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Chapter 1. Why Wireless? > Unplug, Tune In, Power Up

Unplug, Tune In, Power Up

Look behind your desktop computer. If it's anything like our computers, there's a rat's nest of wires back there. The monitor and the keyboard connect to the computer, the monitor and computer both plug into electrical sockets in a power strip that itself plugs into a wall outlet, and then there are cables snaking to and from the printer, the mouse, and so on. Now imagine a computer completely freed of cables and wires. It might be difficult if you're imagining a desktop computer with a heavy monitor, but think instead about a laptop computer, with its integrated screen, keyboard, and mouse, all receiving power from a battery inside. It doesn't need any wires at all, at least as long as its battery lasts.

With a laptop, you're free to work wherever you like—in bed, on the couch, on an airplane, or in a coffeehouse. And with today's laptops, which combine speedy processors and beautiful screens in svelte packages of only a few pounds, you aren't even making many tradeoffs for your sudden freedom from your desk. But until recently, there was one thing you did give up—Internet access.


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