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ASUS Guarantees Draft-N Upgradability 58

Glenn Fleishman writes, "One of the most irritating things about draft-n wireless gear being released this year is that there have been no guarantees from any chipmaker or manufacturer that today's devices — loosely based on the IEEE 802.11n Draft 1.0 — will be upgradeable through firmware to the final standard. Several computer makers now bake draft-n adapters into their laptops as an option, which is even more troublesome. Today ASUS, which uses the Broadcom chipset, said that they will swap out hardware if necessary for any draft-n gateways and adapters they ship until the end of 2006. If firmware upgrades aren't enough, they'll replace your hardware, with you paying just the shipping. Of course, they're guaranteeing compatibility with the March 2008 expected ratified version of 802.11n, but it still means that you won't be left with equipment that only works well with itself."
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ASUS Guarantees Draft-N Upgradability

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  • That'll teach those pre-N-draft-802.11 not to jump the gun!
  • Just shipping eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @09:22PM (#16300177) Homepage
    If firmware upgrades aren't enough, they'll replace your hardware, with you paying just the shipping.

    The question is where to? This really has no value if they have you ship your card / router / motherboard to China via insured courier...
    • Like most of the big Chinese/Taiwanese hardware manufacturers, they have satellite offices in the US, the UK, Japan, and a couple European countries. You'd ship it to one of those.
      • Unless they want to limit the number of free devices they want to give out... I recall a problem a few years back where a chinese company wanted me to send the motherboard to them overseas (ecs?) to rma it.
        Needless to say, the board was worth less than the shipping cost.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Unless they want to limit the number of free devices they want to give out... I recall a problem a few years back where a chinese company wanted me to send the motherboard to them overseas (ecs?) to rma it.
          Needless to say, the board was worth less than the shipping cost.

          It's probably going to be like some rebates. You send your hardware in to get it swapped out to their US site. Their US site rejects your RMA because you forgot to either include the UPC code off the box, the receipt, or the hardware well pa

  • by Zero Interupt ( 625354 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @09:36PM (#16300255)
    Several computer makers now bake draft-n adapters into their laptops as an option .......I'm waiting for the brownie option myself
    • I hear certain manufacturers have a marshmallow option that in rare and random cases will allow you to briefly toast them on your laptop.

  • So What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Karma Farmer ( 595141 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @09:37PM (#16300269)
    So if you buy an expensive card today, and there's a small chance they'll give you an inexpensive free replacement in two or three years.

    Whoop-dee-freaking-doo.
    • So if you buy an expensive card today, and there's a small chance they'll give you an inexpensive free replacement in two or three years.

      That "expensive card" isn't going to be a door-stop for the next 2 years, you know.
  • by Agent Green ( 231202 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @09:50PM (#16300327)
    I've been using wireless for several years (who here on /. hasn't??) and this seems to be a solution looking for a problem.

    802.11n is (yet another) way of shoving 10 pounds of shit through a far smaller pipe than is really available. 802.11a/b/g really serves me well in all the things that I do ... even though the most of what I do involves streaming FLACs around the house. It seems to me as if all this speed stuff only chews up the entire ISM band and is more about channel aggregation than about something truly innovative. I can't imagine the range or total throughput can be good when myself and all my neighbors keep crowding the entire spectrum.

    Really folks, how expensive is it to hardwire all the goodies that absolutely need the speed?? I'm probably missing the point.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Imagine a large, digital flat panel TV display on your wall with only a power cord connecting it :-). Imagine you want to move it somewhere else, but it was connected with Ethernet... :-(
    • by papasui ( 567265 )
      Missing the point that the world is migrating to a wireless platform. This is evident in just about anything you look at: cell phones, cordless phones, cordless mice, bluetooth headsets, and on and on. The biggest factor limiting it right now is none of the 802.11 standards can totally compete with 100BaseTX not to mention 802.3z/802.3ab.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by msauve ( 701917 )
        the point that the world is migrating to a wireless platform
        Uh, no.

        That would be saying that people want to move from switches back to hubs. Wireless provides convenience, but the tradeoff is that it is, and will always be, a shared medium. The more devices you have, the slower they go. And that includes the neighbor's devices. That's not a problem with wired networks, where it's possible to have every port be full wirespeed.

        Wireless connectivity supplements, it doesn't replace, hardwired connections.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by heinousjay ( 683506 )
          Good thing there's no progress being made in wireless networking, or you could end up looking like a fool.
          • That there's progress being made in wireless but not wired? State of the art isn't even close - multi OC-192 vs. ~100 mpbs.

            That bandwidth needs are static, so by increasing link speeds we can catch up? LOL.

            That you expect the laws of physics to be broken? The RF spectrum is by it's very nature shared. There are some technologies which make more efficient use of a given spectrum (CDMA, OFDM), but they still must content with physical reality - increasing the number of communications channels decreases band
            • Ah, I didn't realize you were the end-all. If I knew ahead of time that you could predict every possible path the future would take, I would have bowed before your superiority. Your insults have shown me the way, oh confident one.
              • He didn't need to be an ass about it, but he did have a point regarding the laws of physics: with the possible exception of laser-based transmissions (which suck anyway because they require line-of-sight) there really is no getting around the fact that EM is a shared medium, and that a shared medium is always going to be slower than a non-shared one (all other things being equal).

    • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:47PM (#16300621) Homepage Journal
      Really folks, how expensive is it to hardwire all the goodies that absolutely need the speed?? I'm probably missing the point.

      Is there some sort of who-needs-it-harumph! template that all you hardware naysayers use? I hope so, because it pains me to think that people actually bother typing these "Who needs it!" replies to every hardware progression.

      You don't need it? Great, then move along. Though I'm sure in a couple of years when it is the new universal standard, you'll happily appreciate the innovation.
      • by yabos ( 719499 )
        Amen. They're about as bad as the people saying "when will we ever get this at home?" in the stories about new data transfer speed records like the 14Tbit one a few days ago.
    • I've been using wireless for several years (who here on /. hasn't??)

      Me. I don't own any wireless networking equipment at all and never have. But then, I don't have a laptop either, so I'm not sure why I'd need any of it.

      Eventually, I probably will get a laptop, but until I do, I will stick with the wired stuff.

    • ,N boosts range, for one(I haven't finished reading the spec yet).
      Let's also keep in mind, that just because you, as an individual user, doesn't see a difference, doesn't mean someone running an AP with more than 10 users at a time on it, won't see a difference(interference/contention for channels, etc...). The spec is the same for all users of wireless, not just home users. Yes it has speed, that doesn't mean that's the only thing the new draft spec brings to the table.
    • If I remember correctly, the estimate for running a wire is about $100 for the first wire to a location, and an additional $10 for each additional wire to the same location.

      Now this assumes that you have relatively new type construction. E.g. Drywall where you can put small holes in it and fish the wire through. Older type construction (say Plaster on Lathe in The US...), or Italian type construction (Plaster on Cinder-Block for interior walls? Gimme a break.) will cost significanty more.

      If you are willin
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Or you drill the lines through the floor in a corner of the room for rooms on the first floor, or through a furnace pipe, or return air vent on upper floors. Its really not as hard as you make it out. I installed cable for a living, and new or old never met a place I couldn't run a coax line to in less than 20 minutes with anything but a drill and some fish tape. -Shawn
        • by ergo98 ( 9391 )

          I installed cable for a living

          I know nothing or your work, but will say that in general cable installers are known to be home destroy hackjobs that will just drill holes at random, often completely disregard code, and often leave a terrible mess. My latest experience was one that basically ripped apart the air return in the basement, leaving it hanging open 1 foot.

          In other words, the quickness of a cable installer probably doesn't carry over to a homeowner that wants to do a careful, legal, quality job.

    • Really folks, how expensive is it to hardwire all the goodies that absolutely need the speed?? I'm probably missing the point.

      I don't know what country you are in, but in the US, nearly all apartment contracts prohibit drilling holes in walls to run wires. And many of these people still want Hi-Def PVRs.
  • i just got an n draft router because on my new laptop i got the n draft wireless card and so far i have had no problem with it so and i dont have to worry about compatablity because almost no place has n draft so i dont really see what the problem is...
    • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
      Interesting... the hardware seems to have a bug. It seems to be setting bit 6 of every byte you send to "1".
  • Like anything else, it will be unstable for the first year, then become mainstream. No reason to "get ready..."
  • A house decked out in "pre-N" or "draft-N" stuff that isn't compatible with anything from any other manufacturers sounds like an excellent extra step in security. If you're out and about, most of this stuff will happily drop to G or B.
    • Heh, good point except that of course draft-N stuff tends to work with g etc. as well. So someone can't hack in and stream your files... just not as quickly.
      • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *
        I'm fairly sure my new G WAP has the option to run in G-only mode. I wouldn't turn it on myself as I have two older devices that only support B. However, if you had all draft-N, you could turn off B/G for your WAP.
  • by bmetz ( 523 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:41PM (#16300603) Homepage
    I never understood how people can be involved in the standards process while simultaneously allowed to undermine it. This seems like a strongarm tactic to me.
  • Hey, there is nothing wrong with working with your self, right?

    RIGHT?!

  • asus (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rapsey ( 241302 )
    Fuck asus and their promises. I have their router that is suppose to support an external HD and bittorrent. Well gues what? It works like shit, it works so bad it is completely useless.
    Connect a HD to the router? All your files will be acessible from the outside via an anonymous FTP connection. NO FUCKING WAY TO TURN IT OFF. Also be prepared for the router to completely stop responding at random times if it has a HD connected.
    Every torrent I tried to download never even started downloading. They just sat th

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