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April 25, 2002—In this issue:
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
- Wireless Networking: Local and Personal Area Networking
- Get Valuable Info for Free with IT Consultant Newsletter
- Cast Your Vote for Our Reader's Choice Awards!
3. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Leader of the Handhelds by the End of 2002
- New Instant Poll: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Coexistence
- Tip: How Can I Get an Event to Appear as Free in Organizer's Calendar but Busy on My Pocket PC Calendar?
- Event Highlight: Planet PDA 2002
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Develop Applications for PDAs
- Wireless Solution for HP Jornada 520
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. MOBILE & WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Steve Milroy, [email protected])
Over the past few months, wireless networking has received quite a bit of media coverage, so in my next couple of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE columns, I’ll take a closer look at some related technologies. Today, I want to compare Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the 802.11b wireless standard.
A lot of people ask me whether Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is "better." Although both are 2.4GHz technologies and overlap somewhat, they are more complementary than they are similar. Wi-Fi is an Ethernet replacement technology for wireless network connectivity, whereas Bluetooth is a cable replacement technology for device connectivity. Consequently, each technology solves a different problem and is useful in its own way. I use 802.11b at work and at home for wireless LAN (WLAN) network connectivity, and I use Bluetooth for my mobile phone headset and for synchronizing data on my iPAQ Pocket PC.
Wi-Fi allows transmission of wireless data at speeds as fast as 11Mbps and has a theoretical maximum range of from 300 feet to 800 feet. In my experience, however, Wi-Fi's effective range is less than 100 feet in the average office or home environment, primarily because of the interference caused by walls. Radio frequency (RF) interference also contributes to the limited effective range. Many cordless phones operate at 2.4GHz, and I know several people running Wi-Fi networks who have experienced interference from WLANs and other wireless devices, such as 2.4GHz cordless phones. At home, I use 900MHz cordless phones to avoid such interference.
Bluetooth is a wireless networking standard developed by Ericsson and now controlled by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG— http://www.bluetooth.com ). Bluetooth has a direct maximum effective range of about 30 feet between devices. At that range, Bluetooth can replace cables—such as those used for headset connectivity, laptop and PDA-to-PDA connections, and access point (AP) connectivity. Bluetooth is more flexible than Wi-Fi, but Bluetooth connection speeds don't exceed 1Mbps.
One huge advantage of Bluetooth is that it consumes only 1 percent of the power that Wi-Fi does, making Bluetooth well suited for use with mobile devices. Bluetooth also experiences fewer interference problems than other 2.4GHz technologies: When interference occurs, Bluetooth simply changes frequencies and retransmits the data. One other key point about Bluetooth is that not only can the devices transmit and receive RF signals, but devices can relay Bluetooth signals to achieve an overall range of about 100 feet. For example, if you want to print to a Bluetooth printer outside the effective range, you can relay the signal through another Bluetooth device, thus effectively increasing the range.
In my next Mobile & Wireless UPDATE column, I'll continue the discussion of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by examining their connectivity options. See you in a couple of weeks.
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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, "By the end of 2002, which devices will be the market leader in the enterprise handheld arena?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 79 votes:
- 47% Pocket PC devices
- 35% Smart phones (with PDA capabilities)
- 11% Palm-based devices
- 4% Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) phones
- 3% Other
The next Instant Poll question is, "Can Bluetooth and Wi-Fi peacefully coexist?" Go to the Mobile & Wireless Solutions channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes or b) No.
(contributed by David Ciccone, [email protected])
First, ensure that you mark reoccurring events (e.g., holidays) as Free in Organizer's "Show time as" section. Second, mark the same events as Busy in the appointment's Status section on the Pocket PC. Both the "Show time as" and Status sections have the same choices (i.e., Free, Tentative, Busy, Out of office) and correspond with each other upon synchronization. However, if you make changes to a recurring event in the order above (i.e., first in Organizer and then on the Pocket PC), the event will keep its different settings (e.g., Free and Busy) after synchronization. The event will appear as a banner on the Pocket PC calendar with the day's appointments clear. Be aware that this procedure doesn't work for events that occur only once: The "Show time as" and Status sections will synchronize to the same setting.
For more tips about using mobile and wireless devices, visit Windows & .NET Magazine's Mobile and Wireless Solutions FAQ section.
May 13 through 16, 2002
Planet PDA 2002, the Global Summit on Enterprise and Custom Volume Handheld Computing Solutions, will offer conference sessions designed to educate corporate executives, IT management, and developers on how to increase profitability by utilizing the latest handheld software solutions and accessories. Planet PDA's Exhibit Hall will let you compare all the latest handheld computing options available from the industry's leading vendors--for example, Palm, Handspring, Compaq, Research in Motion (RIM), Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Avaya, and Air2Web.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event Calendar.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
Interactive Intelligence announced Mobilite, a wireless application development platform on which you can develop, deploy, and maintain productivity applications for PDAs. Mobilite provides enterprises with a back-end application server and customization tools so that wireless users can access databases, email systems, PBXs, and other corporate information and communications systems. Contact Interactive Intelligence at 317-872-3000.
Novatel Wireless announced that its Minstrel 540 wireless modem is now compatible with Hewlett-Packard's HP Jornada 520 Series Color Pocket PCs. The Minstrel 540 modem works with the HP Jornada's bundled Pocket Inbox and Pocket Explorer applications to provide wireless access to email, the Internet, and corporate LANs to remote users. Contact Novatel Wireless at 888-888-9231.
Learn how properly implemented infrastructure solutions can work across business units and operations to make you more competitive with a copy of "e-business Infrastructure Integration: Practical Approaches." Get your copy today at
6. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT MOBILE AND WIRELESS PERSPECTIVES — [email protected]
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — [email protected]
(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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For more information about mobile and wireless computing, visit David Ciccone's Web site.