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Wireless Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools [Paperback]

Rob Flickenger
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Sept. 26 2003 --  
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Book Description

Sept. 26 2003 0596005598 978-0596005597 1

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.

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Product Details

Product Description


"Wireless Hacks is essential reading for anyone interested in pushing this technology in a highly practical manner. It really does showcase the very best tricks and tips developed by a highly active wireless community." - Linux User, December 2003 [Linux User & Developer Classic]

Book Description

With a new foreword by Glenn Fleishman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book of wireless tips May 19 2004
By A Customer
I'll have to disagree a bit with reviewer Pablo D. The book is broad and shallow, but I think it appeals to more than just the raw beginner. I found a number of tricks (hard to call them "hacks") in the book that have been useful. While many of the topics covered are simply product reviews, that information is helpful to wireless users, too.
Here's the table of contents of the book, which spells out all 100 "hacks":
Chapter 1. The Standards
1. 802.11: The Mother of All IEEE Wireless Ethernet
2. 802.11a: The Betamax of the 802.11 Family
3. 802.11b: The De Facto Standard
4. 802.11g: Like 802.11b, only Faster
5. 802.16: Long Distance Wireless Infrastructure
6. Bluetooth: Cable Replacement for Devices
7. 900 MHz: Low Speed, Better Coverage
8. CDPD, 1xRTT, and GPRS: Cellular Data Networks
9. FRS and GMRS: Super Walkie-Talkies
10. 802.1x: Port Security for Network Communications
11. HPNA and Powerline Ethernet
12. BSS Versus IBSS
Chapter 2. Bluetooth and Mobile Data
13. Remote Control OS X with a Sony Ericsson Phone
14. SMS with a Real Keyboard
15. Photo Blog Automatically with the Nokia 3650
16. Using Bluetooth with Linux
17. Bluetooth to GPRS in Linux
18. Bluetooth File Transfers in Linux
19. Controlling XMMS with Bluetooth
Chapter 3. Network Monitoring
20. Find All Available Wireless Networks
21. Network Discovery Using NetStumbler
22. Network Detection on Mac OS X
23. Detecting Networks Using Handheld PCs
24. Passive Scanning with KisMAC
25. Establishing Connectivity
26. Quickly Poll Wireless Clients with ping
27. Finding Radio Manufacturers by MAC Address
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars All things wireless.... Feb. 16 2004
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 [the website]
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4.0 out of 5 stars For the tinkerer in you Nov. 13 2003
An interesting amalgam of software and hardware tips. The author clearly loves to tinker, as seen by his description of how he and friends put together a waveguide antenna built around a Pringles can. Perusing the book seems to give some of the flavour of the Homebrew Computer Club in San Francisco during the 1970s, when the PC revolution was gestating.
To some (many?) of you, the do-it-yourself ethos of this book may be its greatest allure. Flickenger reinforces this with many examples of analysis programs contributed by enthusiasts, often with source code available for your modification.
If indeed you seem attracted, do not tarry. Flickenger may not explicitly state this anywhere in the book, but it really describes a field and hobby that will rapidly make much of the book obsolete. Chances are, in a few years hardware will be standardised by a few major manufacturers, and most operating systems will have all the necessary wireless software. So if you want some fun, perhaps now is the time.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very broad, very poor. Only for the very beginner April 18 2004
By Pablo
This is the kind of book that will tell you that a packet-capture program is a "hack"... Spends a lot of pages describing common features or well-known programs (Kismet, NetStumbler).
The book tries to cover Windows, Linux and MacOS and achieves that in a very low degree.
Save your money, everything on this book can be found on the internet, with even a better structure than the "index style" this book has ("Hack#1", "Hack#2" and so on).
Very disappointed. Makes me wonder if other posts came from O'Reilly itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the serious wireless freak March 6 2004
This is an amazing book about wireless. It's coverage of everything from the operating system level stuff, to drivers, to cards, to hacking cards, to building your own antenna, to doing shotgun wireless is just incredible. If you are a serious wireless junkie you will love this book. For the casual coffee shop surfer, this is probably not the right book, but you probably don't have any issues with wireless anyway.
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