idea, I have on many occasions, been able to set up a complete wireless network, similar to the
one you described, in less than an hour. Having said that, I have also…”.  Dana gave an unbelievable course on wireless networking plus a step by step narrative on how to implement a
wireless network.  Dana’s full response

Both responses were robust, full of details on architecture, hardware, standards, setup, security, settings, complaints plus many other topics.  They were great and I encourage everyone to
review each full response. 

I immediately crumbled up my notes and thought how great it was that someone took the time to share their knowledge and information with the rest of us.   I thought about my second topic
of a media server and I did a quick look through the information available to me.  I quickly found the following in a February 2, 2005 and Feb 16, 2005 Connected Home Media newsletter:

Build Your Own Media Server, Part 1
by Paul Thurrott

While visiting a friend last week, I noticed that something was different about his living room. Spying a curiously empty spot on the wall, I asked, “Didn’t you have a bookshelf there or

“Yes,” he said, “that’s where my CD collection used to be.” Now that he’d ripped all his CDs to the PC in MP3 format–nearly 200 discs worth–he had taken down his shelving and
retired the CDs to boxes in his basement. He was still trying to figure out what to do with the newfound wall space.

But he had a bigger question for me: “How can I easily get the music from my PC to other devices in my home, including my stereo system?”   Build a Home Media Server Part 1

Build Your Own Media Server, Part 2
by Paul Thurrott

In “Building Your Own Media Server, Part 1, I provided a top-level look at the general process of setting up a home media server. This week, I’d like to give you some specifics. You can create a
home media server out of an existing PC that you’d like to repurpose, or you can buy a new PC. Either way, the machine must meet certain criteria, as I outlined in Part 1. After you install
Windows XP on the system and ensure that you meet the hardware requirements (i.e., the machine has an Ethernet connection and at least one large hard disk for storing your media files), it’s time
to make a few software-based configuration changes on the new system. Build a Home Media Server Part 2

Both article were full of step-by-step instructions on the primary steps in building a home media server.  What I really liked about this set of articles was the response by those who read the
articles.  Some gave alternate solutions and viewpoints while others agreed with the approach.

As we move along together to future columns we’ll share information just as Joe, Dana and Paul did with us.  We’ll explore many business and home elements of digital living and a wireless
world.   As my passion for digital living and the world of wireless continues to grow I look forward to all of us sharing experiences and knowledge from both a business and personal /
home perspective.  

If you have any first hand experience with Digital Homes or Digital Living or have a question pertaining to a wireless or digital living topic that you would like to ask or share with our readers
send me an email and I will update everyone in a future column.

Wireless Nuggets of Knowledge:

Following are a few interesting articles and discussions on wireless:

  • eWEEK Wireless & Mobile Update – March 24, 2005

Companies Push Security For Mobile Devices
Concerned about security when you’re on the road? The biggest threat to your mobile data may not be an over-the-air hack or a
phishing scheme at all. A new survey from mobile security firm Pointsec indicates the biggest threat could be your own forgetfulness. Read this article by Carol Ellison on what the company is
doing to protect data stored on mobile devices when they’re left behind in taxis or on planes or fall from your pocket unnoticed.
To read more click here

  • eWEEK Wireless & Mobile Update – March 24, 2005

RSA Finds More Flaws In RFID

Researchers from RSA Laboratories and Johns Hopkins University have discovered a security weakness in one of Texas Instruments’ RFID tags. Now they’re eyeing future exploits against other RFID
products in a push for better security.

To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – March 24, 2005

Nortel to use OFDM and MIMO to go beyond 3G

Nortel Networks says it will use both MIMO and OFDM wireless technologies to create mobile phone networks capable of supporting twice the number of subscribers as 3G networks. Nortel demonstrated
top data rates of 37 Mbps over a standard 5MHz PCS band using this technology combination. As a part of the demonstrations, the company used MIMO and OFDM to show it could transfer a 128MB file
in 30 seconds.
To read more click here

  • FireceWiFi – March 23, 2005

WiMax, traditional wireless on collision course

Two recent reports conclude that WiMax and more traditional wireless technologies are on a collision course. Research group Maravedis said that the market for below-11 GHz broadband
wireless has grown by 30 percent from 2003 to 2004 — from $430 million in 2003 to $562 million in 2004. The group projects that the market will exceed $2 billion by the end of 2009. The more
advanced 3G and 4G wireless systems will be providing similar bandwidth to WiMax by 2010, so that the the two technologies will then be competing on price alone. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE)
costs are estimated to fall below $100 by 2010. “The top two pre-requisites for WiMax success according to service providers surveyed is a CPE below $300 and higher throughput,” says Adlane
Fellah, principal researcher and founder of Maravedis.

To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – March 22, 2005

Wireless VoIP threatens cellular voice revenues  

According to researcher Analysys, the emergence of wireless VoIP through WiFi threatens to impact carrier’s wireless voice revenues. The new report claims that WiFi will quickly emerge as the
preferred wireless technology for wireless VoIP, edging out Bluetooth, which will likely be killed off by the continued growth of WLAN systems. While some carriers plan to offer dual
cellular/wireless VoIP solutions to head off this trend, it seems likely that wireless VoIP will impact carrier voice revenues no matter what strategy they take. The study warns that 3G mobile
carriers have little incentive to offer VoIP services as W-CDMA offers the cost and capacity to support fixed mobile substitution.

To read more click here

  • CNET Digital Dispatch – March 21, 2005

Cover Your House in WiFi 

Don’t settle for low bandwidth in the bathroom.

To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – March 18, 2005

Verizon Wireless, Cingular to offer inter-carrier picture messaging

Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless this week at CTIA said they plan to offer inter-carrier picture messaging. The move will allow subscribers on both carriers’ networks — roughly 100
million people — to send and receive picture messages with one another. Currently, subscribers on both carriers cannot send picture messages to users outside of their respective networks. As a
result, there is little to no inter-carrier MMS messaging in the US. Some carriers, like Sprint, send subscribers outside of their network an SMS message with a link to a website where they can
view the picture being sent. Most inter-carrier picture messages, however, are simply lost.

Many analysts are excited by this announcement. They point to the explosion of SMS messaging in the US that happened after US carriers signed inter-carrier SMS deals. Analysts and insiders hope
the deal will usher in a new era for MMS the US market. Critics, however, point to the fact that global picture messaging has yet to achieve the traction of text messaging. The real issue here,
critics claim, may be that consumers just aren’t as enamored of picture messaging and MMS as they are of SMS.

To read more click here

  • eWeek Wireless and Mobile Update – March 17, 2005

Wi-Fi, VOIP, Mobility in the Air at CeBIT

Want to know what’s coming our way wirelessly?  Take a look at the news that came out of the CeBIT technology show in Hanover, Germany.

To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – March 15, 2005

AOL expands mobile offerings

AOL at CTIA launched a variety of new mobile services. The first, called Radio(at)AOL, is a streaming mobile music service that offers FM radio sound quality on handsets. In addition to the
streaming music service, AOL also showed off a new mobile photo application that lets users organize and swap pictures from their phones. AOL also launched a new navigation service that uses
MapQuest to power downloadable maps, direction services, and location indicators.

To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – March 11, 2005

Mobile data services grew 139% in 2004

According to a new report from IDC, non-voice wireless services grew 139 percent year-on-year in 2004 and accounted for 4.7 percent of total mobile service revenues for the year. SMS messaging
was the single largest service contributing to the growth of non-voice revenues and will continue to be for the next several years. The report also claims that monophonic ringtones are the most
popular mobile data service, with polyphonic ringtones, mobile games, wallpapers, and other downloads catching up fast.

To read more click here

  • CNET TechSpecials – March 11, 2005

How to set up a wireless network

“I’d like to setup a wireless network connection for my home PCs (two desktops and two notebooks), all using Windows XP to share a single Internet ADSL broadband account. How should I start?”
was a CNET member question submitted by P. Low from Penang, Malaysia.

If you want to get a primer on setting up a wireless network read these two fantastic responses to this question:

Dana H. of Wayland, Massachusetts       To read the response click here

Joe M. of Chicago, Illinois                       To read the response click here

  • PC World’s Mobile Computing Newsletter – February 24, 2005

Make Your Own Hotspot

Wireless networking in hotel rooms is growing. But many hotels still offer wired broadband Internet access in guest rooms and provide Wi-Fi networking only in public areas. With a portable
wireless network router, you can transform your hotel room’s network from wired to wireless. I’ve tested Apple’s AirPort Express ($129) specifically for that purpose. It’s easy to configure
and use.

To read more click here

  • FierceWiFi – February 23, 2005

Nifty technology wires human body for communication by touch

Wireless NTT has developed technology which uses the human body as a high-speed network and forms a communications link between people and electronic devices. The company calls it Human Area
Networks, or HANs. NTT hopes to begin selling HAN-based products next year. The Japanese company’s engineers have developed transceivers which send and receive data by using weak electric fields
on the surface of the body. These fields may be used as data transmission paths capable of speeds up to 10 Mbps between transceivers kept close to the surface of the body. The company,
ambitiously, suggests that the technology may soon offer an alternative to Bluetooth and other short-range WLAN technologies. The likely applications for HANs-based products would include
security and identification functions.

The transceivers are called RedTacton and use optical sensors to interpret fluctuations in the electric field of the human body (a miniature laser and a crystal are mounted in the transceivers
for this purpose). The laser measures the fluctuations in the field and how these fluctuations affect the crystal, and the sensor then interprets these changes as data. Tests show that the system
works through socks, shoes, and gloves, and on both dry and oily skin. A person equipped with a sensor may exchange data with another person carrying a sensor by shaking hands, and between a
person and a device by touching it, walking on it, or by sitting on it. There are no interference problems, and secure communication will be possible by combining the system with encryption.

The transceivers require a PCMCIA card to connect with an electronic device, use several hundred milliwatts of power and are insulated to avoid electric shocks. NTT will start field trials of the
system from April through September.

To read more click here

Wireless Info Center:

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Robert Dominko

Robert Dominko

Robert S. Dominko, PMP, is a Principal Consultant for CIBER, Inc. in CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice located in Denver, CO.  He is a member of CIBER’s National Mobile/Wireless Team as well as CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice. Bob has extensive experience in the consulting industry where he has worked in roles such as Director of MIS, Program/Project Manager, Technical Architect, Data Warehousing Technologist, Business Analyst in global travel and hospitality, automotive, healthcare services, financial, bank card services, utilities, marketing, insurance, human resources, manufacturing, state and federal government. You can contact Bob at RDominko@ciber.com.

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