The President's Message

April 2002

Andy Toth

The Linksys presentation was well received. Router firewalls are approaching the cost of software firewalls. The added plus is the ease with which a home network can be set up. Two for the price of one. The choices of models has increased to meet any mixed/matched combination of wire and wireless conceivable. The challenge is to select one.

At the presentation, the "Last Mile" was brought up. It refers to the connection from your computer to the backbone of the internet. This is where the current battle for your and my dollar is taking place. There are three major competing technologies: Land Lines, Radio Transmission and Optical Transmission. The land lines, DSL and Cable, are currently at the front as the hardware infrastructure exists. Small pockets of radio transmission markets are being tested. The optical, as far as I can determine, is still on the bench. What it boils down to in the end is which will meet the needs of the consumer of the product. Is a 20 MHz bandwidth enough? My DSL connection is mostly limited by the server on the other end. However, if the server had an I/O of 80 GHz?? Well, I can hardly keep up with the technology of my desktop much less the entire computer field.

Just a reminder, Please sign up at to receive an announcement about the coming SIGs. I now have a working computer for something other than work. Once the DSL line is HOT, I'll be fully back.

I will be continuing with my SIGs on Star Office 5.2 by Sun Microsystems. It may take 6-8 months to cover the basics of each application within it. Even though I need the MS Office Suite to telecommute, I am having a hard time justifying the cost each time the company changes the version. The software can be downloaded from www.sun.com (80Mb). Every bookseller carries a line of books on Star Office. I am using the "Star Office 5.2 Companion" to familiarize myself with the software. If you plan on attending a Star SIG and would like a CD please send me an E-mail, , and I will burn a CD for a $3 fee.

I have had requests to repeat the audio SIG. I plan on doing it at least a few times each year until the interest