By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2003-12-08 Print this article Print

WINC Wireless Client: Tired of searching for an access point? Need an easy way to find, connect and update your IP address when wirelessly roaming? Cironds clever little utility lets you do all that and more. Its intuitive interface pops up when you plug in a wireless card, and lets you save connections, WEP passwords and more. Its better than Windows XPs built-in wireless tools, and for Windows 2000 and Pocket PC nothing even comes close. We gave away a version earlier this year at PCMag.com, and you can still download it if you sign up for our utility library. Wireless users – dont leave home without it. iBurst: ArrayComm calls it "personal broadband," and by early reckoning, it seems to be Ricochet done right. A wireless way to cheaply deliver 1Mb or more around large geographical areas, using smart antennas, iBurst has started to catch on in Asia and Australia. A recent trial in Sydney delivered broadband access across 66 square miles with just six base stations. This is no fly-by-night company either. Its been around since 1992, and was founded by Martin Cooper – widely hailed as the father of the cellphone. Forget Metricom, 1XRTT, 3G and all those other forgettable acronyms. iBurst delivers fast wireless access on the go, or while sitting at home, for cheap.
Vivato: Another interesting phased technology comes from Vivato, which has invented a Wi-Fi switch that works either indoors or outdoors. When located outdoors, pointing at a building, a single Vivato switch can connect up an entire building. Indoors, Vivatos technology pumps wireless signals up to 900 feet from the switch. Rather than blasting a wireless signal in a radius around the access point, Vivato sends narrowly focused beams directly at the client. At $14,000, its not cheap. But it does offer the promise of better coverage over a broader range. The company counts Intel among its investors.
AirMagnet Handheld 3.0: Network managers looking to debug wireless problems swear by AirMagnets handheld protocol analyzers. Other wireless sniffers require users to lug around a big notebook, while AirMagnets products work on a Pocket PC with a wireless card. The analyzer detects rogue access points, spoofed addresses and channel interference, helping you to keep your wireless network happy, safe and performing at its peak. It even came in as a runner-up in eWeeks Excellence Awards this year.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including ExtremeTech.com, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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