In the USA, there are 11 channels for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks to use. However, only 3 of those channels do not overlap, 1, 6, and 11. That means choosing any channel besides one of those three is to be avoided. In my neighborhood of single family homes with USA average sized lawns, I see 9 WiFi networks from my home office, one of them is mine. Here is a table created by a wireless router Wireless Site Survey function:
Sometimes a home or small business would like to extend a network without running any ethernet cables or using expensive power line methods. Many homes have an old WiFi router that is still working, but the new router still doesn’t get signal to all parts of the home or some devices do not support WiFi networking, only 100base-tx wired. By using the new WiFi router with the older WiFi router, it is possible to extend a network over WiFi and locate wired connections on the far side of the home using just the two wifi routers in bridge mode.
I’ve written more than a few Nokia N800 Articles and figured that a central location listing them might be appreciated.
Ok, so with all the traveling that I’m planning to do this year, I didn’t want to drag a laptop along, but still wanted to be relatively connected and recharged.
So I bought a Nokia N800. Comes with a worldwide charger and very long standby time for a device like this – 10 days. I know 14 days doesn’t work – recently left it in standby in my car as I went to Hong Kong for almost 2 weeks. I got to reset the date/time upon return.
The N800 is turning more and more into a multi protocol mobile communication device for WiFi connections. If you have a cell phone with a data plan, you can connect via bluetooth and usae it. I don’t.
- For the first day, I couldn’t get it to connect to my household Wifi. Thankfully, the 2nd day, it connected WPA2 and life was good.
- The web browser is really nice. Not just nice for a hand held, but nice for any platform. I have more trouble with Firefox on my laptop than I did with the built-in N800 browser.
- I spent toooo much time the first 3 days trying to find acceptable input methods (typing, stylist, handwriting recognition). I’ve decided to teach it the old Palm Graffiti. Well, that didn’t work – too much overlap between upper/lower/numbers, since letters and numbers aren’t entered into different parts of the screen.
- First thing I needed to do was upgrade the firmware from OS2007 to OS2008. Fairly easy and it seemed to be helpful with app compatibility.
- 2nd thing became obvious quick – I needed more disk. The included 128MB SD simply wasn’t any where near enough. Ordered an 8GB MicroSDHC.
- The default apps are lacking. Basically, it is a web browser with trivial video and audio playback. Oh, and you can IM lots of ways. I don’t IM, so who cares?
- That isn’t to say it didn’t come with other applications – it did. Email, SIP client, GoogleTalk, Skype, and a bunch of games that are worthless to me.
- The built-in contact manager is worthless. I’d be embarrassed if I were Nokia. Phone is an optional entry for each contact. Crazy. Even after I setup the SIP client, it insisted on using gtalk for phone calls. I HAVE A PAID SIP VOIP SERVICE! Let me use it!
- Ok, so I started grabbing free applications for this baby.
|Camera for quick picts||MPlayer for audio/video||GPS Mapping Software 3 kinds|
|ssh – fire, wheel, unix, ssh ….||a bunch of normal Linux tools||Weather|
|Claws for email||FBReader (an ebook and other file format reader – text if beautiful on this device)||PalmOS Virtual Machine|
|Voice Recorder (for quick voice recordings)||DiskUsage||Password Safe|
|rsync/grsync – fire, wheel, unix, ssh ….||HP 42 Calculator||FM Radio|
- The built-in video camera appears to be worthless. I loaded an app to snap pictures with it. Grainy is putting it nicely. For video conferencing, I could see where it may be nice, but I don’t do that today.
- FM Radio app – recently learned that the headphones are the antenna.
- GPS Mapping – there seems to be a bunch of software for this available. Probably due to the N810 having built-in GPS. Before I ran out of storage (128MB), I was able to get 1 size of detailed maps for Hong Kong and Atlanta. The zoom was bad, but what do you want when you’re missing 20+ detail levels? Can’t wait for that 8GB SD to arrive.
- I really need to get the SIP client working ASAP. I’d hate to be stuck without Skype-out as my phone when I’m out of the country. Also, wouldn’t it be cool if someone called my house and I answered when in Costa Rica or Hong Kong or Germany? That alone makes it worthwhile!
- IMAPS and SMTPS is working, but doesn’t work with my IMAP server folders … yet.
Ok, so what’s wrong that can’t easily (read free) be corrected?
- Sucky contact management – I’ve never seen anything this bad. Heck, an XLS file with autofilter is better. It is unacceptable for a pocket device with Skype, SIP, and email capabilities NOT to include a contact manager at least as good as Palm had in 1996!
- Text entry – the finger tip entry should be the default, not handwriting recognition or peck for letters. Palm Graffiti won’t work.
- Bluetooth N800 Keyboard for data entry, typing.
- How to delete the apps/games that I don’t want? Some that are part of the OS?
- How to reorder the applications in their lists and re-group them?
- Hotels have 100BT connections, not WiFi in the rooms – what am I to do since there’s no RJ-45 port? Ordered a tiny wifi router today.
They did do some things besides the browser well. 1-click installs using normal Linux tools, USB Drive when connected to a PC, SD memory (and all the smaller versions with SDHC up to 8GB), RSS feeds, Google search on the main page, World Clock shows local time based on where you click. There’s a bunch of GPS and phone connectivity stuff that I don’t plan to use too. Bluetooth connections for these devices is expected.
I’ll add more to other articles as I learn more. I’ve got to get a usable PIM app on this thing QUICK.
How much did this thing cost me? Nokia N800 Costs.
What do I want in a PDA?
- Core PDA functions as good as a Palm Pro
- Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Sync Linux, Windows, OsX …
- Open platform for 3rd party apps – like PDS & MS-Office editors/viewers
- Color screen
- Rechargeable battery – 4-7 days of use – LiOn is probably best
- USB interface for Sync, xfers, and recharging
- Camera 1.5 MegaPix or better
- WiFi w/ WPA (not WEP, which is broken)
- Email client IMAPS/POP3S that supports SMTPS and TLS/SSL connections directly to email servers – no client-side push needed; definitely no Outlook dependency!
- MP3 player
- Voice Recorder
- Memory expansion
- I don’t care if the OS is Palm, Linux, or WM6 based. Though Linux would be nice
- Most important cheaper than a Nokia N800 ($220)
Nice to have are:
- e-book reader is e-ink.
- GSM/EDGE/3G phone and data, but only if it is unlocked.
- GPS (not network based) for geocaching.
Ok – with these simple requirements, you’d think I’d have no trouble finding what I want? Do you know what I need? Please email= me!!!
Jan 2008 Update: I bought a Nokia N800