Any Idiot Can Do It: my note yesterday about helping a friend install his network continues with today's installment. Despite Windows XP's "simple" configuration tools for wireless, we were unable to get my friend's Sony Vaio with a branded Wi-Fi card (a relabeled Agere Orinoco) to talk DHCP with the access point. We're still wrestling.
Meanwhile, Alasakan Stephanie Kesler writes in to point to her own horribly frustrating and ultimately successful experiences. Documented horror stories are welcome: I find that manufacturers are reading this site and listening to customers, and the more individuals, especially we techie types, complain about complexity, the higher the odds that this will be fixed.
Of course, in an ideal world, a trade association like WECA could help draft standards for configuration that would allow identical terminology, data entry, and reporting to help home users, but the home use of Wi-Fi has still taken the industry by surprise. It's been more than a year since home users started buying Wi-Fi in huge amounts, and the software cycle still shows an orientation towards the techiest-of-the-techie. And even we can't figure it out.
Other News for 5/20/2002
Steel-belted Wi-Fi: Pittsburgh becomes the latest city to feature wide-ranging hot spots. The initial points focus on a couple of parks, but the plans are to blanket the out-of-doors all over a large, dense sector. Of course, this is exactly the kind of use of Wi-Fi that has the most chance to be interferring or interferred with per articles last week.
Palm synching with a Bluetooth card: I failed to mention my own article in the Seattle Times about Palm synchronization (and its failings) in general, and Palm synchronization (and its success) using the Apple Bluetooth software, Palm Bluetooth Card, and D-Link Bluetooth USB Adapter for Macs running OS X 10.1.
3Com Announces Bluetooth Printer Kit: turn your printer into a Bluetooth enabled device through a simple USB or parallel port adapter. Neat idea, although expensive out of the gate: $250. Still, it's two adapters, the USB unit (which also works as a host adapter for a PC running Windows) and the parallel adapter. In fact, you could run two printer with one kit. My Lexmark M412N has Ethernet, parallel, and USB, so I can run it Wi-Fi (via Ethernet bridged over the access point, indirectly) and Bluetooth.