IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding wireless networking terminology
Configuring wireless Ethernet devices
Using Windows drivers with Ubuntu
Today's mandatory connectivity requirements would be a farce without the ubiquity of wireless connections, whether these are cell phones leveraging a distant tower, your PDAs syncing to your PC via Bluetooth or Infrared, or your laptops using wireless network connections via an access point hidden in the linen closet in your hotel. It is incredibly liberating to be able to travel without carrying every cable and adapter that could possibly connect device A to device B, especially when airport security seems to frown on suitcases full of cables, power supplies, and connectivity hardware last seen in the laboratory of Victor von Frankenstein (no relation to the author).
Chapter 17 discussed how to connect and synchronize PDAs and smart phones with your Ubuntu system, so this chapter focuses on wireless networking. Like many other hi-tech domains, wireless networking has its own vocabulary and a bewildering set of alphabetically similar but conceptually unique acronyms, protocols, and so on. The first section of this chapter provides a basic overview of wireless networking and associated terminology today. Subsequent sections of this chapter explain how to configure wireless devices that are directly supported by Linux, explain how to work with wireless devices that are not supported by Linux (an impressive trick), and provide tips ...