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Have you ever wanted to lounge on a beach chair at a fancy resort and surf the Internet? Connect and get your email in a coffee shop such as Starbucks, or one inside a Borders bookstore? Get your email while waiting at an airport? Put together some computers in your home so that they can share files or access to the Internet without drilling holes or snaking snarled wires from one computer to another? Do your work using your laptop from your garden patio?

With your laptop that uses Intel Centrino mobile technology and a public hotspot that uses the wireless networking technology known as Wi-Fi, you can do all these things, and more.

This book shows you how.

I don't assume that you know anything about Wi-Fi, or about any of the related topics, such as how to set up a network of computers. You'll find everything you need to take your wireless computer on the road, and to set up a wireless network, right here between these pages. You'll also learn how to get the most out of your Centrino laptop and wireless technology in general.

So step right up and get ready to enter a wonderful new world without wires!

In this book, I hope you'll find inspiration as well as practical information. I believe that Wi-Fi wireless networking is a technology that has the power to have a huge and positive impact. You can harness that power simply with your Centrino laptop.

This is wonderful material, and it's a lot of fun! So what are you waiting for? It's time to Wi-Fi with your Centrino laptop!

How This Book Is Organized

Anywhere Computing with Laptops: Making Mobile Easier is organized into five main parts, as follows:

  • Part I, “Mobile Computing Quick Start,” is a general introduction to the Intel Centrino mobile technology platform, wireless networking, Wi-Fi technology, and using Wi-Fi. If you want to know how to get your Centrino laptop up and running quickly with wireless technology, this part will get you there without delay.

  • Part II, “Getting the Most from Your Mobile Computer,” tells you how to use software that is fun (and in some cases, very useful) to get more out of your laptop that uses Intel Centrino mobile technology. In this part, you'll learn how to become more productive with your Centrino laptop, take pictures with your laptop (if it is equipped with a camera) and transmit them over wireless, use your laptop as a telephone (with the right equipment), stream audio and video files over your wireless connection, play games, and more.

  • Part III, “Mobile Computing on the Road,” shows you how to use your Centrino laptop on the road, explains the best road warrior tools to bring, teaches you how to find the best places to connect, and gives you tips on making the best deal with Wi-Fi service providers.

  • Part IV, “Your Own Wireless Network,” explains everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about successfully setting up and managing a wireless network in your home or small office.

  • Part V, “Securing Your Computer and Network,” explains how to safely and securely deploy Wi-Fi on the road and at home.

Besides the 18 chapters in 5 parts in this book, I've also provided several appendixes that I think you'll find helpful:

  • Appendix A, “Wireless Standards,” provides more details about the ins and outs of the 802.11 wireless standards.

  • Appendix B, “Where the Hotspots Are,” shows you how to find public Wi-Fi hotspots and provides specific information (which is hard to find in one place) about Wi-Fi locations such as airports, hotels, and retail stores. If you travel with your Centrino laptop, you might find that this appendix alone is worth the price of the book!

  • Appendix C, “Intel Centrino Mobile Technology Platform,” provides in-depth information about the components that make up Intel Centrino mobile technology—used in the bulk of laptops purchased today.

  • Appendix D is a glossary. Anywhere Computing with Laptops: Making Mobile Easier lies at the intersection of a number of technologies—wireless broadcasting, networking, and personal computing. Each of these fields in its own right is replete with acronyms, jargon, and technical terminology. The glossary provided in Appendix D will help you hack your way through this morass of incomprehensible techno-babble and be your helpful companion through a benighted sea of obscurity.

Taken together, the 18 chapters and 4 appendixes in Anywhere Computing with Laptops: Making Mobile Easier provide all the information you need to successfully and happily use your Centrino laptop for mobile computing. In other words, this book is out to make mobile work for you.

Conventions Used in This Book

Although it is my hope that you can figure out everything in this book on your own without requiring an instruction manual, it makes sense to mention a couple of points about how information is presented in this book.

Web Addresses

There are tons of Web addresses in this book, mostly because these are places you can go for further information on a variety of related topics. Web addresses are denoted using a special font. For example,


You'll find a complete electronic version of the book in PDF format on the CD-ROM included with this book. Each of the web addresses is clickable within the PDF file, allowing you to instantly access each website, provided your computer is connected to the Internet.

Special Elements

This book also includes a few special elements that provide additional information not in the basic text. These elements are designed to supplement the text to make your learning faster, easier, and more efficient.


A note is designed to provide information that is generally useful but not specifically necessary for what you're doing at the moment. Some are like extended tips—interesting, but not essential.


A tip is a piece of advice—a little trick, actually—that lets you use your computer more effectively or maneuver around problems or limitations.

Let Me Know What You Think

I always love to hear from readers, particularly if they have nice things to say about my book! Seriously folks, I'd love to hear from you with comments, criticism, praise, and (most important) items that should be in the next edition of this book. Please write to me at AnywhereComputing@bearhome.com.

Although I can't promise to answer every email, I will do my best to do so.

Thanks for reading my book!

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