Getting the Internet into the AquaPad
Setting up the AquaPad to work with the wireless
components is pretty straight forward so long as you use on the 802.11b wireless
PCMCIA cards we mentioned before (Lucent Agere, Orinoco Silver, Cisco 340 series
and Cisco 350 series). Other cards may not be supported by Midori, and you would
have some driver issues in those cases.
To install one of the recommended cards in the AquaPad, just plug it in when
the unit is off and boot up. That's it, you're all done :)
With the Access Point (AP) powered on and connected to
the network there are couple of settings which need to be configured before the
AquaPad will be able to communicate with the network. While there are also a host of things
you should do to secure your wireless network, that is
beyond the scope of this review.
From the start bar on the AquaPad we open up "System Settings" and then
go to "Network Set" which will bring up the AquaNetworking configuration box.
After connecting the AP via serial cable to a nearby computer and installing the AP Comfig Tool, we are able to connect to
the AP and configure its settings as well.
Most of the settings in the
'AquaNetworking Settings box should be familiar to anyone who has networked a home or office
computer. The unit can be set up for DHCP and dynamically receive an address from the server, or
it can be set to a static IP (along with gateway, Netmask and DNS addresses).
I won't pretend to be an expert on wireless networking, but from what I know both
the AP and the AquaPad have to be set to the same SSID in order for things to
work correctly. In our case, we set the AquaPad and AP each to "pcstats" and were
good to go. Before we had updated the Midori kernel to Build 1211, we had some
big problems with the link between the AP and Cisco card dropping frequently. One of
the things we did which temporarily fixed this was change the Channel Number.
The number ranges from 1 to 11 and as I understand it is akin to what most
cordless telephones have.
While we won't be touching on wireless security in this review, there are two
menus which allow users to filter out the type of connections the AP will
accept, and add encryption.
|AP Networking Security
To gage the load being placed on the AquaPad, at the bottom
right corner of the menu bar users have two small graphs which visually display the
level of network data and speed of the TM5400 processor.
In the two images below you can see two small squares, one with pink and yellow bars,
and the other with green and red bars. The first box illustrates the level of
data being transmitted over the network (TX/RX) and the second box illustrates graphically the
MHz speed of the Crusoe chip, and voltage draw.
Remember, the Crusoe chip will scale its performance to meet the particular
needs of the system. This helps to extend battery life and offers an efficient
use of power for opening applications, or idle operation.
|Data and Processor Speed
||This screen shot was taken when the system was in the middle of
opening up the Mozilla browser. As you can see by the two graphs, the
Crusoe processor is at full speed and since the browser window is
just opening, data rates are basically nil.|
With Mozilla open, we loaded a website and took another picture to
illustrate the data rate graph. Data is coming in over the Cisco
card and the Crusoe chip speed spikes for moment as the website is
opened in the browser.