The 'NUB" of the issue: DG does munchkins?

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 03 Mar 1998 01:41:55 -0800

Actually, not munchkins, but it does manage to reduce the problem to
allocating an 8-port network. They get the form-factor and one of the usage
scenarios dead-on (in-hom/in-office nets), but they're still not addressig the
fundamental routing challenge of making these things peer-to-peer and ad-hoc.
But this still places them closer than any other group I've heard of. I have
to credti Jeffery Harrow for discovering these bits every so often... Rohit

PS. He also makes a link to a useful story about the history of LMDS, the
local 28-31GhZ 'cellular' data technology.


And now Data General is
throwing its wireless gauntlet into the ring, having just
demonstrated their "Network Utility Box," or NUB, which should
deliver 1 Mbit/second wireless networking within a 150 foot radius
for small businesses and homes

The NUB "server" looks a bit like a household doorbell and sits on
the wall at any convenient place -- it just needs power and a
connection to an Internet pipe (such as a cable TV modem or phone
line). The NUB then provides peer-to-peer wireless networking and
access to the Internet for up to eight notebooks or PCs sporting
small NUB adapters. The NUB also contains a basic firewall to
protect this wireless LAN.

One thing that I found particularly interesting about the NUB is
DG's recognition that, in these environments, people would just
rather "say No" to having to deal with complex configuration issues;
DG's goal is to make the NUB,

"...Simple to set up and operate, like an ordinary
appliance. Like a doorbell, it shouldn't overwhelm users
with technology."

Whether the NUB makes it to market or not (it's not available yet),
those "technologically minimalist" thoughts are very good ones for
all of today's product developers to keep in mind!


Simultaneous Internet access for multiple users over a single-user dial-in

1 Mb/second wireless 2.4 GHz LAN interface, hopping spread spectrum radio with
built-in antenna (150 ft. range)

A gateway to the Internet via V.34/56K modem (ISDN, xDSL or cable modem
connections to come)

IP packet routing for up to 8 PCs, laptops, NCs,or thin clients (with optional
wireless NIC adapter)

Web browser management interface

HTTP proxy services

A basic firewall

Enhanced e-mail support, increasing access speed

Easy-to-use Setup Wizard

Dial-on-demand, idle disconnect to save on toll charges



They make the generic appliance point that we need smaller, less complex,
'weaker' appliances...

In the meantime, their THiiN division IS shipping small web servers:

SiteStak a zero administration web-server appliance that's
simple to install, configure, operate, and grow. Small, simple,
and cheap, SiteStak is smarter at content hosting than any of
today's general-purpose systems. And it's thin taking up
just 1 3/4" of rack space.

Of course, they're just preconfigured P166s/ 2.1Gb/ NT boxes. But they
certianly will make a guarantee, right up there with Mercury Power:

"SiteStak is an appliance rated at over 50,000 hours MTBF. Put it in
the closet and forget about it. It'll be running into the next millenium."

Good to know I'm not worried about too-real a competitor yet... even if they
do have white papers extolling munchkins.