[kismac] Re: KisMAC 0.05a

  • From: Brad Knowles <brad.knowles@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kismac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 00:42:22 +0200

At 10:13 AM -0500 2003/06/06, Lee Lindquist wrote:

>  What is so special about the cisco cards?  Is it worth replacing my
>  dual MMCX 200mw Sanyo card?

        The cisco cards are some of the most powerful (and highly 
sensitive) cards on the market.  When looking at cards, don't just 
look at their transmit power, also look at their receive sensitivity 
-- Transmit power only covers you getting your packets to the 
network, while your ability to receive packets is covered by receive 

        It is entirely possible that the cisco card may be lower power 
than yours, but have higher receive sensitivity.  Even if that's not 
the case, there are damn few cards available that have the power and 
sensitivity equal to the cisco cards -- perhaps yours is one of the 
very few others.

        Keep in mind that cisco may have started with a standard chipset, 
but I know that they have done a hell of a lot of work in the 
hardware and firmware to bring it up to their specs.  Their cards 
really are the most robust and absolute best available in the market, 
at least for people who can afford to pay that kind of price.

        Also take into account the amount of power drawn from the system 
to operate the card, and whether or not the card has the ability to 
step down in power (to save battery life).  I believe that the cisco 
cards can do this (and typically do it by default), whereas yours may 
or may not.

        Finally, also keep in mind the interface -- some cards are 16-bit 
PCMCIA standard (5V only), while others are 32-bit CardBus (5V and/or 
3.3v).  Older computers can only deal with 16-bit PCMCIA cards, not 
32-bit CardBus cards.

        At the very least, I'd encourage you to look closely at the specs 
on the cisco card, and consider whether or not it would be an 
improvement for you.

        Even if your card is superior in every possible way to the cisco, 
there is still an advantage to having support for a broader variety 
of cards -- especially including cisco, since they have worked to 
make commercial drivers available for the broadest variety of 
hardware platforms and OSes (more so than any other manufacturer), 
which means that you're likely to find them widely distributed and in 
some very unexpected places.

        It's nice to be able to provide a solution to people who have 
cards like this.

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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