In the continuing saga of getting my new web publishing system to behave (the system is Joomla, by the way), I've had to abandon the part of the system that created the user-friendly URLs. The system was simply taking up too much memory for each site visitor, resulting in server crashes whenever things got busy.
I'm busy updating all of the redirects and hope to have it all straightened out today. But in the meantime, use the site search or browse the categories to find what you need.
Out, damned bugs!
- Trying out Google Search
- Change Your Bookmarks
Things seem to be running more smoothly (and quickly) with the recent link system changes. But, since I'm never one to leave well enough alone, I decided I'd try turning the article comment system back on. So registered users can now resume their commenting!
In other news, I've installed a new FAQ module and ported over (again) some Wireless FAQ. So, give it a look and let me know what you think.
CES is almost upon us and the WiMedia / "Certified Wireless USB" forces will once again attempt to whip us into a frenzy about a technology that was one of the biggest no-shows of 2006.
Even though it's one manufacturer's point of view, I found this DigiTimes Q&A with Roberto Aiello, CTO and co-founder of Staccato Communications, an interesting read.
The trickle of news from CES 2007 has started and will soon become a flood. I'll be in Las Vegas, starting this Saturday, covering the show using a combination of news items, slideshows and articles.
To make it easier for both you and me, I'll be tagging everything with "CES 2007", which will appear in the Tag Cloud once I get enough articles posted. In the meantime, you can use this link to bring up a list of the tagged articles.
In his CES keynote, Bill Gates introduced the Microsoft Home Server, but didn't provide many details. Thankfully, George Ou is also at CES and did a good drilldown with the Microsofties and spills some of the beans behind what makes the product tick.
The short story is that it is based on Windows Server 2003 R2 and has a "rich" admin GUI delivered to a Windows desktop and a not-so-fancy one for the riff-raff who choose to run another OS. Windows Server 2003 also powers some of Iomega's StorCenter Pro series NASes and they ain't cheap. And when Jim Buzbee looked at the StorCenter Pro NAS 200d/320GB with REV built-in, he found that some admin functions required dropping into Windows Remote Desktop.
The final standard is still over a year in the future and the Wi-Fi certification process for draft 11n products is about 3-5 months away. But companies are continuing to put this Beta-test-in-progress (which you, the consumer, are paying to participate in) into end-products beyond wireless routers and adapters. We've already seen draft 11n integrated into notebooks, and now Apple and D-Link have integrated it into networked media players.
The AppleTV announcement revealed that draft 11n capable hardware (from Atheros, it turns out) had already been integrated into existing Core 2 Duo MacBooks, MacBook Pros and Core 2 Duo iMacs (except the 17-inch, 1.83GHz iMac). All you need to do is run an "enabler" app, buy a new version of the Airport Extreme (in new Mac mini form factor) and voila, you have an interference generator for your 11b/g network. But something that Apple has done right is to put concurrent (or simultaneous) dual-band capability into its draft 11n products. This raises the cost, but also the flexibility since connections in both bands can be made at the same time.
You would think from Atheros' statement released today announcing the approval of 802.11n draft 1.10 that it's all over except for the sound of champagne corks popping in terms of having 802.11n products that consumers can buy without fear.
But it is not.
Yes, today's vote is good news since it advances the ball toward the end goal, which is still over a year away. But if you already own draft 11n gear, you should not assume that it is only a few firmware and driver upgrades away from being equivalent to products that will roll off the production lines over the coming months. And the same goes for gear currently sitting on the shelf at your favorite retailer.
Tuesday's entry by Intel into the draft 11n market was a bit of a surprise, given its history with being late to the party with previous wireless LAN product generations. But the 11n train left the station awhile ago and Intel, like any other company wanting to stay in the WLAN game, had to get on board, draft status or not.
But aside from lending legitamacy to a technology that has so far been most notable for further decreasing the chance of an average consumer having a successful wireless networking experience, and for getting reviewers' and pundits' shorts in a knot (myself included), Intel did something else. Something that, in my opinion, they didn't play up enough in their announcement material or webcast / conference call, and that deserves special mention.
Updated with corrections from Bill McFarland 1/29/07
In both private discussions and during the Intel draft 11n chipset webcast, I have been hearing hints about 11n's "bad neighbor" problem having been addressed in draft 1.10. I was able to get Atheros' CTO, Bill McFarland on the phone to bring me up to speed on what actually got into the 1.10 draft. Note that some of these mechanisms were being debated back when Draft 1.0 was being finalized. But since consensus couldn't be reached, the 11n task force punted and didn't include any of them in 1.0.
Updated 6 February 2007 with Buffalo responses.
As I described in my last post, Draft 1.10 is a big step forward for 802.11n in terms of compatibility with existing 802.11 b/g wireless networks. It's so significant, that I'll be backing off my pledge of no reviews of draft 11n products and reviewing 1.10 compliant gear when it starts shipping.
- Trying out Google Search
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