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The May 31, 2004 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Your Voice -- Readers' Comments

Setting up a notebook PC for wireless networking

Cliff wrote: "You have a lot of information here and after a glass of wine I have found it may be easier to ask instead of keep up the reading. We have a Dell Dimension hooked up to insightbb cable modem. I would like to add a Dell Inspiron via some sort of wireless connection, networked to this modem. I have looked but can not quite get there from here. Can you please help with where I should look on your site or tell me, bluntly, what might work best to be able to use this notebook wireless."

We answered: "The quick answer is that you need two pieces of equipment -- a "wireless router" and a wireless card for your notebook computer if it doesn't already have one.

Many companies make wireless routers - today the proper technology to buy uses the "Wireless G" standard. You should buy a router that conforms to the Wi-Fi standards. Many companies make these.

If you don't already have a wireless card for your notebook, you'll want to get a a Wireless G card."

Connecting Vonage service to existing analog phone wiring:

Richard wrote: "I have a cable broadband network, and am considering using this with Vonage VOIP for my home telephone system. One issue however is how will I be able to connect the Vonage modem to my home phone network system, so I can plug in my phones directly to the phone outlets, and be connected through Vonage. I think VOIP is very promising, and Vonage appears to give a lot of cost savings over regular phone system."

We answered: "It depends a lot on what kind of phones you have and how your house is wired for phones. Do you have multi-line phones? How are the lines from the phone company connected to the phones in the house? Are you going to keep your present phone service?

We have multi-line phones in our house, and they're all connected to a structured wiring patch panel. So I disconnected one of our analog lines from the patch panel, and ran a wire from the RJ-11 phone jack on the Vonage ATA to the patch panel. That way, one of the lines on all of our phones had the Vonage service. You need to know what you're doing to do this -- Vonage discourages it because it's quite easy to damage the ATA or your phones if you connect it wrong.

A simpler approach would be to connect one portable phone to the ATA and simply carry it around the house."