September 23, 2003
"Wireless Hacks": Expert Tips for Getting the Most From Your Wireless Gear
Sebastopol, CA--In this increasingly wired world, many people are
finding that the best way to get connected is to do away with wires
entirely. From cable replacement to universal internet connectivity,
wireless technology is changing the way we connect to our machines and
to each other.
What is it about wireless networking that makes it so alluring on a
grand scale? Marketing folk might tell you that the particular feature
set and brand name of their product is driving the demand but according
to Rob Flickenger, author of the new Wireless Hacks (O'Reilly, US
$24.95), the answer is much simpler: it's magic.
"Right where you are sitting now, there could be dozens of wireless
data networks slinging information to the far corners of the Earth,"
explains Flickenger. "A neighbor orders food online while someone
across the street is using voice chat to talk to relatives (for free!)
in Hong Kong, all the while someone upstairs is downloading a new album
from their favorite band's web site in San Francisco. The information
flows all around you without you seeing or hearing a thing. Make no
mistake, wireless networking is probably the second most magical
technology on the planet--just behind the Internet."
And, indeed, more than twenty-two million Wi-Fi devices shipped last
year, with double that projected for some time this year. But, as with
any new technology, buying the gear is only the first step.
Understanding how to make the best use of it is another story.
"Wireless Hacks" offers 100 industrial-strength tips about wireless
networking, contributed by experts who apply what they know in the real
world every day. The book includes "hacks" on extending range,
optimizing performance, providing services on a large scale, and even
making your own antenna. "Wireless Hacks" covers several wireless
technologies, including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, Bluetooth, and
In addition to showing what is possible with off-the-shelf hardware,
"Wireless Hacks" shows readers how to extend that hardware well beyond
the original manufacturers' intentions. And when standard access point
hardware just isn't enough to do the job, the book covers everything
you need to know to build your own custom access point.
"Wireless Hacks" provides a wealth of useful techniques for making the
most out of wireless technology, including:
Making sense of the alphabet soup of the 802.11 standards, and
understanding which technology makes sense for solving your particular
Using Bluetooth, mobile radios, mobile data networks, and other exotic
methods to keep you connected, no matter where you are
Practical methods for detecting, analyzing, and monitoring wireless
Extending the range of your network, and making the best possible use
of the available radio spectrum
Designing and building your own antennas
Engineering long distance network links that span several miles
Understanding the security issues of wireless networking, and
protecting yourself and your users from unauthorized access and
Written for the intermediate to advanced wireless user, "Wireless
Hacks" is full of direct, practical, ingenious solutions to real-world
networking problems. Whether your wireless network needs to extend to
the edge of your office or to the other end of town, this collection of
non-obvious, "from the field" techniques will show you how to get the
ISBN 0-596-00559-8, 286 pages, $24.95 US, $38.95 CA, 17.50 UK
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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