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By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2002-11-19 Print this article Print

: IBM Aims to Ease Mobile PC Management"> Client Rescue and Recovery is the next step up from IBMs Rapid Restore PC software, which lets users restore files with the touch of a button in the event of a crash, virus or application problem. IBM also next year plans to launch the Distributed Wireless Security Auditor (DWSA), a system that lets all the PCs in an office work together to detect rogue access points on the company WLAN.
When several computers detect such an access point, the central network can triangulate the data and home in on the rogue.
"DWSA uses the Thinkpad as a set of distributed eyes and ears," Connors said. IBM already enables Thinkpads to detect rogue access points and act as wireless security auditors of sorts, but the new system makes it easier to find the rogue—even if the rogue is on the move—because the computers are working together. "Just adding one letter [D] seemed to fix everything," said Michael Vanover, architect/visionary at IBMs Personal Systems Group. The system includes a map of a companys network, with rogue access points marked in red. DWSA will be available within a year, as well, Connors said. Beyond that, IBM is working on ways to help companies automatically secure a rogue access point and add it to the network so it ends up working for the official WLAN after all. "Were thinking of turning the bad guy into a good guy," Connors said. And to make it easier to configure a computer for a WLAN in the first place, IBM next year plans to launch Instant Connections, a feature for Thinkpads and other PCs that detects the type of connection—wired or wireless—and configures itself accordingly, meaning users dont have to remember IP addresses, WEP keys and the like. While IBM remains committed to wireless technology on its notebook computers, Connors said that there are no plans to branch out into other form factors such as Microsoft Corp.s new Tablet PC or a smaller handheld device. "Were not doing a Tablet," Connors said. "Weve been in that space twice before, first in the late 80s and then with the Transnote. Its appropriate for vertical markets, but its still too early." IBMs Global Services division resells handheld computers from other manufacturers, but thats the extent of IBMs commitment to handheld hardware in the near future, Connors said.


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