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Episode 22 BOFH 2003: Episode 22

It's mobile, it's comms, it's great - you know it, your geeky users want it. But then people are rarely happy. They want 802.11b and they want it yesterday, and you're the one who's supposed to have installed it. Yesterday. However, as a seasoned computing veteran, before you put your budget where someone's mouth has been, just ask yourself these questions:

1. Mobile comms in your workplace currently consists of:
a. Full 802.11b coverage
b. Partial 802.11b coverage
c. Unadvertised 802.11b coverage in your region the IT Dept
d. Anywhere the roll of thinwire cable can get to!

2. You would install 802.11 in your workplace except that:
a. You're unsure of the security implications
b. The building would have too many dead spots
c. The budget would be difficult to justify
d. Half the staff would come to work with tinfoil wrapped round their heads

3. Wireless would get most use in meeting rooms to:
a. Allow people to take online notes of meeting progress
b. Allow people to read their email during slow periods
c. Allow people to send sneaky messages to each other
d. Keep people 'abreast' of the porn revolution

4. In your opinion your users would judge the throughput of the wireless network in:
a. Bytes per second
b. Kilobytes per second
c. Megabytes per second
d. Smutty movie frames per second

5. Using your knowledge of the people concerned, the mobile devices commonly used by your technical staff would most likely be:
a. PDA
b. Laptop
c. Webcam
d. Shoecam

6. An anonymous survey to determine the most-requested places to put 802.11b coverage would find most demand for:
a. Cafeteria
b. Designated smoking areas
c. Reception
d. The gents' toilets

7. After a lengthy campaign advertising coverage areas, a user complains about a massive dead spot. You know that when you get to their room you're going to find:
a. Their PCMCIA card has popped out
b. Their PCMCIA aerial has broken off
c. They don't have, nor have they ever had, a PCMCIA card
d. Their desktop machine on a trolley in the corridor

8. The security of your 802.11b solution is ensured by:
a. WEP
b. Access restricted to named hardware addresses
c. VPN connectivity
d. Burying the bodies of the people who try to get around with it

9. An annoying user repeatedly comes to complain about the poor bandwidth in his area. You:
a. Add another access point in an effort to double the bandwidth
b. Move the access point closer to his area
c. Do a site survey
d. Do a site survey. Then install a large ungainly microwave dish precariously above his workstation. Set to DEFROST...

10. The best way to encourage uptake in 802.11b at your workplace would be posters:
a. Noting 802.11b on site
b. Advising of troubleshooting techniques
c. Advertising best coverage areas
d. Advertising 'Kournokova nude - only on wireless!'

Scoring

Mostly a: A technical response for a technical workplace. In fantasyland.
Mostly b: You mean well, and give your users a lot of credit.
Mostly c: A practical response from someone who's seen the highs and lows of the user community.
Mostly d: The healthy cynicism we expect from a true professional. ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2003, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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