Archive for the ‘General’ Category
I have had many conversations in the past week about how email and conference calls have become a *huge* part of the work environment. Personally, I am looking to become more effective & efficient at handling these tasks. If you have a good strategy, please share!
Since it is Friday, I thought I would share a humorous video on the topic:
Thanks to my colleague, Henry Chou, for bringing this video to my attention.
This picture was sent into me by one of my Twitter followers, @gem69gem — apparently she ran across one of my blog readers on the road…
Enough said. Happy Friday!
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For those of you unfamiliar with some of the regular features of WiFiJedi.com, I publish poll questions on Tuesdays. Normally, these are multiple choice poll questions where the answers are shown in percentages.
However, this week I would like to ask the poll question in a slightly different manner. This time, I would like to ask an open ended question and for you to answer within the comments section.
Without further fanfare, this week’s question is “What do you think is the Top Wireless Story of 2009?”
I am going to compile and publish a list of such stories and I would like YOUR help to ensure I didn’t miss any of the best stories. 🙂
I have one addition to the list:
- BlueAnt Supertooth Light – I can’t believe I excluded this one from the list because I actually *received* one of these as a Christmas gift this year. It’s a Bluetooth speakerphone/microphone that hangs on a car sun visor. And as Sheldon from the TV show, Big Bang Theory says, “Everything is better with Bluetooth”. I actually had a similar device from a different manufacturer and didn’t like it –mostly because it wasn’t loud enough. The call quality on both ends is excellent with the BlueAnt device.
I also wanted to expand on two of the original suggestions:
- PlayStation3 – The Wi-Fi on this does a lot more than I originally anticipated. Not only does it allow for free online game play, but it facilitates game updates. Once such example of this is in sports games where updated team rosters can be downloaded from online servers. You can also stream movies directly to the PS3 from NetFlix.
- Pet Rock – My Computerworld editor actually pointed out this reincarnation of the pet rock: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/cubegoodies/c208/ Oddly enough, this version of the pet rock *isn’t* wireless. Uhg…
Wondering what to get friends and family members for a last-minute holiday gift? Then check out my latest Computerworld blog post for gift suggestions. I won’t spoil all the fun, but I made four suggestions that deal with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other wireless technologies.
What makes up a wireless LAN (WLAN)? Is it just the Access Point(s) and any associated WLAN controller(s)? Does it include anything else? Personally, I think of wireless LANs as a system. In my mind, there are three main parts to this system:
- The infrastructure
- The clients
- The environment
This includes not only the access point(s) and the WLAN controller(s), but any of the routing & switching gear used for uplinks. Also included in the infrastructure would be any of the network infrastructure / services leveraged by the wireless LAN (examples include RADIUS, Network Time Protocol, Syslog, etc.)
The IEEE 802.11 specification refers to these as “stations”. Clients/stations could be computers such as laptops or tablet PCs. Other examples of wireless stations include dual-mode phones, handheld scanners, etc. When thinking about the clients, realize this includes not only the hardware, but the software (such as a client driver or management supplicant).
This most commonly refers to the Radio Frequency environment. The RF environment can be evaluated with a spectrum analyzer, which can show you the signal level of your APs, the noise floor, and any interference in the area. Interference can come from other Wi-Fi devices, or non Wi-Fi devices (such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, and Bluetooth). I also think of the Physical environment, which is the type of construction materials used, the amount of vegitation in the area, the terrain/line-of-sight, etc.
I often get called out in troubleshooting situations. In many of these cases, the infrastructure has been evaluated as a potential source for issues (for example, are the authentication/encryption settings correct), but the clients and the environment have been neglected.
In these troubleshooting scenarios, it is imperative to take a thorough look at all three components. Not only should you take a look at the configuration file of the infrastructure, but ensure that wireless clients have the most up-to-date drivers. Look to see that clients power-save and roaming agressiveness settings are appropriate for the application. Double-check to see there is no interference from Wi-Fi or non Wi-Fi sources, etc. In short, evaluate your WLAN as a system.