Well, color me ignunt!
I guess I haven’t really thought much about the proliferation of wifi. I was amazed today as I was driving around town how many wifi points the new pocketpc picked up. I’m thinking in the back of my mind, maybe I’d stumble across 1 or 2 here and there. Not so. On one strip I’d have four and five separate access points every time I stopped at a traffic light. (Of course, not many were open access but, thats besides the point) Talk about a light going on? I guess I still see wifi as a geek’s toy and not a everyday convenience. I live 6 blocks from work and driving between work I picked up 10 different access points.
What is wifi you ask? Wifi stands for wireless fidelity kinda like hifi for stereos. The difference, the broadcast is thru the air using old style radio signals to transmit data. (What a ducky idea right?) The current standard is based on the 802.11 radio broacasting frequency. This frequency broadcasts using 1 to 3 gigahertz range. Several versions abound, 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. There are two new standards in the works using a slightly different style. 802.11n is a tighter, refined version of the same frequency and then there is 802.16. The latter falls into the WiMAX category. With the WiMAX standard you could take todays connection speeds, double the speed and the distance w/o any quality loss! Imagine being able to drive all over town and never loose a signal while downloading or broadcasting live video/audio feeds! Thats the power of WIMAX! (WiMax is still in development stage and won’t be available retail for months)
Wifi has been around since mid 2000 but up until recently it was very expensive and annoyingly non-user friendly. As the standard matures and production costs decrease, I guess more and more non-techies are making the leap! Who da thunk?