Mobile & Wireless UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine Network.
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May 9, 2002—In this issue:
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
- Wireless Networking: Making the Connection
- Need 24 x 7 Availability?
3. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Potential Results of HP/Compaq Merger
- New Instant Poll: WLAN Location
- Tip: Why Does AvantGo Take So Long to Sync?
- Event Highlight: Mobile Commerce World USA 2002
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Place a Phone Call with Hands-Free Wireless Mobility
- Control Systems through Your PDA
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Steve Milroy, [email protected])
In the April 25, 2002, edition of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I looked at the features and functionality of WiFi wireless LANs (WLANs) and Bluetooth personal area networks. This time, I want to continue my discussion of this topic by looking at connection options.
WiFi--the 802.11b wireless standard--offers two popular connection modes: Infrastructure mode lets you connect a client to a wireless Access Point (AP), and Ad-Hoc mode lets you directly connect one client to another client. Infrastructure mode is suitable for most connections, letting you connect to a network to access the Internet and network resources. To use a WiFi network in Infrastructure mode, your WLAN environment must have one or more wireless APs. These wireless APs must have a direct Ethernet connection to the network and must be configured with an IP address and subnet mask. Ad-Hoc mode is useful for establishing a wireless connection between a laptop and a Pocket PC--for example, I can use the Remote Display Control for Pocket PC PowerToy to view a live Pocket PC screen displayed on the laptop. For more information about this feature, go to the following URL.
Enabling WiFi connectivity is quick and simple. After you install your WiFi card and the appropriate drivers, you can connect to a wireless AP. Typically, you need to know the WiFi network's Service Set Identifier (SSID), and you need to be operating the WiFi card in Infrastructure mode. After you establish the WiFi connection with the appropriate security (if applicable), you can obtain the IP settings (usually through DHCP) and connect to your network. You can now access any Internet and intranet resources that you typically use over an Ethernet connection. If you need to access a secured AP, the AP must have either a Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) key or--if the AP uses 802.1x--an appropriate certificate.
If you have Windows XP Professional Edition or XP Home Edition, you can access some cool WiFi features, including automatic network discovery (which finds SSIDs in your local area), automatic connections, and IP configuration. You also get Plug and Play (PnP) functionality, so you can plug in most major WiFi cards and XP will automatically configure the cards for use.
Bluetooth connections work somewhat differently from WiFi connections. The Bluetooth specification lets you connect, in your personal area network, as many as eight devices in a piconet. A piconet is a group of devices within a 30' radius interacting with each other. One device in the piconet acts as a master, and the others are slaves. This configuration facilitates efficient use of the wireless Bluetooth network. Users can connect in an anonymous mode to access printers, soda machines, exchange business cards, and other consumer functionality. In this scenario, the user's Bluetooth device would detect other nearby Bluetooth devices, then connect directly.
Several Bluetooth AP vendors have created standalone Bluetooth devices that permit network connectivity similar to the WiFi wireless APs discussed above. However, Bluetooth connections more often involve a pairing of devices. Typically, a Bluetooth device performs an initial discovery process to find nearby devices. Then, participating users must enter a random key in each device to pair the devices. After the Bluetooth devices are paired, they can connect quickly and securely when they're within range of each other. Such a scenario applies to the use of a Bluetooth headset with a Bluetooth phone, a Bluetooth PDA with a Bluetooth phone, or similar connections in which anonymous use isn't appropriate.
Configuring Bluetooth is simpler than configuring WiFi. Bluetooth devices typically offer a configuration utility, with which you can find nearby devices, pair them, and connect.
In the next Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, regular edition, I'll take a final look at WLAN configuration and functionality. See you then.
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3. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Assuming the Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger occurs, which of the following scenarios is most likely?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 55 votes:
- 18% The new company will retain both its iPAQ and Jornada PDA lines
- 9% The new company will phase out the iPAQ PDA line
- 42% The new company will phase out the Jornada PDA line
- 29% The new company will introduce a hybrid product
- 2% Other
The next Instant Poll question is, "Where have you implemented a wireless LAN (WLAN)?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) In an enterprise environment, b) In my home office, c) In small, remote offices, d) As a hot spot in a public area, or e) Other.
(contributed by David Ciccone, [email protected])
Try turning off the Autodetect function, which automatically looks at your current settings, such as whether you're using a modem, Ethernet, or a wireless connection. From your desktop, click Start, Programs, AvantGo, and select Mobile Link. Select the Connection tab, click Change, and clear the "Automatically detect settings (recommended)" check box. If you connect to the Internet through a proxy server, you'll need to manually enter your proxy settings in Mobile Link. To manually enter your proxy settings, go to Mobile Link, select the Connection tab, and click Change. On the HTTP line, enter the address (your proxy server's address without the http:// portion of your server's address) and the port (your proxy server's port number). Click OK and try synchronizing your Pocket PC device again.
For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile & Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
June 25 through 27, 2002
Mobile Commerce World USA is a senior-level conference that has a strong business focus, examining the strategies your company needs to be competitive, drive revenue, and maximize profitability, as well as the technology solutions that let you act on those strategies.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
ArialPhone announced a Cell Phone Integration Kit that integrates your standard cell phone service with ArialPhone, a voice-activated wireless earset communications device. Users can place and receive phone calls as far away as 150 to 300 feet from the computer. To save money on your cell phone bill, you can set up ArialPhone to default to cell phone calls only for outbound calls so you can leave your wired phone line free for incoming calls. For pricing, contact ArialPhone at 847-949-3173.
ProductivityNet announced ActiveManage 2.0, systems management software that lets you control systems through your PDA. The software's architecture comprises the ActiveManage Host, agents, and Web and wireless clients. You can enable your system to self-correct when a problem occurs. The Response feature lets you specify automatic corrections for certain problems. The software supports Palm, Handspring, Pocket PC, and HP Jornada OSs. ActiveManage starts at $750 for one server agent and 10 workstation licenses. Contact ProductivityNet at 518-273-9319.
6. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS — [email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
Customer Support — mobile_&[email protected]
- WANT TO SPONSOR MOBILE & WIRELESS UPDATE?
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