San Diego Soliloquies

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Having Fun Yet?

I am sitting in the La Jolla room of the La Jolla Marriot, beneath ceiling speakers blaring Beach Boys music (at least I think it's Beach Boys, the speakers are more impressionists than photo realists in their sound reproduction) coming down from a two day adrenalin rush. In the continuing effort to prove how long I can work for free, as opposed to being employed, I have designed, built and programmed a box that provides 802.11b coverage anywhere there's cellular coverage. The backhaul on this unit uses 1xEVDO, a CDMA data protocol being tested by Verizon Wireless here in San Diego and in D.C.. As of two hours ago it wasn't working, as in ex-parrot nailed to the perch. If this means nothing to you, don't worry. It didn't mean much to half the people I've explained it to today. And in six months, it will undoubtedly be obsolete, but just reaching the peak of the marketing cycle.

It took about a month to design build and test, though honestly the testing is ongoing. The crash deadline was in order to show it off today at the San Diego Telecom Council's Annual Gadgetfest. There's some decent interest, so maybe this will work. But probably not. I'm not sure there's enough patentable content (or IP as they say) to attract venture capitalists, and we can't get the price down to make it a consumer item without committing to a large, capital intensive build up. Also the cellular companies would rather sell individual cards to individuals at $80 a month, rather than have groups share a single card at $80 a month.

It's a funny thing being an engineer and an MBA. You see too much of the problems on both sides. Or maybe it's the headache from too little sleep and too many skipped meals. So rather than bite someone's head off, I've turned the demos over to someone else, and I'm hiding on the other side of the room, wondering how anyone who's ever been inside a wave can think the Beach Boys sound is superior to the true god of surf music: Dick Dale .

Hmmm... writing and research this piffle over the link wasn't too bad, it might even be considered sprightly. Don't tell Instapundit but now he can blog anywhere pretty much painlessly. Ummm, I didn't say that, did I?


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San Diego Soliloquies