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About the Book
At 36,000 feet, Wi-Fi converts our airline seats to remote offices. It lets us read email in airports, watch video in coffee shops, and listen to music at home. Wi-Fi is everywhere. But where did it come from?
Wi-Fi and the Bad Boys of Radio takes us back to when the Internet was first gaining popularity, email took ten minutes to load up, and cell phones were big and unwieldy. But Alex Hills had a vision: people carrying small handheld devices that were always connected. His unwavering purpose was to change the way we use the Internet.
After being a teenage “ham operator” and bringing radio, TV and telephone service to the Eskimos of northern Alaska, Dr. Hills led a small band of innovators to overcome “the bad boys of radio” – the devilishly unpredictable behavior of radio waves – and build the network that would become the forerunner to today’s Wi-Fi.
The network, called “Wireless Andrew,” was originally a research project, intended for use by only a few scientists. Hills had to fend off eager students begging to try it. But soon he found a way to expand the network to cover the entire Carnegie Mellon University campus for use by all students, faculty and staff. His team came up with the design methods that would allow others to build their own Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi and the Bad Boys of Radio is a story of how innovation happens, weaving together personal adventures with lucid descriptions of physical phenomena. The author’s technical insights answer the question "How does Wi-Fi work?" in a way that is clear to everyone. The book enlightens, entertains, and shows just how far we’ve come in the world of wireless connectivity.