Xirrus at US Open

This is a photo that I meant to put on my blog a couple months ago.  Thought I would use this time to catch up – Xirrus array at the US Open.   More to come…










Wi-Fi Jedi Speaking Tomorrow in Atlanta

I’m speaking on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at the GaETC conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  GaETC is an educational conference for K-12 schools.  I will be delivering a 3 hour workshop entitled “Enabling Digital Learning and Multimedia Applications over Wi-Fi”.   It will be a mix of lecture, demonstrations, and discussion.  It will also feature a case study from a Xirrus customer, Greater Atlanta Christian Schools.

If you are interested in attending, please get a hold of me ASAP and I’ll try to get you access to the session.  I will be speaking from 9 AM until Noon.

The conference audience is made up of approximately 2,000 teachers, media specialists, technology coordinators, technology specialists, special educators, vocational teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, curriculum directors, staff development coordinators, Title I coordinators, and everyone else interested in educational technology.

There are approximately 200 exhibitors for the conference.  More information can be found on the conference website: http://www.gaetc.org/

Cantenna Workshop Followup – Pictures & Lessons Learned

I wanted to post a quick follow-up on the “Build Your Own Cantenna” workshop that I facilitated at the University of Advancing Technology as a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

While we limited the number of registrants to 15, we were able to sneak in a few others last minute because we had the available supplies and space.  All together, we made 18 cantennas.

We were building simple waveguide antennas using tin cans.  We used the instructions from Turnpoint Wireless.  I had acquired several different sizes and types of cans for the workshop.  I thought part of the fun would be the experimentation. While it says it in the instructions, cans with a diameter of less than 3.25” do not work.  This is because you need to place the antenna element at a specific point on the can related to the ¼ wavelength of the 2.4 GHz frequency.  There were a few small cans (for canned veggies) that we tried where the diameter was less than 3” – when we made the measurement of where to place the antenna connector, we found out the can was not long enough!

Also, the instructions call for #6 ¼” nuts and bolts.  I bought the N-Type connectors from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird.  When they arrived, I took one to a Home Depot to size out the nuts and bolts.  Size #6 seemed to be a little too big, so I downsized to #4 ¼ bolts.   If I did it over again, I would have actually bought #4 ½ bolts because the connector does not sit flush, due to the curve of the can.   This was the worst with the widest cans – they seemed to have the deepest curve. Because the connector wasn’t flush, the bolts weren’t long enough to hold the connector in place.  We worked around this by cutting a much larger hole for the N-Type connector in the can.  We used a circular drill bit to accomplish this – my advice on this is to go slow and apply steady pressure, or you’ll severely warp the opening as the bit goes through the can.

Here are a few photos from the workshop:

Build Your Own “Cantenna” Workshop

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be teaching a workshop on how to build your own 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi antenna using a household can such as soup can, coffee can, or veggie can.  It is a simple waveguide antenna.

The workshop is going to be held at the University of Advancing Technology and is a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

My session is tomorrow, November 2nd, at 2:30 PM Pacific Time.  UAT is located at:

University of Advancing Technology

2625 W Baseline Road

Tempe Arizona 85283

If you want to go, please send me an email or Twitter @reply quickly and I will try to sneak you into the class.  We have a limited amount of seats because we have a limited amount of supplies (and soldering irons).

If you can not attend, but would like to undergo the project on your own, we are just following the instructions/outline from Turnpoint Wireless.

I bought my cantenna kits from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird as suggested in the instructions.  I ordered 20 kits and had them shipped 2nd day and Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird had no issue fulfilling the order.  The neccessary nuts,bolts, and wire I picked up at a local Home Depot.

If you build one of your own, please stop back and leave me a comment to let know know how it went.  I’d love to hear about your experience!

Xirrus CEO Dirk Gates on MSNBC

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had the opportunity to blog about something that was personally very exciting to see.

A couple weeks back, Xirrus’ CEO, Dirk Gates, appeared on MSNBC to talk about job growth and the state of the economy. Dirk appeared on the Dylan Ratigan show.

If you are interested, a transcript of the interview can be found here: http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/ceo-wire/mi_8092/is_20100923/xirius-founder-ceo-dirk-gates/ai_n55375488/

If you hadn’t heard, Dirk also gave a keynote presentation at last week’s INTEROP New York conference where he demonstrated 96 iPads simultaneous streaming video and surfing the web from a single Xirrus Wi-Fi array. Definitely exciting times around here at Xirrus.



I <3 A Jedi

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!

Xirrus Ranks Second To Cisco Systems in Independent Enterprise Access Point Market Share Per Dell’Oro Group

WiFiJedi: Last week, I told you that I was excited to share several exciting things happening for my employer, Xirrus, such as the fact that they were named as one of America’s fastest growing companies by Inc Magazine.  Below is equally exciting fact that Xirrus was ranked second in independent enterprise access point revenue:

Thousand Oaks, Calif. – Xirrus®, the only Wi-Fi Power Play in the industry, announced today the company’s key industry rankings in the 2Q’10 Dell’Oro Group Wireless LAN report. Xirrus was ranked second overall next to Cisco SystemsÒ in Enterprise Independent Access Point revenue. Xirrus’ position in the Enterprise Independent Access Point sector of the market points to an increasing trend to move the intelligence and switching capacity of enterprise Wi-Fi Networks toward the network edge instead of in a centralized controller.

Dell’Oro Group publishes Wireless LAN quarterly reports with in-depth market-level and detailed vendor market share information. The reports include tables showing manufacturers’ revenue, units shipped, and average selling prices. Highlights from the 2Q’10 Dell’Oro Group Wireless LAN report include:

  • Xirrus ranks #2 in Enterprise Independent Access Point revenue
  • Xirrus ranks #3 in 802.11n Enterprise Access Point revenue
  • Xirrus shipments were nearly 90 percent 802.11n (vs. an industry average < 50 percent)
  • Xirrus shipments grew more than 40 percent quarter-over-quarter

As customers continue to demand higher performance and capacity from their Wi-Fi networks, they require that the distributed intelligence and capacity that made their wired networks highly effective be replicated in their Wi-Fi networks. The Xirrus platform does exactly that with a fully distributed, dense radio architecture, unmatched in the amount of processing power and bandwidth it can deliver on a per access point and system basis, compared to anything else available in the industry today.

“Independent Access Points have always been a big part of the Wi-Fi market and are once again on the rise as more intelligence and greater capacity is needed at the network edge to support the growing number of users, devices, and high bandwidth applications shifting from wired networks to Wi-Fi networks,” said Dirk Gates, founder and CEO of Xirrus. “Legacy centralized Wi-Fi controllers are prone to congestion, induce latency, and frequently become encryption bottlenecks that negatively impact the user quality of experience — especially for high speed 802.11n-based networks. History often repeats itself, and in this case, wireless intelligence at the edge is following the same course of the Ethernet switching market over a decade ago.”

About Xirrus

Xirrus, Inc. is the only Wi-Fi Power Play in the industry and manufactures the high performance Wi-Fi Array – the only fully distributed dense radio Wi-Fi architecture available in the industry today. The innovative Xirrus architecture delivers unmatched RF innovation and wireless performance on a per access point and system-wide basis, yet requires fewer devices, switch ports, cabling, time, and effort to implement and maintain than traditional offerings – accelerating the Time-to-Value by 3X. Xirrus designs and manufactures its products in the USA and is Wi-Fi Alliance, VeriSign PCI, FIPS 140-2, and ISO 9001:2008 certified.  For more information, please visit www.xirrus.com.

Calling All Bloggers

WiFiJedi: This is an email that I received late last week asking for bloggers to fill out a survey for a “State of the Blogosphere” report by Technorati.  It took me 10-15 minutes to fill out, and was actually pretty fun/interesting.  If you are a fellow blogger, I personally would appreciate you taking a few minutes of your time to help out the community by answering the survey questions.  FYI — I have nothing vested in Technorati or the report, but want to get the best possible data to the public.

From: Technorati [mailto:noreply@technorati.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 9:51 AM
Subject: State of the Blogosphere Survey 2010

2010 State of the Blogosphere Survey – please give us 15 minutes.

Since 2004, Technorati has been tracking the Blogosphere through our State of the Blogosphere study. The goal of the study is to create a complete snapshot of the activities and interactions that make up the Blogosphere by asking you, the bloggers, to share some information about your habits. The survey includes questions like how, when and why you blog. Is this a side business, full time job or something you do for fun?

Please feel free to send this link to other bloggers you know. And be sure to check back on Technorati.com in November for a summary of the results.

The 2010 State of the Blogosphere Survey: http://research.opinionguru.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll?I.Project=A17275

WiFiJedi: As a personal side note, those who know me well understand I am  a *huge* NHL Hockey fan.  After completing the survey, I did see this “Five Things To Look Forward to This NHL Season” post on Technorati.  #incaseyouareinterested

A Geek’s Thoughts From the Carrie Underwood Conference

Last night, I attended the Carrie Underwood conference at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

One thing I couldn’t help but think during the show was how many people were using their mobile phones to take photos, record video, and share their experiences on social networking sites.

This really doesn’t do it justice, but I took this photo with my own iPhone while at the show (look at all the lights in the foreground — those are mobile phones!):

Ironically, I recently conducted a video interview of Ted Schadler on my Computerworld blog and spoke about this very topic.  Ted is one of the co-authors of the new book, “Empowered”, which talks about four key technologies that are changing the way we do business — social, mobile, video, and cloud.  With what I witnessed in the crowd, I couldn’t help but think Ted was *really* onto something.

To me, it reinforced that it is best to embrace these technologies, not fight them.  Some artists may try to prohibit such behavior, but I think it benefits Carrie Underwood to have also those people uploading pictures and telling their friends about their experience on social networking sites.  Essentially, they are advertising for her and evangelizing her brand… for free.

What do you think?  Would you try to protect your intellectual property from be spread via social, mobile, video, and cloud?  If so, when and how?  If not, why not?

By the way, in case you were wondering, the concert was amazing. 🙂

Xirrus Recognized Among Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America in Annual Inc. 500 List

NOTE: There are lots of exciting things happening around Xirrus (my employer) that I would like to share with my readers. This listing in the Inc 500 is the first such item.

Xirrus Ranked No. 2 Fastest-Growing Private Company among Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturers with Three-Year Sales Growth of 3,213%

Thousand Oaks, California – Aug. 30, 2010Xirrus®, the only Wi-Fi Power Play in the industry, announced today the company’s recognition as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America in the 2010 Inc. 500. Each year, Inc. and Inc.com celebrate the remarkable achievements of today’s entrepreneurial superstars—the privately held small businesses that drive our economy. Xirrus was recognized for an impressive three-year sales growth of 3,213%, and was ranked second in the telecommunications industry among equipment manufacturers, and 75th overall across all industry sectors.

“We’re honored to be in the company of past Inc. 500 nominees including Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, and Oracle,” said Dirk Gates, CEO and founder, Xirrus. “This recognition of our growth, market share, and revenue greatly adds to the overall momentum we’re seeing as a company, as we continue disrupting the networking industry with Xirrus’ patented Wi-Fi Array technology that surpasses all other Wi-Fi offerings in the industry by delivering more bandwidth and support for more users on a per device and systems basis.  Additionally, we are proud to both design and manufacture the product here in the United States, unlike all of our other competitors.”

“Fast growth at any time is a big achievement; fast growth during the past few years is just short of miraculous,” said Inc. editor Jane Berentson. “The Inc. 500 consists of these just-short-of miraculous companies, the ones that through ingenuity and ambition have increased revenue, hired employees, and grown fast in difficult economic times.”

The 2010 Inc. 500, unveiled in the September issue of Inc. magazine (available on newsstands August 24 to November 16 and on Inc.com), is a group of companies that are smaller but much faster-growing than last year’s crop. Aggregate revenue is $11.3 billion—down from last year’s $18.4 billion—but median three-year growth is 1,231 percent, substantially up from last year’s 880.5 percent. The companies on this year’s list employ more than 45,000 people. Complete results of the Inc. 500, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at Inc.com/500.

About Xirrus

Xirrus, Inc., is the only Wi-Fi Power Play in the industry and manufactures the High Performance Wi-Fi Array technology, which is the only fully distributed, dense radio Wi-Fi architecture available in the industry today. The innovative Xirrus architecture delivers unmatched RF innovation and wireless performance on a per access point and system-wide basis, yet requires fewer devices, switch ports, cabling, time, and effort  to implement and maintain than traditional offerings – accelerating the -to-Value by 3X. Xirrus designs and manufactures its products in the USA and is Wi-Fi Alliance, VeriSign, PCI, FIPS 140-2, and ISO 9001:2008 certified.  For more information, please visit www.xirrus.com.

Xirrus – High Performance Wi-Fi™

Xirrus – The Wi-Fi Array®

Xirrus – The Wi-Fi Power-Play™

Xirrus – The Air Is The Network™


The 2010 Inc. 500 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2006 to 2009. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by June 30, 2006. Additionally, they had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2009. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2006 is $80,000; the minimum for 2009 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. The companies of the Inc. 500 represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at www.inc.com/500.

About Inc. Magazine

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC, Inc. (http://www.inc.com) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 712,647, Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology. Visit us online at www.inc.com.

About the Inc. 500|5000 Conference

Each year, Inc. and Inc.com celebrate the remarkable achievements of today’s entrepreneurial superstars—the privately held small businesses that drive our economy. The Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony brings together members of the Inc. community, both a new class of Inc. 500|5000 honorees and the list’s alumni, for three days of powerful networking, inspired learning, and momentous celebration. Please join us September 30–October 2, 2010, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, located minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. For more information about the 2010 Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony and to register, visit www.inc500conference.com or call 866-901-3205.