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No. We haven't changed into NASNetBuilder

You would think from having had four networked storage articles in a row that we've morphed into something else. The truth is just that we've recently been swamped witih NASes and are just trying to keep up with the flow.

Help Wanted

To help SmallNetBuilder grow, I'm looking to expand our roster of writers. You don't have to be a professional writer, but do need to know what you're talking (or writing) about. I particularly need reviewers for routers and NAS products and folks who know their stuff on network security.

Pay is modest, but the satisfaction you get from sharing your knowledge with like-minded folks is better than big money, right? The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can start.

Drop a line to tim@smallnetbuilder.com or use the Contact Form. I'll want to see a sample or two of what you've written, so please include that or links to it, too. Thanks.

I'm just saying no to draft 11n reviews

Manufacturers continue to pump out more draft 802.11n products based on the current Draft 1.0 spec. They do this despite reviews (including mine) that point out numerous problems with all current implementations. Virtually every one of my reviews has ended with a recommendation to not buy the product.

So I've decided to take a pass on all reviews of draft 802.11n products until I can get my hands on gear based on Draft 2.0 chipsets (or whatever the new version will be called). According to Glenn Fleishman, this will be sometime in the spring of 2007.

I'm willing to change my position if you think I should. So let's hear from you. You don't even need to register to comment.

Belkin's award-winning vaporware

You gotta hand it to Belkin's PR team for getting a second award for a product that has yet to make it into either reviewers or consumers' hands.

The Belkin Cable-Free USB Hub, which was introduced at this year's CES, won an Editor's Choice Award from Popular Mechanics in January. And now yesterday, Belkin announced that Popular Science has bestowed its "2006 Popular Science 'Best of What's New' Award" upon the product.

In Belkin's defense, they didn't exactly plan on Freescale's exiting the UltraWideBand device market and having to redesign the product around Wisair's chipset. But even so, wouldn't these awards mean more if consumers could actually buy the product and reviewers put them through their paces? According to Belkin's PR team that won't actually happen until early to mid December.

Welcome Back to SmallNetBuilder

Those of you who have been following me since I hit the web back in 1997 know that I seem to change sites every few years or so. This might be due to some deep-seated personality flaw, but I think it's more just the nature of the web—or at least my approach to it.

This is actually the second time around for SmallNetBuilder, which first went up after my adventures with PracticallyNetworked and internet.com finally wound down. SNB was a fresh start from PracticallyNetworked and ran on what became a highly-modified version of PostNuke. It wasn't long after SNB was launched that my association with Omid Rahmat and TG Publishing began—a great partnership that continues today.

Out, damned bugs!

Thanks to everyone who has sent in comments, bug reports and suggestions for the site. I'm slowly working my way through them and have fixed more than a few broken links. Most notably, the links in the Wireless FAQ are now working.

These FAQ articles are just a temporary measure, since I'm working on bringing back the old FAQ sections I had in the original SNB, which will make it easier for me to add and update the FAQ and for you to request new ones.

I also need to apologize for the site's unresponsiveness and outages. Seems like the new publishing system requires more server horsepower than either my webhost or I planned on. So a server upgrade is being rushed through provisioning and I hope will be available sometime this week. Please bear with us in the meantime.

Keep those comments coming!

Update:Has Airgo no shame?

Just before Monday broke here on the East coast, Qualcomm (which minutes later announced that it was acquiring Airgo) "announced the availability of the world's first chipset offering full support for Draft 2.0 of the IEEE 802.11n standard". As Glenn Fleishman points out in his post, since Draft 2.0 won't be voted on until March of next year, this announcement is pitching a chipset that is based upon a "draft of a draft".

We all knew that at some point Airgo would come off its mountain and wallow in the pre-standard mud along with Broadcom, Atheros and Marvell. So I guess if you're going to get dirty, you might as well set a new standard. Congratulations to both Airgo and its proud new owner Qualcomm for establishing a new low in WLAN marketing practices.

Finally! Someone gets a clue on latest-gen wireless routers

I was browsing the latest issue of PC World this morning and came across an ad for a new wireless router that shows that at least one company is thinking about how to design a latest-generation wireless router.

New Buffalo Technology wireless routerThe ad shows Buffalo Technology's Wireless-N Nfiniti Dual-Band Gigabit Router, which is the first router that I know of that supports dual-band (11a/b/g) operation and has a built-in gigabit Ethernet switch.

Unfortunately, it also supports draft 802.11n, which puts it on my "no-buy" list; at least until the IEEE, Wi-Fi Alliance and chipmakers get the actual specs sorted out that the Alliance will certify draft 11n products to come March 2007.

But, kudos, Buffalo, for setting an example (dual-band, gigabit LAN) that other manufacturers should follow for their next round of wireless routers.

Tinsel kills Wi-Fi. Film at 11

This release from AirMagnet gave me a chuckle this morning. Seems it's bad enough that putting up holiday decorations might get you reported to H.R. by those who don't celebrate your particular holiday. But now they might also screw up your wireless LAN.

So while making your list and checking it twice, be sure to include a before and after WLAN site survey in your holiday preparations...

Article comments temporarily disabled

I'm still on the learning curve with the software that runs SmallNetBuilder. The good news is that traffic is healthy. The bad is that the server isn't handling it so well.

Before I go dip into my pocketbook one more time to buy more RAM, I've temporarily disabled the comment feature to see if that helps things. Not exactly a user-friendly thing to do, but it's just an experiment.

Thanks for your patience while I get the problems sorted out.

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