"It ain't what you don't know that will hurt you. It's what you think you know that ain't right>"
I don't know what I don't know. Why do I want to learn this?
Well, I taught myself computers and owned the first Commodore 64 on the block. I taught myself DOS, then Windows then a bit of Linux (working on Slack 12 right now). I taught myself to program in perl and earlier, C++. I gave up on VB, though.......
This time I'm catching the technology right at the near beginning, and just want to learn it well.
Is there a course or a method to get really up to speed? Anyone here want to make a few bucks? I realize that most here learn it by doing it, but in my case, that's not really an option, as I'm not in the business nor know anyone that is.
That's pretty funny, above you said you taught yourself ...... Not sure why it's not really an option now, heck, I'm retired, and just buy stuff to play and learn... Funny thing about teachers.. Heck, I was a professor until I retired... I used to play and learn stuff, then teach it to the students the next day (ie do first and THEN teach)... Considering how many teachers teach INSTEAD of doing now, what makes you think you can learn anything (except the wrong way) from them?
Seems from what you wrote, that you have been teaching yourself stuff for years until now, why stop doing what works and try something else that may not?
If you really want to burn out on Wi-Fi, I suggest reading the IEEE
802.11a/b/g etc specifications. The technobabble is known to turn one's brain to mush.
If you survive those, your next adventure will be the FCC Part
15.200-.299 specifications. The main parts for Wi-Fi are 15.201 and
The bureaucratese is also known to turn one's brain to mush.
There's also no way to really understand Wi-Fi without also understanding patent law, trademark law, international wireless politics, standards group politics, and American style monopoly building. Some local politics for municipal WLAN's is also helpful.
Don't forget the FAQ and John Navas spent considerable time assembling for your benefit:
Also, there are few good documents floating around. I suggest you download and read the Intel Wireless Hotspot Guide that I have reposted without Intel's permission at:
There's quite a bit of good basic stuff in there. Don't tell Intel.
I'm going the other way. At first, I thought I knew everything. After answering questions in this newsgroup for a few years, I find that I seem to know less and less. For example, why would the IEEE consider three radically different technologies (spatial mux, beam forming, and diversity code) all to be MIMO and to be conglomerated into one standard? It boggles the mind (which is what happens just before it turns to mush). There's also the problem of acronym production exceeding my ability to digest them. At the present rate, Wi-Fi will choking on acronyms and IEEE standards making it impossible for a single person to understand everything. However, having you brain first turned to mush is helpful as you won't notice these problem.
I don't know about that. Knowledge is a curve with a peak in the middle. You start at the bottom and work your way to the peak accumulating knowledge. When you get to the top, you realize that there are some rather large and numerous holes in your knowledge and start to question the very fundamentals that got you up the curve. Soon, you find that you really understand less and less about the technology, thus sliding down the curve. At this point, one usually degenerates into an expert on minutiae, which is a defensible position. The few that still maintain that they understand everything, usually find themselves on the road to insanity, irrelevance, research projects, or teaching.
That's two different questions. I don't have the answer to either. All I can suggest is that is if you must ask "why am I doing this", you're doomed from the start.
None of this has much to do with Wi-Fi. To understand Wi-Fi, you must understand RF, radio, microwave methods, antennas, propagation, and especially FCC/IEEE/WiFi/municipal politics.
Huh? What new beginning? All I see is the same olde stuff expanded on a grand scale by massive popularity, hype, and marketing. You may not be able to teach an old dog a new trick, but you can sure repackage the old dog into something that looks like a new dog.
Progress.... just add acronyms.
See if you can squeeze your way into one of his classes somewhere.
Method: Learn by Destroying(tm). Buy a pile of wireless junk. There's plenty of stuff on eBay. Get yourself a Linux (DD-WRT or OpenWRT) based central router. Pass out client bridges to the neighbors and build a neighborhood WLAN. Ignore anyone that questions your sanity or motivation. You'll soon learn that Wi-Fi is about 30% technology and
70% a mixture of politics, psychology, and lunacy.
Diving inside and reverse engineering the design is often interesting. If soldering iron and RF is not your cup-o-tea, then sniffing the traffic and analyzing how 802.11 really works (as opposed to reading about it in the specs) might be of interest.
Jump right in. The water is ummm..... boiling.
Not if I have to work for it.
There's quite a bit you can learn on the test bench. I kinda wish I still had access to something better than my museum of 30 year old test equipment, as it would answer many of the questions that I've been forced to guess or derive. If you have money, buying a sweep generator, directional coupler, and oscilloscope are a big help. Figure on $1000 for those plus some test cables and incidentals. A decent spectrum analyzer will cost at least $2000.
Self taught is the way to go. Having an internet connection makes it easy. All it takes is time and coffee and better and better reading glasses.
Hands-on experience helps. As people are saying, with a couple of flexible devices (replacement firmware helps) in hand, antennas (buy and/or build) and a few pcs scattered about, you can start fooling around.
Myself, I didn't understand ANYTHING about networking 14 months ago. I didn't have an internet connection either.
First I went to the Internet cafe and downloaded the best articles I could find on networking: How stuff works, maybe or I forget which sites. Internet/ip addresses/routers/etc etc. I went home and read two articles on every topic that seemed relevent. Retention was about
30%, but I got oriented and can at least ask semi-intelligent questions.
Next, I researched ISPs and got our community's Sat system together. Learned some more there. Static ips, etc.
Once we had a connection, I started researching wireless. I read articles anywhere I could find them. About.com/How stuff works to practically networked, wikis whatever. Poring over vender sites and checking out wifi products and descriptions helps too.
Then I started lurking here, netstumbler, linksys info and DD-WRT forums. You pick up a lot that way. Takes time though.
Then I started asking questions here about our specific application and Jeff set me on course. Now, after a year on this group and also following DD-WRT, I feel like I'm on my feet, more or less. The more problems one solves, the more solid one's understanding is. In that vein, I try to sharpen my skills and understanding by answering the simpler questions here and also asking my own now and then.
I'm also branching out now by trying to monitor our LAN usage and that is another level of learning. Complicated.
The great thing about this wireless stuff is that with even half a clue, you are doing better than most! And it is pretty cool when it works.
The Citrix engine is a really good application with several ways of using it. The biggest selling points are its fast screen refresh rate, HIPPA grade security and remote IT infrastructure independent.
The "GoToMyPC" service provides secure remote access to your PC from any Web browser. You can sit at home with your laptop and control your desktop computer back at the office.
The "GoToAssit" service enables remote support of customer and employees via shared screen, mouse and keyboard controls. The client goes to your website and downloads a small client that communicates back to your help desk. Unlike some remote access apps that require NAT, firewall permissions and port forwarding...its independent of the local network infrastructure. $300 per month for a two seat helpdesk license (or is it $400? - I'd need to see what I'm paying per month). A much cheaper, as in FREE, approach using the VNC engine would be the PCHelpWare add on for UltraVNC.
For the server application you're referring to, it basically allows dumb terminals, i.e stripped laptops, to have full access to a full blown virtual desktop. The server host point pays a much discounted rate for an enterprise virtual deployment for licensed software.
I think I used GoToAssist once. Far better than VNC, for the reason you give. No firewall meddling..
seems there are 2 or 3 definitions of client and server
- client initiates connection to server
- client makes requests to the server and the server responds
- server is centralised.
VNC relies on the definition of client initiates connection to server..
And the definition that the client is making requests to the server, and the server is responding, in this case, accepting commands that control it remotely, and sending back a picture.
But from the point of view of centralisation, the server isn't central. If you're the IT Dept techie and you have loads of users. You run the client app, and all the users run the server app, you connect to them. So the client is central. If somebody does call that central comp the server, they mean it in the sense of it being central..
GoToAssist made me think again.. And realise that since the client app and the server app are just apps. the client initiating to the server. There's no reason why it should be the client controlling or requesting info, from the server. It can be the client connecting to the server, and the server controlling the client..
Indeed, that is how GoToAssist functioned. I went to a website, it downloaded a file (the client application), I ran that. It connected to some GoToAssist server. But unlike VNC, instead of me then being able to control their machine. They could control mine. Very cool.
If making an outgoing connection to somebody else, they have to do all the security and configuring at their end! (of course, if the firewall was blocking outgoing in some way then there would be some configuring necessary. Home routers by default block all incoming, but allow all outgoing. In a sense, I guess it "exploits" that fact!)
I'll give PCHelpWare a look, hopefully it does do that.
I don't see any need for some expressions you've used like "bypassing the local network infrastructure" , that looks like non-technical sales babble to me.
If you're technical, why are you outsourcing your tech support? I guess you're a techie doing something else?
err, dumb terminals are a fairly old fashioned thing. I think they are literally - no processing capability
the computers that connect to citrix are typically regular computers like those people buy from Dell !!! When used to connect to citrix, they may be called 'thin clients' because the BULK of processing using citrix, occurs at the server side - on the citrix server.
Ach, that - style - of language and explanation is too non-technical for me.. sorry! And i'm not familiar enough with citrix to have had the displeasure of unravelling it.
It's language like that that makes the computer industry a bit of a bore and a hassle.. Because at the root we are dealing with technical concepts.. Unfortunately, explanations of what things actually do, get lost somewhere, and don't seem to be considered relevant in sales literature.
Once the term 'enterprise' gets thrown in, the sales literature gets worse and worse.
The PCHelpWare module for Real VNC functions similar to the Citrix GoToAssist. We use both. We have a web page we direct clients to and they click on "request a connection" and a small app downloads or we just leave the app on their Desktop. The reason we use both is that we only have two Citrix seats and sometimes both are in use when I need to remotely do something.
We also use RealVNC that runs on all the remote computers. Its faster than PCHelpWare and allows copy and paste, but needs remote site router configurations.
Its the best and most generalization of saying you don't have to set up port forwarding in their DSL modem, you don't have to set up NAT and forwarding in their router, etc..etc..i.e the local infrastructure.
No, other way around...we have some clients that call us for occasional help. 90% of computer issues can be resolved at the keyboard level. By remoting into them, it saves a truck roll.
The phrase "stripped laptops" has a clearer meaning to most people than a "thin client"