When leaving CodeFab’s office this evening, we [Ben, Jerry and I] took a cab to grand central. I have a TiBook with an Airport card and Jerry has a Pismo [G3 @ 500mhz — the last all black model, I believe].
We decided to compare the relative sensitivity of the two machine’s 802.11b implementations by wardriving using MacStumbler.
Jerry happened to be in the front seat and I was in the back, so we weren’t directly blocking each other. I had the slight disadvantage of being the backseat with others, but not enough to make a huge difference.
We wardrove from 23rd Street & 6th Ave uptown on 6th ave to 42nd street [Brandt park– more on that in a second] and then across 42nd to Grand Central.
The TiBook found 12 (3 in Bryant Park) networks. The maximum signal strength was 36 (Bryant Park), but the maximum for non-built-for-public-use networks was 15.
The Pismo found 48 (3 in Bryant Park) networks. The maximum signal strength was 45 (Bryant Park), but the maximum for non-built-for-public-use networks was 26.
Bryant park is mentioned specifically because it is wired as an open public use 802.11b hub. All three stations that were detected in Bryant park– same ones for both of us– gave the highest signal readings of any of the stations detected.
Of the 48 networks detected by the Pismo, 36 (3 in Bryant Park) were not using WEP encryption.
The Pismo also detected another 15-20 networks on the Metro North New Haven line.
Clearly, the Pismo has a far superior 802.11 antenna than the TiBook…
I’ve been debating whether to get a top-of-the-line TiBook, which could become my primary system to replace my G4/500 minitower, or replace my old 500 MHz iBook with a new 800Mhz model (and maybe keep the old one for software testing). Although I really like the speed of a G4, there are a lot of things I don’t like about the TiBook, especially the airport range.