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Wireless Hacks by Rob Flickenger

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Detecting Networks Using Handheld PCs

Easily monitor wireless networks while walking around.

If you have a handheld PC, you know how convenient it is. What you may not realize is that it makes an excellent wireless testing device. If your handheld has a Compact Flash or PC card slot, you can use a wireless card in these slots.

If you have a Sharp Zaurus or Compaq iPAQ running Linux, then you’re in luck. Kismet [Hack #31] runs well on these machines, giving you the most powerful and tiny network monitoring tool there is. When compiling Kismet for a handheld platform, be sure to include the handheld optimizations. See the Kismet documentation for details.

For Pocket PC 3.0 and 2002 users, the author of NetStumbler has written a miniature version just for Pocket PCs: MiniStumbler.

MiniStumbler can be downloaded from http://www.stumbler.net/. As of this writing, the current version is 0.3.23. MiniStumbler supports Hermes chipset cards only (the Lucent/Orinoco/Agere/Avaya/Proxim strain). There is currently no support for Prism or Cisco cards.

To install MiniStumbler, just copy the proper file for your Pocket PC processor architecture from your host PC over to the Pocket PC. There is no setup routine. Supported processor architectures include ARM, MIPS, and SH3. Check your system documentation if you don’t know which one your handheld uses.

As with NetStumbler [Hack #21], you’ll want to set some options the first time you launch it. There are two menus at the bottom that you’ll want ...

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