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Linux Unwired

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.6

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Pulls together a lot of information
Comment: This is a valuable book for two reasons.

First of all, and most significantly for a Linux book, it's hard to get a handle on the subject from the free information available on the web. I'm sure all of the information in this book is out there, but it's scattered far and wide, and this book is clearly a big time saver.

Second of all, the authors know their subject inside and out, and they have organized it pretty well. I have an Orinoco card, and the explanations of the differences in the various drivers for the card have been extremely helpful to me. Some drivers will let you scan for wireless networks, and others won't -- that's the sort of thing that would burn hours and hours of troubleshooting time, but it's all explained clearly here.

I bought this book so I could get a wireless connection going on a Linux From Scratch laptop, but after reading the book, I'd like to build my own access point with Linux.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: The cellular chapter is excellent
Comment: I didn't even originally realize this book had a chapter on cellular data until I found Brian Jepson's site,, and began reading about using cellular phones and PCMCIA modem cards. This book's cellular chapter was just what the doctor ordered! There are instructions for Verizon, AT&T, Cingular and T-mobile, that make things more manageable even for advanced Linux users. Way to go, guys!

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Excellent treatment of Linux and wireless networking
Comment: Based on postings to user forums it seems that one area of Linux where people tend to have a lot of problems getting it to work is wireless networking. With wireless finally coming into its own over the last couple of years "Linux Unwired" is a very timely and useful book. All the aspects of wireless in all of its current manifestations are covered including Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), Bluetooth, infrared, cellular networking, and global positioning system (GPS) devices.

Before getting into the details of getting Linux to work with wireless the authors provide a thorough understanding of radio waves and how they act, hardware, and antenna types. Understanding these basic concepts is important if your system is to work the way you want.

One of the really nice features of the book is the information on picking the right card so you have the fewest problems getting things up and running. The authors even name specific manufacturers and card models that work well with Linux and then they go through installing the driver and configuring the software to work with the device. Along the same lines they provide information on Linux friendly access point providers and even building your own access point.

One you have your Linux system up and running on wireless there is a chapter on locating hotspots and using them to get onto the Internet. This chapter really only covers the basics of locating hotspots. If you are really interested in this area you might try another O'Reilly book just on this subject titled "WarDriving, Drive, Detect, Defend". Of course, if you are concerned about your wireless security (and you should be) it includes information on configuring Wired Equivalency Protocol (WEP) and Wireless Protected Access (WPA).

If you are anticipating moving your Linux system to a wireless interface you can't go wrong with "Linux Unwired". The authors do an excellent job of providing all the information you need to get it done right. "Linux Unwired" is highly recommended for anyone interested in Linux wireless networks.