[kismac] Re: 1.0

  • From: Brad Knowles <brad.knowles@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kismac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 09:40:53 +0200

At 11:15 PM -0400 2003/09/25, Derrick J Brashear wrote:

>  Sorry, let me rephrase: "I can find no chipset documentation" for the
>  chipset in the Airport Extremes.

        So far as I know, it is not publicly available.  Because all 
802.11g chipsets to date are basically just software defined radios, 
they are physically capable of listening and broadcasting on a much 
wider frequency range than allowed by the 802.11g specifications, 
including many frequencies used by law enforcement, emergency 
services, and gov't (even including classified communications).

        This is why Atheros has a proprietary Hardware Access Layer 
driver for which an interface is defined, but no other information is 
available.  That HAL prevents you from trying to program the radio to 
do anything that is not allowed by the 802.11g spec.

        Broadcom reportedly also has a HAL driver, but has not publicly 
released any information about it, although various companies have 
been able to sign NDAs and develop drivers to work with it.  A number 
of different people are involved in trying to reverse-engineer the 
drivers, in particular from some publicly available binary drivers 
from companies like Linksys for their new 802.11g base stations.

        There are some people involved in trying to reverse-engineer the 
Atheros HAL driver as well, but this effort is not receiving nearly 
so much support from the community because there is a functional 
publicly available interface which can be written to, and therefore 
there is little need for an Atheros driver that can get all the way 
down to the hardware.

>  Ah. I have no extreme, so I could try it, except that I don't have one of
>  the other ones either. I wonder if there's anything around that would make
>  it worthwhile to have one.

        Five times faster network throughput?  Support for WDS bridging, 
so that you can have up to four base stations act as wireless 
repeaters for the master base station, using just the one built-in 
card?  In the case of the Apple Airport Extreme, the built-in port so 
that you can plug in external antennas (e.g., Dr Bott omnidirectional 
and unidirectional) and get even greater range?  The ability to use 
the Apple Airport Extreme base station to share a USB-attached 
printer across the wireless network?

Brad Knowles, <brad.knowles@xxxxxxxxx>

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
     -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

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