Geekspeak: December 31, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-12-31 Print this article Print

Powerful transceiver saps batteries

Shrinking wireless ethernet access to the size of a CompactFlash card, this Proxim 802.11b transceiver is part of the Harmony product line honored as this years Best of Comdex wireless network technology. It offers 11M-bps data rates at up to 460 feet from the nearest access point in unobstructed environments, Proxim officials said. But, at 380 milliamperes transmit current and 280 mA receiving, the device will strain handhelds batteries: The 1.23 ampere-hour pack on an HP Jornada 560 should last for about 4 hours. I see this being most useful for workers who venture often but only briefly away from their battery charger cradles and for mobile workers whose devices can draw on their vehicles power supplies.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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