Whining About Wireless


When you have a choice between running a cable and relying on a wireless connection, you simply must not consider them to be equal choices. The reliability of a wired connection seriously tilts the scales. I have told my clients for years that the equation is simple: people with wireless connections call me for help; people with wires don’t. […] continued

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Verizon Gets The iPhone


You probably saw the news that Verizon will begin selling a version of the iPhone that will run on its network starting February 10. We’re very conscious of Verizon’s business plans in the North Bay, since AT&T’s presence up here is feeble at best and Sprint and T-Mobile are non-starters. I’ll give you just a few extra bits of information. […] continued

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Wireless Networks – Useful, Annoying, Insecure


Wireless networks are convenient and likely to be the way most of us get our network and Internet connections in the future.

Wireless networks are a huge pain and nearly incomprehensible.

Both of those things are true.

Wireless technology has come a long way since the first consumer routers with wireless access points appeared on the market almost ten years ago. […] continued

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Hands-On With The Dell Vostro V13


dellvostrov13-4Once my wife saw my Dell Vostro V13, it didn’t take long before we had two Vostro V13s.

The Vostro V13 is an ultrathin notebook with a 13” 1366×768 nonglare screen and a full-size keyboard. It’s two-thirds of an inch tall with the lid closed and weighs just 3.5 pounds. […] continued

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Kindles For Boomers

kindle1 If you haven’t had a chance to see a Kindle yet, you really owe it to yourself to ask someone to show you theirs. You’ll see their eyes light up with the same look that iPhone owners get when they have a chance to show off their toys. I’m a book lover from way back, an old school type with a deep love for the feel and the look and the smell of books, but I can understand completely why my wife loves her Kindle. […] continued

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Cell phone carriers absolutely adore monthly data plans. Want email on your new phone? Buy a monthly data plan for $40-60/month, to go along with the other charges for phone service and text messages. Want an easy Internet connection on your laptop so you don’t have to hunt for an 802.11 wireless network? […] continued

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Netbooks will be widespread by the end of the year, shaking up the PC market and changing our world in ways that will be more dramatic than you expect. You might not have foreseen one of the ways they’ll be distributed – sold and subsidized by the cell phone carriers.

verizonmodem Many notebook computer users are familiar with the concept of a separate “mobile broadband” device built into the notebook, or plugged into a USB port, that gives the computer an Internet connection anywhere within a cell phone carrier’s network. […] continued

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The world is changing in front of our eyes again. Let me give you a preview of some technology that is going to change the computing landscape permanently – and do it before the end of 2009. This is a big deal! Take a minute to read this – it will help you understand what’s happening when things start to move quickly this fall. […] continued

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I have shared a bit of wisdom with many of you when we’ve talked about setting up 802.11 wireless networks:

People who depend on wireless networks call me about connection problems.

People with wires don’t.

Wireless technology is just swell. Millions of people use it every day.

But if you’re making a decision about how to set up your home or office network, think long and hard about hiring someone to run network cables between the locations where desktop computers are located. […] continued

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Frustrated by flaky wireless connections? You’re not the only one. I’m proud of the solution that one of my friends and clients is using to increase the strength of a weak signal in his house. That’s the wireless USB adapter on the remote computer that you see in there, pointing towards the room with the wireless access point. […] continued

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I have a Verizon mobile wireless adapter built into my Dell Latitude D630. I pay sixty bucks a month so I can connect to a reasonably fast EVDO broadband connection from just about anywhere. It’s becoming a standard accessory for business travellers who don’t want to hassle with conventional wireless.

A few days ago, there was a lengthy delay when I clicked the Connect button – “wait while your equipment is updated,” something like that. […] continued

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Vista’s firewall is significantly beefed up from the firewall in Windows XP – it monitors outgoing traffic, it’s able to adjust easily when a computer is moved from one network to another, and the settings are easier to find in Vista’s Network and Sharing Center.

Firewalls have become far more important on individual computers as our lifestyles change. […] continued

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If you have a wireless notebook, there’s yet another way the bad guys can get past your defenses.

When you connect to a wireless access point, normally you’re in “infrastructure” mode. Network traffic to all the computers using the wireless network passes through a wireless access point. In a public place – an airport or hotel, say – you can reasonably hope the access point has some built-in security to keep each connected computer separated from each other. […] continued

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rangemax Although the technology is widespread and mature, 802.11 wireless networking is confusing for many people – and frustrating for nearly everyone. It hasn’t helped that the next generation of 802.11n networking equipment seems to be stuck in an endless development cycle, resulting in hundreds of routers and access points and adapters on the market that are not quite compatible with each other. […] continued

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The Wall Street Journal’s site All Things Digital has a useful article that translates some geek jargon into English. It’s a nicely written collection of common-sense explanations of terms used to describe digital cameras, mobile devices, televisions, and more. Sample:

“DIGITAL CAMERAS – Megapixels: This term describes the highest resolution photo a camera can take.

[…] continued Read more