— KEYS TO SUCCESS GEEK-SPEAK GLOSSARY • Access Point (also AP) — Basically a wireless hub. An access point provides a central point for wireless clients to connect to, in order to exchange information. An Access Point typically also includes a connection to a wired network, to extend the wired network to wireless clients. • Bridge — A box that connects two networks together, for example your local wired network to a marina Wi-Fi network. In the Wi-Fi context a bridge will act as a wireless client connected to an access point on one side, and an ethernet connection on the other to connect to a computer network card. • Client — In networking terms, your computer. The other end is a server. • Client Card (also Wireless Adapter) — A network card (or box) to connect your computer to a network. Traditionally a client card was a connection to a wired network, but common usage is now as a wireless (e.g. WiFi) network client connection.
• dBi — Decibels over Isotropic, a measure of effective power compared to an Isotropic radiator, i.e. an antenna that radiates equally well in all directions. A directional antenna will have gain in one direction, at the expense of signal in other directions. • DHCP Server — A service that assigns dynamic IP addresses. A DHCP server can be a background program running on a computer (for example a Windows computer with ICS), or an internet router, or a server on a WAN connection. • Ethernet Adaptor — A device that connects a computer to a network. This can be a built-in network adaptor, a PCMCIA card ('PC card'), a USB-connected network adaptor, or (for desktop computers) a card in the computer. • Gain — In radio/Wi-Fi antenna terminology, refers to the increase in signal strength in a particular direction. Antenna gain is usually measured in dBi,
which is gain measure in dBs over an isotropic radiator (i.e., one that sprays signal equally everywhere). • Hub — A device for connecting multiple wired ethernet connections together to form a local network. A hub is a 'dumb' device, basically a network 'party line' where everyone interferes with everyone else. • NIC — Network Interface Card. Same as ethernet adaptor although usually refers to a plug-in card in a desktop computer. Also called a 'network card' or 'client card'. • Port — A network connection. Each computer or network device can carry on multiple simultaneous connections, with each connection using a different port number. Some ports are standardized, for example a POP3 email server always uses port 110 for connections from email client programs. • Router — A device, typically a hardware box, that acts as a gateway between a local network and the Internet. — jim corenman
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Jack London Square April 18-22
April, 2007 •
• Page 161
The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.