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Palm Embraces Wireless LANs

Palm offering discounts when purchasing a Xircom Wireless LAN module and a handheld from the Palm Store. Even if a handheld isn't purchased at the same time, the module still comes with a CD containing an email client, browser, a VPN, and other software.

The Xircom Wireless LAN module uses 802.11b to connect to a network access point at up to 11 Mbps with a range of up to 1,000 feet. It costs $290 separately or $600 with an m505, $550 with an m500, or $500 with an m125.

While priced out of the range of most consumers, this is part of Palm's drive to make its products more interesting to large corporations.

The LAN module comes with a CD containing Corsoft's Email Client, which is compatible with Microsoft Outlook 97/98/2000/XP. Users can set the system to check for new email as often as every 5 minutes. Because customers determine how frequently to check for email, they can increase modem battery life from hours to days. Also, data is protected with 192-bit AES encryption for added security.

It also has DPWeb Browser, which formats web pages for handheld computers.

In addition, there are trial versions of Certicom's movianVPN and vVault's Direct Desktop Access.

The Xircom Wireless LAN module works with all handhelds that use Palm's Univeral Connector, which currently includes the m500 series and the m125. Palm has promised that all future handhelds for at least two years will use the UC.

"Wireless is changing the way our customers use their handhelds," said Kevin Hell, senior vice president of Product Management, Solutions Group, at Palm, Inc. "Making wireless LANs more easily accessible to Palm handheld users is an important part of our ongoing strategy to make sure Palm has solutions available for our users across multiple wireless network standards."

About 802.11b
802.11b Wireless LAN, also known as Wireless Ethernet, is a radio frequency (RF) network access technology. It allows users to access information wirelessly throughout a home, business or campus location. The technology is most often used to expand the coverage of a wired LAN, but, it can also be used to replace wired networks. The technology can require the installation of access points (radio transceivers) to provide wireless coverage across a local area. Wireless LAN can also exist in a Peer-to-Peer setting, between devices that have WLAN access modules. The 802.11b standard ensures interoperability among WLAN networks by implementing regulations for WLAN product manufacturers. Businesses, schools, and other institutions often find it beneficial to standardize equipment so that they can combine hardware from different vendors. Home users who purchase 802.11b compliant products are assured that they will work with products produced by various manufacturers.

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Airport?

Davy @ 11/26/2001 11:35:15 AM #
Will this thing work with Apple's Airport?

RE: Airport?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 11:37:21 AM #
If it's 802.11b, why not?

RE: Airport?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 2:11:35 PM #
According to a review by the Dutch Palm Club it worked with Airport.

RE: Airport?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 4:28:09 PM #
I can also confirm that it works just dandy with AirPort!

RE: Airport?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 5:18:43 PM #
I have one for my Handspring Visor Prism and have been using it with my airport network for almost six months now.

The trick to getting to to work is to put the airport network name into the "SSID" area. (Took me about an hour to figure that one out.)

8==8 Bones 8==8

Not on a Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 11:55:41 AM #
Wireless Lan access is one of the major things Pocket PC has going for it in the corporate world. Wireless ethernet options for the Palm are few and very expensive. Also because of the Palms anemic proccesor wireless network access is much slower than on a Pocket PC. The bigger screen on the Pocket PC is a plus for reading e-mail or surfing the web via wireless ethernet as well.

RE: Not on a Palm
mikeliu @ 11/26/2001 11:59:48 AM #
yes, I'd heard this before, and was wondering about that claim of 11Megabit wireless access in the article. I'd heard that Palm OS devices weren't actually capable of 11Megabits per second, or even close, less than 1Megabit was what I had heard. So I was surprised to see that in the article, but I'm sure this is a case of the Xircom can do 11Megabit, even if the Palm can't type thing. Sorta like the 56k modems.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:22:09 PM #
> Wireless ethernet options for the Palm are few and very expensive.

Seems to me that a top of the line Palm PLUS the wireless module is still LESS than a typical cost of a PPC device alone.

> I'd heard that Palm OS devices weren't actually capable of 11Megabits per second, or even close,
> less than 1Megabit was what I had heard.

Where did you hear this? On some PPC forum? Even if true, don't get caught up in theoretical maximums verses practical needs. I keep a large number of spreadsheets on my Palm. At 1 megabit per sec., I can download the largest one of them in .2 seconds.

No one gets 11 Mbps unless conditions are absolutely ideal, like standing next to the network access port. Speeds are reduced as distance increases and walls etc get in the way.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:31:34 PM #
Wow, you need a special course on what is networking. Do you know what is the maxmium transfer speed of current TCP/IP?

If you guys do not know that, please keep your own words in your own mouth. At least, that will not make you a stupid jerk.

P.S. If you are going to tell me that a poor CPU cannot surf the speed up to the network standards, how are the 486s working out? Some of the servers are still running on Linux with 486 or Pentium class. Are u kidding me?

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:37:16 PM #
No, even all conditions are ideal, current TCP/IP can only suppot a speed of 5.5 MB/sec. Unless you are using other protocols (I don't know what you can use beside IP for Windows Networking), there is no way to access over 5.5 MB/sec.

Also, when you go to Xircom's website, they told you the 11 MBPS are limited to 100ft within a closed area (e.g. an office). This is the standars, which apply for all PPCs and Palms.

This must be some marketing genius paid by M$ to cheat us what networking is, or they are so stupid that they do not understand the basics.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:47:40 PM #
Or think like this. A cell-phone could support GPRS, which is around 38.4 kbps, but what CPU is inside a cell-phone?

Stupid zealots.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:48:35 PM #

The "Not even close to 11MBS" is because this Xircom thing apparently uses the M505's serial connection to connect and simulates a modem. The maximum throughput on the serial port in the m505 is only, what? 115kbs? So yes, it is pretty much a waste to claim that this is 11Mbs when the actual throughput to the Palm is only 115kbs.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:50:27 PM #
With response to the first poster, why does a company need to give access of wireless internet access on a Pocket PC within a building, while an employee can simply go back to their cubes to read e-mails and surf the net on a 15 inch monitor(hopefully)?

Where do you get your ideas?

P.S. Maybe the employee need to access his e-mail in the toilet. That's called s?it mail, which is what the zealots always read.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 12:56:03 PM #
Wow, someone is talking about technology on a serial port. Did you every know that a serial port is a serial port (hardware) and a simulation is a simulation (software)?

By the way, did you every know that a serial port supports speed up to 4.3 MB/sec? Just cut the crap. There is an external CD-rewriter that can use the parallel/serial port of your computer with a speed of 8/4/24.

Anyway, zealots are zealots. They keep posting ignorant posts and refuse to receive new information, just like no Documents To GO on Palm's handhelds.

RE: Not on a Palm
bcombee @ 11/26/2001 1:01:14 PM #
The Dragonball VZ-based devices (including the m500, m505, and m125) are capable of a serial port speed of 230Kbps. This is the maximum speed for data to between the wireless 802.11b module and the device, and practically, its slower since I'm fairly sure the 802.11b module is communicating to the device using PPP, which has a slight overhead.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 1:20:20 PM #

I got a H330 with the Symbol 802.11 CF card and let me just say it is FAST. More than enough bandwidth to do all the normal things that are done on a PDA including any PPC out there too.

Original poster:

Your comments sounds like you are reading some script given to you by some Microsoft marketing guy who promises you he will set you up with some freebies if you run around blindly spitting off this M$ propaganda crap.

Not going to bother tearing your ignorance apart. You've done it yourself.


RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 1:57:49 PM #
Same as the previous poster. I have a HandEra 330 with a 802.11b CF card. Price for the card (330 handheld costs signifiantly less than any Pocket PC) and the resolution are the same as for Pocket PC, so I don't know what your issue is.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 2:20:50 PM #
Hey, the sled connection is through Palm's universal connector, which is USB capable as well as serial. Unless you see a specific reference to a 'serial' connection?

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 2:31:09 PM #
Forget it, the zealots will come out to say nay no matter what we say. They ignore any proof we show them, but they still continue to be tought. Good spirit, bad soul (Pocket PC).

They will repeat saying their faults 10,000 times unless it is spammed all over the board, or they believe that a lie will become a truth when it is said 10,000 times.

RE: USB devices
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 4:31:41 PM #
All current universal connector devices (such as the Xircom sled) connect via serial, not USB. Yes, the new Palm's support USB through the connector but HotSyncing is the only thing taking advantage of that at the moment. Serial interface gear is still cheaper and easier to implement than USB.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 5:03:15 PM #
In this review, the module turned out to be real slow:
http://palmclub.nl/reviews/accessoires/wlan/xircom_palm/

(review is in dutch, but see the graph)

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 7:31:55 PM #
Since when is there a limit on speed in TCP/IP? Limit on hardware, CPU, ethernet, cards, etc., yes. A limit on TCP/IP to 5.5MB/sec??? No way. Where do you get your information?

There is no such limit of transfer rate in TCP/IP. To think so is to be extremely uninformed.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 8:07:44 PM #
Read this

http://www.davespda.com/weekly/mjj01.htm

The max throughput of the Simple Devices 802.11b sled is 1.6Mbps, which I imagine is the hardware limitation of the interface to the palm.

The processor isnt powerful enough to do much with that rate of data anyway. If it really was coming in at 11Mbps, the memory of your palm would be full up in a few seconds.

Using 802.11b for a palm is definately overkill, its only usefull cos the standard is so widely used. Bluetooth is far more suitable for a pda but everyone looks down on it because its 'slower' even though the difference in the bandwidth that actually gets used by your pda will not be noticable.

Id be far happier with a wireless link that was low power and covered a mile radius, even if it ran at 9600bps.

RE: Not on a Palm
popko @ 11/26/2001 8:41:28 PM #
"Id be far happier with a wireless link that was low power and covered a mile radius, even if it ran at 9600bps."

Totally agree. What's good of a wireless network if you can't use it in the way and the place you want?

RE: Not on a Palm
Coyote67 @ 11/26/2001 11:27:54 PM #
When you consider why Palms don't have a large wifi support you gotta look at the wifi modules for pocketpc. They are CF or pcmcia, aka usable in normal pcs. Its much safer for manufs. to make a device that works for more platforms then one thats locked into a single platform. I was at an industry conference and many people I met were talking about replacing their current palms and blackberrys with handeras with cf wifi cards as soon as a driver for a good brand is made. One guy was talking about using the parachute + pcmcia wifi adapter. Really don't know how this applys, but its 11:32 and I'm tired and bored, so chew on this....or whatever.

---------------------------------------
When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the Dragon...you just have to outrun the halfling.
RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 1:22:11 AM #
Sony + Palm + Handspring users call Handera users Trolls
Palm + Handspring + Handera users call Sony users Trolls
Handspring + Handera + Sony users call Palm users Trolls
Handera + Sony + Palm users call Handspring users Trolls

yay here Trolls there Trolls, everbody Trolls Trolls.. O McDonald Had a Troll .....

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 5:06:47 AM #
I'm the original poster. The guy who writes in very poor english also has very poor TCP/IP knowledge. if what he is saying is true there would be no point in 100mbit and 1 gig lans. As far as usefullness it is very useful for me to sync with my PC or read my e-mail whereever I am in the building. I am often away from my desk for hours at a time. As far as all the pathetic comments about "zealots" thats the pot calling the kettle black. I've owned Palms for years and probably know more about them than most of the people calling me a Pocket PC zealot.

RE: Not on a Palm
Elfen @ 11/27/2001 4:06:16 PM #
I'm appauld at some of the answers on this forum; and here is a lesson you can learn:

You can get any computer on any network as long as you get the hardware and software to talk to each other and get the protocols right. Its been done- Commdore 64 (using a 2MHz 8bit 6510 cpu) and ethernet, accessing networks and fully fuctioning as anything the user wants. Look it up- its on the 'net!

The Palm- like any other computing device can and will do networking as long as the connecting hardware go through the work of converting the Palm serial I/O to a n ethernet's high speed I/O. TCP/IP is only a procol layer from which networks can communicate with each other.

Now- Lets go back a couple of years and a little known company called Symbol. Symbol used to create a wireless network version & Laser scanner which used a Palm III clone that they built for industrial purposes. It used the 802 wireless standard, and for few past years- it worked fine. Back then- HandHald Computing wrote a review stating that for your average person, it was overpriced, but for companies with portable newtorking needs, this was a perfect solution (not a direct quote- but they raved it). Sadly- they switched to PocketPC on this particular device, but for reasons other than "slow CPU and slow bandwidth." In fact, I remember it had to do with a very recent Microsoft.inc deal

So to say that the Palm can not do wireless or that it would be too slow to be of any true use- I must qestion the person saying this- Are you going to run Shockwave/Flash files and giga-bit Java scripts on your Palm? I think not. But for your average html/email simple graphics & text stuff- this is perfect. In fact- better than the Colored-Berries devices out there now for email & 2-way instant messenging.

RE: Not on a Palm
Elfen @ 11/27/2001 4:06:16 PM #
I'm appauld at some of the answers on this forum; and here is a lesson you can learn:

You can get any computer on any network as long as you get the hardware and software to talk to each other and get the protocols right. Its been done- Commdore 64 (using a 2MHz 8bit 6510 cpu) and ethernet, accessing networks and fully fuctioning as anything the user wants. Look it up- its on the 'net!

The Palm- like any other computing device can and will do networking as long as the connecting hardware go through the work of converting the Palm serial I/O to a n ethernet's high speed I/O. TCP/IP is only a procol layer from which networks can communicate with each other.

Now- Lets go back a couple of years and a little known company called Symbol. Symbol used to create a wireless network version & Laser scanner which used a Palm III clone that they built for industrial purposes. It used the 802 wireless standard, and for few past years- it worked fine. Back then- HandHald Computing wrote a review stating that for your average person, it was overpriced, but for companies with portable newtorking needs, this was a perfect solution (not a direct quote- but they raved it). Sadly- they switched to PocketPC on this particular device, but for reasons other than "slow CPU and slow bandwidth." In fact, I remember it had to do with a very recent Microsoft.inc deal

So to say that the Palm can not do wireless or that it would be too slow to be of any true use- I must qestion the person saying this- Are you going to run Shockwave/Flash files and giga-bit Java scripts on your Palm? I think not. But for your average html/email simple graphics & text stuff- this is perfect. In fact- better than the Colored-Berries devices out there now for email & 2-way instant messenging.

RE: Not on a Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2001 6:46:53 PM #
That, and Symbol makes the 802.11b CF card in my HandEra...

The real scoop

tipds @ 11/26/2001 6:56:33 PM #
O.K., Guys... Let me TRY to clear things up a bit.

802.11b IS an 11Mbps standard.
Just like any other network, unless you are the only user on the system, you will not get the entire bandwidth. That is, 11Mbps is shared among all users. If you have 100 users, each will have approximately 110kbps throughput (maximum).

The newer Palms support two kinds of serial busses: Universal Serial Bus (USB) and what is frequently called EIA-232 (A.K.A. RS-232). In truth, if the "RS-232" port supports anything over 20kbps, it is not a true 232 port, by definition. Most adaptations are a hybrid of 232 and RS-422. As mentioned already, all Palm expansion options that use the universal connector are not USB.

Now, speaking of stupid jerks... There is no limitation on the throuput of a TCP/IP network. Why? Because it is a transport, not a medium. You can send TCP/IP data as fast as the physical layer allows. Keep in mind that the internet is an IP network. Have any idea of the throughput of the internet's backbone? Trust me, it's more than 802.11a and 802.11b combined and multiplied by 100.<G>

The limiting factor is not the CPU in the Palm, it's the network connection. Calculate the the throughput of the CPU's local bus and the network bus. You will see which is larger. (I assume we can all do this calculation.<<G>)

There's plenty more to be said on this topic, but I'm goin' home. If you guys have any questions, ask a professional.

Tip DS

RE: The real scoop
jayhawk88 @ 11/26/2001 7:54:23 PM #
Damn it, the IM's aren't going to let a little thing like facts get in the way of a good flame war! ;)

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 9:30:44 PM #
Wow, wake up jerks.

Which jerk here screaming at others that TCP/IP has no limit after all?

That guy must be crazy.

Just do a simple test at home, folks. Let's say you have good cables and a 10 MBPS hub at home. Now, you are going to transfer a 600 MB file (maybe an image from a cd) from one computer to another computer. According to some of the jerks here, the files will be transferred within 10- seconds, but if you try to have a brain and test it out yourself, you know the truth. A single connection only transfers files at a speed of approximately 5.5. MBPS using TCP/IP and even slower running IPX. If you do not know anything about networking, please go home and pick up a book to read. Don't try to disguise yourself as an IT manager. That really makes me feel ashame.

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/26/2001 9:36:40 PM #
In addition to the first poster, do you know what a connection is from a backbone? It is a talk between one computer and another computer. Do you know that? So a backbone can talk to numerous computers at the same time, but it does not mean that it can talk to a single computer at a speed faster than the limit of TCP/IP.

Simple calculation: No. of connections x TCP/IP max speed= backbone bandwidth

You stupid jerk, better ditch the title of IT.

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 2:19:52 AM #
Oh my god, I can't believe how inflamed stupid people on this list can get. The 1st poster was right. TCP/IP has no max speed. TCP/IP describes the encapsulating and routing of information, not the physical medium.

A slightly off-skew analogy, what's the top speed of a hand written letter written in the protocol we call "an address written on an envelope"... depends on the physical medium... Real slow if it's by boat, speed of light if someone invents a matter transport beam.

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 2:41:10 AM #
Actually the so called speed limit of TCP/IP depends more on the algorithm of your OS use for TCP/IP Transfer.... It's not the speed limit of the Protocol .....

Well actually I kinda want to know what's the "speed limit" of TCP/IP ... :)

RE: The real scoop
mikeliu @ 11/27/2001 4:58:46 AM #
Wow, I by no means claim to be a networking expert or anything, but it's amazing how poorly informed the flamers are on this board. And sad to see them flaming the people who actually know something.

TCP has no maximum transfer speed, that's a load of BS. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong, and I can say that without being a flame, because it's the truth. It is merely a protocol, and the speed is determined by the medium. Researchers at Cray Research, Inc. have demonstrated TCP throughput approaching a gigabit per second. That's a lot more than 5.5 megabits per second that seems to be the popular misconception here. Even over a 10Mbps Ethernet network, TCP thoroughput can reach sustained levels of 8Mbps. The loss is coming from headers and such, which is a proportional loss, not some sort of concrete limit.

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 5:01:59 AM #
This is in reply to the idiot who said do this test at home.

Ok... For starters, your bandwidth is limited by a number of different factors. First your network card, then the type and length of you ethernet cable and then your hub. I used to work at a University, we had 100Mbit cards, and 100Mbit routers within the building I worked in. I could transfer a 600MByte file in less than a couple of minutes. (600MB file at 10Mbit/s takes 503 seconds, at 100Mbit/s takes 50 seconds)

According to you, there is no point to having 100Mbit cards, or GigaBit cards, because TCP/IP has a limit of 5.5Mbits... so why are companies investing in these high bandwidth tools?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

TCP/IP = Transmission Control Protocal/Internet Protocal. It is a discription of how packets are made up and transfered over a network (like the internet). He has nothing to do with the speed.

Bandwidth is your speed messure and it is based on a your hardware. If you have ethernet, yes there is a maximum. If you use fiber optic cables, it's even higher because you are moving the data at the speed of light. The reason you are getting a limit of 5.5Mbits is due to your hardware. Either your network cards suck, your cables suck or you hub sucks.

Also, the actual amount of end-user data (ie the data of the ISO) that you recive is actually less than the data that is really moving through the cable, since when you create a TCP/IP packet you have to add data (like the address that the packet has to goto and the sequence the packets were sent in). Just because your crappy home network doesn't give you 10Mbits/sec doesn't mean TCP/IP has a speed limit.

TCP/IP is a set of rules, it's not the thing limiting the throughput. Maybe you should try researching things before you talk about them

Chris
Co-Founder Wizage Programming
A guy with a degree in this stuff and over 15 years of experiance.

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 5:10:55 AM #
I thnk most of us know that 11mbps is a theoretical standard but the speed of the cpu and other parts of a computer also limit the speed. In the case of the Palm the cpu IS a limiting factor. Read any of the reviews on these devices and you will see that.

RE: The real scoop
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/27/2001 9:39:21 AM #
Wow, that's why we need to upgrade our knowledge every year, and you guys who claim to have knowledge of whatsoever still cannot find any proofs that when is a real life situtation that by using a TCP/IP connection between two computers can exceed that of a speed of 5.5 MBPS.

I told all of you guys that you can setup a direction connection between two computers with some good cables, but by no way you guys can imagine such a situation. Just dream on.

Yes, I know you got a degree 15 years ago, and that's why. I did not have my degree, and am still working on it.

P.S. : Anyone who claimed THERE IS NOT SUCH A MAXMIUM speed of TCP/IP, please provide a link (haha, if you can find one.) If you yourself still believe in such a crap theory of there is not maximum speed or it is just a protocol, get a life and be realistic and do not pretend you are from IT or whatsoever. Just use your old Borland C++ to program.

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