MobileStar and Starbucks Continue Soft Launch
A fellow Seattlite on loan to Brooklyn noted that the former home of the Dodgers sports 802.11b access in many Starbucks in the five boroughs. My correspondent tells me that he's been checking the list at MobileStar of Starbucks outlets, and that the several he's visited that are on the list are already lit up. Another correspondent noted that from his knowledge MobileStar was only adding stores to the list as they become fully operational. As of right now, the list sports over 420 outlets.
Roll Your Own Blackout
Remember, today is the voluntary Roll Your Own Blackout demonstration from 7 to 10 p.m. in whatever time zone of the U.S. you live in. Turn off those computers, unplug those wireless access points, and take a gander at the stars.
Xircom Wireless Module for Handspring Visor Reviewed
Excellent review by Gary Krakow at MSNBC: I tested this unit last week, and Krakow captures the details. The Xircom unit is certainly expensive, but early adopters will covet it. And he wisely notes that PocketPC has a tremendous advantage: Visors and the new Palm m5xx series have their own, unique proprietary slots, while PocketPCs can use standard laptop PC cards or standard Compact Flash cards.
Access Point Bridging
I learned a useful lesson today when trying to connect two nearby networks, only one of which has an Internet feed on its Ethernet: read the specs on access points.
My office, shared with other freelancers, sports a 1.1 Mbps SDSL connection, as well as a full 10Base-T Ethernet, and an Apple AirPort Base Station for 802.11b networking. Colleagues of ours in a building next door were interested in wirelessly linking, as running a cable isn't a real option.
I recommended they buy another Apple unit, as I had read about large wirelessly linked projects at several places online that used AirPort Base Stations. Unfortunately, I misread the details.
The new base station arrived and we tried to configure it, and quickly realized - and confirmed via a few online technical resources - that you can only bridge wired Ethernet to wireless access with an AirPort unit.
Fortunately, another resource pointed to the Linksys broadband gateway: it can link a variety of networks, including another wireless system. And, as you can read in the Cheap Home Gateways article at this site, the unit is under $300.
So we'll be ordering one of those and returning the AirPort. Just a reminder that even those of us who think we're sophisticated really still need to read the spec sheets before ordering.