Rydium Member
Breaking News  |  Articles  |  Products  |  BBS/Forums  |  Press Releases 
FIC Midori Linux AquaPad - Extensive Review

Date: Tuesday February 05, 2002
Category: Notebooks Author: Max Page
Manufacture: FIC

The FIC Aqua Pad is mobile internet access device connected by a wireless PCMCIA card.



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.

AquaPad Networking Configuration AP Networking Configuration

Step One is to open up the Network Settings Box on the AquaPad. Step one, use a serial cable to connect to the AP and open up the 'Services' box to configure.

Step Two is to fill out all the settings so the AquaPad can communicate with the network. Clicking on "view and modify AP configuration" brings up the general settings screen where the SSID can be set, and transmission rates capped, or opened up. Channel number comes in handy when there are several AP's operating in close proximity - this is sort of akin to a cordless telephone.

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 Options

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 Monitoring
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.

Page 1: FIC Midori Linux AquaPad - Extensive Review
Page 2: Features of the AquaPad
Page 3: Inside the FIC AquaPad
Page 4: Getting the Internet into the AquaPad
Page 5: Online Midori Linux Updates
Page 6: Onscreen Menus and Features
Page 7: Internet Compatibility Tests & Conclusions

  Featured Articles & Reviews on TransmetaZone:
NEC Versa UltraLite - Extensive Review Fujitsu P-2000 Guides: Upgrading Memory Microsoft Tablet PC Overview
Microsoft Tablet PC Overview Fujitsu Biblo Loox Specs Microsoft Tablet PC Overview
FIC Midori Linux AquaPad - Extensive Review Sony VAIO PCG-U1 Crusoe Ultra-subnotebook Sony VAIO C1VN Picture Book Specs

Breaking News  |  Articles  |  Products  | Desktop Graphics
Forum  |  Join  |  Contact Us  |  Affiliate Network  |  Advertising Info
 
(c)Copyright 2000-2014 Transmetazone.com | Contact Information | About TransmetaZone| Privacy Policy