Wireless on Linux, Part 1

    Date21 Aug 2003
    3732
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    For the harassed, overworked network admin, connecting new clients without having to run additional cabling is so much fun it feels wrong. Miles of pretty color-coded cables and tags are aesthetically pleasing and useful, of course, and who hasn't experienced the . . . For the harassed, overworked network admin, connecting new clients without having to run additional cabling is so much fun it feels wrong. Miles of pretty color-coded cables and tags are aesthetically pleasing and useful, of course, and who hasn't experienced the satisfaction of crimping connectors? There's nothing like the authoritative SNICK of a perfect crimp. (For some of us deskbound-geeks, grip strength is all we have.)

    But rasslin' bales of CAT5 cables is like, so last millennium. Hopelessly old-fashioned. Square, even. And wireless Ethernet is no longer new-fangled: it's affordable and works just fine. Today let's take a look at which brands and devices work on Linux; next week we'll dig into the deep, mysterious world of chipsets, configurations, and troubleshooting.

    Wireless does have one glaring pitfall, though - security. And then there's the usual Linux pitfall - finding supported hardware. Let's take a moment to wag disapproving fingers of shame at hardware vendors who do not supply Linux drivers for their products. Don't give me any jive about there not being enough interest; there most certainly is a substantial Linux - and Unix/BSD/Mac OS X - market. How do vendors think all those millions of Linux machines are networked? Magic? And Unix was the big networking OS decades before Windows was even born.

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