Cheapest desktop with XP for server?

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See "AP Access Hardware" Jan 18 posting thread for background if
interesting, but...

It appears I may have to abandon a wireless solution to a repeater function.
That is, I want to be able to see and select, as my (and any
current-generation) laptop can now do, from different APs.  However, I can't
see those APs from my current location.

All attempts at resolving that with some remotely-located set of equipment
have failed.  Repeaters talk only to their own kind, which isn't assured
among the available APs.  Crossover-connected pairs of AP and Bridge fail in
one or more ways to accomplish what I need (see thread for expansion on both

However, if I am willing to be tied (challenging - very, in my case - but
perhaps could be done) to the Bridge via Crossover cat5 (which might also
power it via POE), the bridge can select from available APs as directed from
the computer.  That configuration, at least, I've been able to verify as
workable - but it's got this wire (cat5), not wireless.

So, in for a dime, in for a dollar:  Is it possible to use some cheapo
computer (current generation, to assure reliability as much as possible)
connected thus (ethernet NIC to Bridge) and to a router or AP via USB, to
accomplish my end?

That is, to be able to see and select from more than one AP via laptop wifi

The route would be laptop-wifi>router/AP>USB cable>server/desktop
unit>crossover/cat5(long! - but not enough to require
amplification)>Bridge>selected AP (and back, of course, for download).

Or, is the answer, simply, "It can't be done.  You can't select from APs
with any form of *wireless* connectivity without it being proprietary gear
(same equipment maker and/or specified-in-advance configurations)."?




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Re: Cheapest desktop with XP for server?

<skipgundlach at gmail dotcom> wrote:

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Given the amount of energy you have for this project, maybe
you should investigate this:

Apparently, the Linksys WRT54G 802.11g wireless access point and router,
is based on some open source code, and you can get after market
upgrades for the ROM. That allows the functionality to be
enhanced. You might want to see what options are available
for that hardware platform. You could have a lot of fun
for 2x$70 plus the price of new firmware (or even develop
your own). Just remember there are standards for the
behavior of wireless devices, and you don't want to do
anything to the devices that will prevent other people
in your neighbourhood from being able to use their


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