It's an increasingly wired world, but many people are finding that the best way to get connected is to do away with wires entirely. From cable replacement to universal Internet connectivity, wireless technology is changing the way we connect to our machines and to each other.As with any new technology, buying your gear is only the first step. Understanding how to make the best use of it is another story. Wireless Hacks offers 100 industrial-strength tips about wireless networking, contributed by experts who apply what they know in the real world every day. Each Hack can be read in just a few minutes, but can save you hours of research.Inside, you will find a wealth of useful techniques for making the most out of wireless technology, including:
Making sense of the alphabet soup of the 802.11 standards, and understanding which technology makes sense for your solving particular problem
Using Bluetooth, mobile radios, mobile data networks, and other exotic methods to keep you connected, no matter where you are
Practical methods for detecting, analyzing, and monitoring wireless networks
Extending the range of your network, and making the best possible use of the available radio spectrum
Designing and building your own antennas
Engineering long distance network links that span several miles
Understanding the security issues of wireless networking, and protecting yourself and your users from unauthorized access and eavesdropping
Written for the intermediate to advanced wireless user, Wireless Hacks is full of direct, practical, ingenious solutions to real-world networking problems. Whether your wireless network needs to extend to the edge of your office or to the other end of town, this collection of non-obvious, "from the field" techniques will show you how to get the job done.
Rob Flickenger has been a professional systems administrator for more than 10 years, and all around hacker for as long as he can remember. Rob enjoys spreading the good word of open networks, open standards, and ubiquitous wireless networking. His current professional project is Metrix Communication LLC, which provides wireless hardware and software that embodies the same open source principles he rants about in his books. Rob also works with the U.N. and various international organizations to bring these ideas to places where communications infrastructure is badly needed. He hopes that all of this effort is contributing toward the ultimate goal of infinite bandwidth everywhere for free. He is the author of two other O'Reilly books: Linux Server Hacks and Building Wireless Community Networks (which is in its second edition).
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The tool on the cover of Wireless Hacks is a wire cutter/pliers combo tool. It is typically used to cut or trim a piece of wire, and can bend it into an appropriate shape. In a pinch, it can also strip the insulation from heavy gauge wire, although a wire stripper is really the proper tool for that job. Its insulated handle provides a small measure of protection from electricity, but when using a wire cutter, be sure to first disconnect power from the wire you are cutting. Always wear eye protection when using a cutting device of any kind. Mary Brady was the production editor and the copyeditor for Wireless Hacks. Colleen Gorman was the proofreader. Brian Sawyer and Claire Cloutier provided quality control. Matt Hutchinson and James Quill provided production support. Ellen Troutman-Zaig wrote the index.Emma Colby designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a photograph from the Stockbyte Work-Tools CD. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's Helvetica Neue and ITC Garamond fonts.David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Julie Hawks to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Helvetica Neue Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. This colophon was written by Rob Flickenger.
Rob Flickenger has done it once again and this time he actually used the word "hacks" in his latest book on wireless networking, fittingly entitled, Wireless Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools. The explosion and growth of wireless technology has a familiar feeling that takes one back to version 1.0 of web browsers and dialup connections that opened our eyes to a whole new world. From, imagine... I can see inline graphics, to, wow... I am streaming live content while sitting on my deck enjoying a cool one!
Wireless Hacks isn't a traditional book, but as the title implies, it is composed of one hundred tips, tricks, suggestions, DIYs (do it yourself), tools or simply *hacks* regarding all things wireless. Open it up to the index and browse for something that catches your eye. This book really is not meant to be read front to back although you can if you want. I found myself using my trusty old magazine technique of folding over pages of things I wanted to try out or that were quick solutions to current problems. There are enough nuggets in this book to make it worthwhile even for wired users (check out #36 Estimating Network Performance or all of Chapter 3: Network Monitoring).
Glen Flieshman mentions in the foreword that "... Rob Flickenger is an early adopter's early adopter" which sums up the value Rob brings to the table. He is a wireless pioneer paving the way to unplugging but yet staying connected and the really cool thing is that he is willing to share.
To find the Table of Contents, errata, sample chapters and purchasing information for, Wireless Hacks, see http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/wirelesshks
I found this book to offer many good ideas and methods to dealing with wireless equipment. While this book focuses on wireless networking equipment the chapters in this book can be applied to most any wireless application with some modification.
My only complaint is that sometimes there is not enough detail provided when explaining how to create antennas, devices, or align antennas at long distances. Some chapters could better serve with in depth explinations. Other than that, I found this book to offer a wealth of information that the reader can then expand upon and research if needed.