A Skyscraper of the Future

 
 
By Debra Donston  |  Posted 2007-03-20 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Opinion: The new Hearst Tower is distinctive not just because of its design: It's also the first skyscraper to be designed from the ground up (literally) with wireless convergence in mind.

By now youve noticed the striking photograph on the cover of this weeks issue. But the new Hearst Tower is distinctive not just because of its design—its also the first skyscraper to be designed from the ground up (literally) with wireless convergence in mind. As Senior Writer Wayne Rash explains in the Road Map that begins on Page 22, wireless access extends throughout the 46-story, 856,000-square-foot Hearst headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
A distributed antenna system and a central location for access points, controllers, switches and servers mean that the inside of the building is as aesthetically pleasing as the outside.
The building is, er, upgradable, too. The focus is on 802.11b and g technologies, according to one of the design engineers, but support can be added for WiMax and metropolitan and municipal wireless networking, as well as for 802.11n. Speaking of 802.11n, on Page 46, Technology Analyst Andrew Garcia takes Apples AirPort Extreme for a ride. eWeek Labs has seen many laptops that leverage the dual-band capabilities of the still-in-draft 802.11n spec, but, so far, 802.11n router manufacturers have chosen to support only the 2.4GHz band. The AirPort Extreme is one of the only wireless routers on the market to support both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands (although only one at a time), an evolution that Garcia applauds for the improved consistency and reliability it will bring users. Reliability is one of the hallmarks of Linux, as is the fact that its free. Ive heard our resident Linux guru in Labs, Advanced Technologies Analyst Jason Brooks, speak many times and at length about the benefits of Linux. But, in the same breath, hes mentioned compiling kernels and fetching updates and finding the best online forums for help. Recognizing that theres a pretty steep learning curve with truly free distros, Brooks has put together a guide to getting started with Linux. A longer version of the story that starts on Page 37, as well as related slide shows and podcasts, can be found at eweek.com. The easier entry point into Linux is, of course, going with a vendor that has done the dirty work for you (for a cost, of course). Red Hat is one of the biggies, and its RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) 5 has just hit the streets. For the latest from Senior Editor Peter Galli, go to Page 13.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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