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  1. Download 3com Bluetooth Serial Client (com15) Driver Windows Xp
  2. Bluetooth Serial Adapter

This is the driver which you will need for the Samsung Kiera 2 wireless software, Note that this was the last driver released for the Samsung Y3400 data modern used on your mobile phone modem. This wireless driver is needed on the Samsung NP300V4AI Series 3 Notebook. Download idxpdriv.exe for Windows to driver. Join or Sign In. Sign in to add and modify your software. Sign in with Facebook Sign in with email. 3Com Bluetooth Serial Client; 3Com Bluetooth.

3Com Bluetooth PC Card

Author: Tim Higgins
Review Date: 8/17/2001

Model: 3CRWB6096


- Nifty antenna design


- Not a lot you can do with it!
- Iffy Win98SE support

  • Link/Activity

Comes with
  • Install CD

  • Patented 'XJACK' antenna that pops out and swivels to a vertical position

Well, it took a long time coming, but 3Com has finally started to ship their Bluetooth PC card! It's a 16 bit PC card design (not CardBus), and is based on version 1.1 of the Bluetooth spec.

The card's physical design is one that I'd like to see used on 802.11b cards, but there's little likelihood of that, since the XJACK design is patented. It's a push to open, push to close design that slides out to reveal a little, blue, swing-up antenna. The only downside of the design is that it's a little hard to push the card into your PC card slot without popping open the antenna!

NOTE: 3Com does have an 802.11b XJACK card, but it's a different design! The 802.11b's card still has a pop-out antenna, but it doesn't swing up to get a better, vertical polarization to match most Access Points.

There's one LED on the card edge, which I couldn't find described in any of the rather sparse documentation. It shines steadily when the card is plugged in, flickers under light network activity, and seems to go out (maybe it's just flickering really fast) during long file transfers.

Since this is my first Bluetooth review and I'm fairly ignorant about the details of the technology, please forgive (and correct) me if I make some incorrect assumptions or observations about the product.

Installation went smoothly on my Win98SE Compaq 1650 laptop, but it did take awhile, so be patient! Bluetooth uses a networking model that is based on virtual serial COM ports, so the installer creates a number of these ports (shown in the screen shot for a full-sized view). Each virtual port is used for a different type of client communication.

The installer will ask you for permission to make copies of all your DUN profiles, and the best thing to do it let it do it. You can always delete them later if you don't want them, but you can't create them automatically later without rerunning the installer.

The other important question the Installer asks is whether to start the Connection Manager (CM) each time you boot. If you're going to use Bluetooth regularly, answer Yes. This is because Bluetooth functionality is only provided when the CM is running!

One thing the installer doesn't ask you is to name your Bluetooth device. It also doesn't automatically pick up your Computer Name from your Network properties. This caused some confusion when I first viewed the network in the CM.

Tip: Since I didn't have two laptops with PC card slots handy and since 3Com doesn't ship a Win CE 3.0 or PocketPC driver with the card (only Win98SE, 2000, or ... give me strength.. Me!), I used a PCMCIA adapter to install one of the cards in one of my Win98SE desktop machines. I first tried a Netgear MA301 which froze during installation in two different machines. A BuffaloTech WLI-PCI-L11 at least installed ok, but wouldn't let the Bluetooth card install correctly. I finally scored with an old RayCom RIS 100 ISA slot PC card adapter that I salvaged from a Webgear Aviator 2.4GHz networking kit (hey..whatever works!).

Once the installation smoke cleared, I launched the CM on both machines and after a minor amount of futzing around, was rewarded with the screen below

Actually, I didn't really get the screen above, but instead the CM window on each machine showed ONE icon titled 'My Bluetooth Device'. Hmmm, did the icon represent the machine that the CM was running on or was I actually connected? Turned out (with no help from the docs) that each CM was showing the client that it was connected to. (You don't get an icon that represents the machine that the CM is running on like you do in Network Neighborhood.) Once I found the 'Friendly Name' feature, I changed the name of each machine to something more descriptive and I was off and running... sort of!

I found myself getting confused when trying to set up connections. The Tutorials in the on-line Help didn't do much to clear up the situation either, although they tried to be helpful. Being a complete newbie in Bluetooth networking, I needed some examples, diagrams, and explanations of what I was trying to do. Unfortunately, 3Com hasn't provided any of that, either in the on-line Help or woefully inadequate PDF User's Manual on the CD. The 'Tutorials' are more 'do this, then this, then this', which I just wasn't following.

After doing a little bit of research and reflection, I think I know why I had such a hard time getting anything other than the File Send feature to work:

  • The ReadMe (which is probably the most useful documentation that 3Com provided) notes that Win98SE doesn't work reliably when trying to establish Bluetooth Direct Cable Connections (which of course was one of the things that I was trying to do). Win2000 is the way to go if you want to use DCC.

  • The COM Port clients that the installer sets up are intended for use with BLUETOOTH DEVICES, NOT with another Windows computer with a Bluetooth card in it. So when I was trying to use the regular dialup modem on my Bluetooth equipped desktop via the DUN client (or Serial Client) COM port, I was trying to do something that wasn't supposed to work!

  • The CM didn't seem to automatically register new clients when they came into range, but only refreshes on a schedule that you can set in 5 minute increments (the default is 30). You can force a manual refresh, however.

  • The card is not considered a Windows Network adapter, so there are no entries in the Network Control panel. The Device Manager shows the Bluetooth card as its own device category.

  • There's no TCP/IP or NetBEUI stack available, just those funky virtual COM ports (PPP is used to support Dialup type connections).

So here I was, all dressed up with Bluetooth and nothing to do except send files back and forth between machines using the Send File service...which did work well, I'll admit.

But try as I might, I wasn't able to set up a network connection between other machines so that I could browse and transfer files, or connect to the Internet. It appears that I needed a Bluetooth Access Point for that, which I didn't have and 3Com doesn't offer (although other companies do).

Since I couldn't establish a network connection, the only thing I could do to check performance was to use the Send File feature. So I did, and here's what I found:

Test #


Send File Transfer Rate
[1.2 Mbyte file size]


Time (sec)

Rate (Kbps)


- 4 feet
- same room




- 25 feet
- same floor
- 2 walls




- 35 feet
- same floor
- 3 walls



In range, but no connection made.


- 12 feet
- floor above



In range, but no connection made.

Comments: Given the description of Bluetooth as a very short range technology, I was surprised at the distance that I could go and still get an 'In Range' status. I found that I could get an 'In Range' reading at pretty much every place that I normally perform 802.11b product testing! However, I found that the 'In Range' indication could be misleading.

In both Test 3 and 4, although the Status showed as 'In Range', the Send File would fail while trying to set up the connection. (Actually, it would show 'Connecting' for about 10 seconds, then the window would go away, with no indication of what happened!) I made sure to Refresh each time I changed position, since the CM doesn't do that for you when a client's status changes.

The transfer speed didn't seem to vary much with distance, but it's about one third the 1Mbps raw bit rate, and about 40% of the highest obtainable rate quoted by this FAQ.

It's always an adventure to test something new, and putting 3Com's Bluetooth card through its paces was no exception. In the end, the card worked well for the limited things...make that thing... that I could do with it. But my lack of other Bluetooth equipped devices to test it with made for an unsatisfying overall experience.

It's nice to see Bluetooth 1.1 products finally starting to ship. But the long delay to market has caused this technology to lose precious time in the wireless networking market share battle. Unless other products come out quickly and are cheaper than their 802.11b equivalents (the 3Com card isn't setting a good precedent here with an on-line price of around $120), Bluetooth may just become another footnote in the wireless networking history books.

Linux & Wireless LANsIrDAPapersMain page
DownloadInformationBrainboxesBT StacksPcmcia cardOpenBTBlueZ 1.2


Part of my job at Hewlett Packard is to evaluate various kind of wireless technologies. Of course, BlueTooth could not escape this investigation.

I read my first BlueTooth specification in autumn 1997, when it was still called MC-Link and only 58 pages. Since then, I did like everybody else : attend the various conference, try to contribute to the workgroups, buy the expensive development kits and wait. But now, at least, I've got a few experiences to share with you ;-)

Note that BlueTooth support under Linux is constantly evolving, and BlueZ in particular has a lot of entropy. That's why I mention the exact version that worked for me. And remember the developers always expect you to only run the latest version.

Bits to download

If you are using the Brainboxes Pcmcia card :
  • Patch for the serial driver in the Linux kernel 2.4.12 (and most 2.4.X kernels).
  • Patch for the serial driver in the Linux kernel 2.4.13-ac6 (and most 2.4.X-acX kernels).
  • Patch for the setserial utility version 2.17

If you are using BlueZ :

  • This following patch was integrated in BlueZ 2.0 and further improved by other people, so those are only listed for historical reasons.
  • Patch for the hciattach in BlueZ 1.6.
  • Patch for the hcid utility in BlueZ 1.2

Links and more information

Brainboxes hardware :
  • The company making the hardware is Brainboxes.
  • The chips are made by Cambridge Silicon Radio.
  • The BlueTooth spec is available from the BlueTooth SIG.

BlueZ Linux BlueTooth stack :

  • BlueZ hardware survey (pretty exhaustive and detailed)
  • Tentative PAN Howto : how to set up PAN with BlueZ 2.2.

OpenBT Linux BlueTooth stack :

  • OpenBT + Brainboxes Howto : How to set up the BrainBoxes Pcmcia card with OpenBT.
  • OpenBT + CSR Howto : How to set up serial devices based on the CSR chip with OpenBT.
OpenObex over BlueZ :
  • The OpenObex web page, where you will find the latest version of the Obex package for Linux. Version 1.0.0 and later fully support BlueZ.
  • ObexFTP, an implementation of FTP over OpenObex, with a nice graphical interface. Can be used to browse some cellular phones (including over BlueTooth).
  • MultiSync allows you to synchronise data over OBEX with your cell phone (including over BlueTooth).
  • My e-Squirt implementation supports Obex over BlueTooth.
64-bit Related information :
  • My Linux Wireless LAN Howto.
  • Linux-IrDA web pages, with very helpful mailing list, and my quick tutorial.
  • The BlueDrekar Linux BlueTooth stack from IBM (not Open Source).
  • Affix, another Open Source BlueTooth stack for Linux, developped by Nokia, and quite similar in concept to BlueZ. BlueZ and Affix borrow good ideas from each other and their APIs are mostly compatible.
  • The Linux Serial Driver home page where you can download the source of setserial.

BlueTooth and Brainboxes

BlueTooth is a radio standard heavily influenced by IrDA and USB, and offers the functionality of a wireless USB and serial cable replacement (see BlueTooth for a more complete description). BlueTooth defines its own protocol stack as well, and offers the possibility to create long term binding between devices (attach wirelessly peripherals to a phone or a PDA). TCP/IP networking over BlueTooth can be done using PPP over RfComm.

Brainboxes was one of the first company to offer BlueTooth products which are available, relatively cheap (~$220) and compatible with Linux. At that time, most other products did fail on one of those 3 criteria, but today the situation has dramatically improved. You can contact them directly via e-mail to order. If you order the Pcmcia, CF or RS232 card, I would recommend H4 version (as opposed to BCSP), on the other hand for USB this subtelty doesn't exist.

I've personally tested the Pcmcia card (BL620) and USB dongle (BL554) with both OpenBT and BlueZ. The RS232 dongle would probably work without troubles, but at restricted speed (115200 bauds). The UART of the CF card (BL631) would require some investigation.

From my light testing, the Pcmcia card and the USB dongle gives you more or less the same throughput (limited by the radio channel or PPP framing overhead). However, the USB dongle has a lower latency and lower CPU usage than the Pcmcia card (USB uses DMA transfer and the UART uses PIO, which explains a lot). However, I still get much better results with 802.11 or IrDA ;-)

Other hardware I have tested

USB dongles are the best way to start with BlueTooth, as :
  • The driver interface is standard, so there is no compatibility issues.
  • The driver interface is well designed (let say, as opposed to 802.11 over USB which is a hack).
  • Performance is good (as far as BlueTooth goes).

I personally have used the following USB dongles :

  • Brainboxes BL554 (CSR chipset)
  • 3Com 3CREB96 (CSR chipset rev 0x73)
  • Epox BT-DG02 (CSR chipset rev 0x110)
  • D-Link DBT-120 (CSR chipset rev 0x1bb)
  • 3Com 3CREB96B (CSR chipset rev 0x20e)

Linux BlueTooth stacks : OpenBT and BlueZ

There is two totally different BlueTooth stacks available for Linux, both of them Open Source. OpenBT is mostly a contribution of Axis, and BlueZ is originally a contribution of Qualcom.

The strength of OpenBT 0.8 are :

  • More mature, used in real products
  • Wider set of utilities and documentation
  • Support BCSP (and a wider range of hardware functions)
  • Easier to hook your programs to RfComm

The strength of BlueZ 1.2 are :

  • Included in standard Linux kernel, better integration
  • Modular design, more than one BlueTooth port per stack
  • Excellent USB support
  • hcidump

The additional strength of BlueZ 2.4 are :

  • Excellent PAN/BNEP support (complete and flexible)
  • Excellent RfCOMM support (now as easy as OpenBT, but more flexible)
  • Supported in OpenObex 1.0.0 (Obex over RfCOMM)

Of course, this list will probably evolve over time...

The main architectural difference between the stacks is their interfaces, both to drivers and applications. OpenBT uses a serial abstraction, and BlueZ uses a network abstraction. We'll come back to it later.

Brainboxes Pcmcia card and higher speeds

The Brainboxes Pcmcia card contains a real UART (16C950). This UART has some interesting features, such as higher speeds and deep fifos, enabling higher performance transfer to the CSR chip.

The standard Pcmcia drivers (in the Pcmcia package) will automatically recognise the UART and enable the Linux serial driver on it. Different PCs and different configurations will load the UART at different addresses. With kernel 2.4.X, the way to know which serial port on your PC is the Pcmcia card is to check the message log using dmesg or to use setserial to look for the UART identified as '16C950/954'. Mine is loaded as /dev/ttyS2.

The kernel 2.2.X won't recognise this UART and won't enable the extended features (i.e. you will be stuck at 115200 bauds). The kernel 2.4.X recognise most of the features of the chip, but will enable you to reach only 460800 bauds.

To reach the maximum speed of the card (921600 bauds), you will need to do a bit of hacking :

  1. Download the kernel source (version 2.4.X - you may also get it from your distribution).
  2. Apply my serial driver patch to the kernel.
  3. Download the setserial utility.
  4. Apply my patch for setserial.
  5. Install the new kernel, its modules and the new setserial.

Then, after every time you reset the computer or insert the card, you just need to use this magic incantation : After that, you should be able to configure your BlueTooth stack to use 921600 bauds.

OpenBT 0.8 setup

I did only limited testing with OpenBT 0.8, both with the Brainboxes Pcmcia card and the USB dongle.

OpenBT use a serial abstraction (TTY) to interface both to drivers and applications. OpenBT talk to the hardware either directly to the serial port (for example /dev/ttyS2) or to a pseudo serial port (for example /dev/ttyUB0 for the USB-serial converter). Applications talk to the OpenBT stack using one of OpenBT pseudo serial port, such as /dev/ttyBT0.

OpenBT and the Brainboxes Pcmcia card

The operation is already described in details in the BlueTooth Howto of Frank Kargl, so I won't repeat it all here.

A few caveats :

  • The diff file doesn't apply cleanly on OpenBT 0.8, so you need to do the modifications by hand.
  • Frank configure the stack with the Pcmcia card at 921600 bauds. With a standard installation and the Pcmcia card, you will reach only 460800 bauds, and to enable 921600 bauds you will need to do a bit of hacking.

Starting OpenBT at 921600 bauds looks like this :

OpenBT and the USB dongle

The operation is somewhat similar to the procedure described above. Instead of using a real serial port, you will need to use a Download 3Com Bluetooth Serial Client (COM15) DriverBlueTooth USB-serial converter driver. Such a driver is included in kernel 2.4.X, and usually create a pseudo serial port as /dev/ttyUB0 (you may need to check your logs for confirmation).

The whole installation procedure looks like :

  1. Enable appropriate USB support in you kernel (UHCI/OHCI)
  2. Enable the BlueTooth USB-Serial converter in your kernel : the option is called USB Bluetooth support in the menu USB support.
  3. Create the pseudo serial device :
  4. Compile OpenBT for USB support, by selecting the option CONFIG_BLUETOOTH_USBMODULE in .../openbt/linux/include/linux/bluetooth/btconfig.h.
  5. Don't forget to comment out MODFLAGS and check INCLUDEDIR in .../openbt/linux/drivers/char/bluetooth/Makefile.

Now, to start OpenBT on the USB dongle, you just need to do :

Download 3com Bluetooth Serial Client (com15) Driver Windows Xp

From the mailing list, it seems that USB support in OpenBT is not totally stable (I didn't try much).

PPP over RfComm

One of the main application of BlueTooth is to network two host (although I would argue that 802.11 is better suited for that), which is currently done via PPP over RfComm (better alternatives are on the way). Download 3com bluetooth serial client (com15) driver windows xp

First, you need to know what is the address of the other end of the link. One way is to check the other end, but that's cheating, the other way is to do an Inquiry :

Then, you can connect to this device. With OpenBT, the RfComm server is always runnning, so you only need to start the client :

After that, you can check that PPP created a new interface (with ifconfig and route) and that you can ping the IP address on the other end of the tunnel.


Obex is the prefered way to communicate over BlueTooth for a wide variety of function (file transfer, vCal, vCard).

At this time, it doesn't seem that OpenObex and OpenBT work with each other, and it doesn't look like OpenBT has any OBEX support.

BlueZ 1.2 setup

I did only limited testing with BlueZ 1.2, both with the Brainboxes Pcmcia card and the USB dongle. This section only deals with version 1.2, the more recent version 2.2 is described below.

As opposed to OpenBT, BlueZ use a network abstraction to interface both to drivers and applications. BlueZ need special network driver for serial and USB devices, and BlueTooth devices will be referenced as hciX (most often hci0). Applications talk to the BlueZ stack using sockets (using the AF_BLUETOOTH family).

Common configuration

The BlueZ web site already contains an excellent Howto, so you may want to start by reading that...

To enable BlueZ, you will need to do the following operations :

  1. Get a fairly recent Linux kernel (I've used 2.4.12 and 2.4.14).
  2. Enable BlueZ and related options in your kernel, under the menu Bluetooth support.
  3. Download and install the BlueZ package. Don't pay attention to various errors when compiling the kernel part of the package.
  4. Download and install the hcidump package.
  5. Download and install the rfcomm package.

BlueZ and the USB dongle

Bluetooth Serial Adapter

BlueZ has strong support for USB dongles. As opposed to OpenBT, BlueZ doesn't use the BlueTooth USB to serial converter, but uses its own USB driver (and of course, you can't have both running at the same time).

To get your USB dongle working, you need to do :

After that, you can setup RfComm links (see Howto).

BlueZ and the Brainboxes Pcmcia card

BlueZ support of serial devices is not as strong as OpenBT. For example, BlueZ doesn't support BCSP (that's why you need to order your cards in the H4 variety).

By default, BlueZ will only be able to run the CSR chip at 115200 bauds. I've made a patch to add support for the higher speeds of the CSR chip. This will enable you to run at 460800 bauds, and with a few more patches you will be able to do 921600 bauds.

With this patch, you need to configure the last section of /etc/hcid.conf in the following way :

Then, you start the stack like this :

PPP over RfComm

BlueZ is a bit more complex when it comes to RfComm. I'll just give you a few pointers, see the Howto for actual details.

You still need to know the address of the other end of the link ; the inquiry is currently done like this :

Assuming the file rfcommd.conf is properly configured on both side, you first start rfcomm on the server side : Then, on the client side : To close the connection, you need to kill the rfcomm instance on one side.

BlueZ 2.3 setup

Maksim and their friends are working too hard, and BlueZ has matured significantely since I last tested it, so it was time to revisit the issue. With version 2.2, the most interesting new feature is of course PAN/BNEP support. With version 2.3, we have the new RfCOMM support which is a big improvement.

So, I did again limited testing with BlueZ 2.2, both with the Brainboxes Pcmcia card and the USB dongle. I also did extensive testing of BlueZ 2.3 with the 3Com 3CREB96 USB dongle. A lot of the tools and procedure have changed with respect to BlueZ 1.2

As opposed to OpenBT, BlueZ use a network abstraction to interface both to drivers and applications. BlueZ need special network driver for serial and USB devices, and BlueTooth devices will be referenced as hciX (most often hci0). Applications talk to the BlueZ stack using sockets (using the AF_BLUETOOTH family).

Common configuration

The BlueZ web site already contains an excellent Howto, so you may want to start by reading that...

To enable BlueZ, you will need to do the following operations :

  1. Get a fairly recent Linux kernel, BlueZ 2.3 is included in kernel 2.4.21-pre3 and later.
  2. Enable BlueZ and related options in your kernel, under the menu Bluetooth support.
  3. Compile and reinstall your kernel.
  4. Download and install the BlueZ library package.
  5. Download and install the BlueZ utilities and BlueZ sdp package. Those will compile only if the library is fully installed.
  6. Optionally, download and install the hcidump package. It's a good debugging tool and necessary to do proper bug reports.
  7. Download and install the PAN package. This will compile only if both the utils and sdp packages are fully installed.
To get module auto-loading to work, you need to add in /etc/modules.conf the following :

BlueZ and the USB dongle

BlueZ has strong support for USB dongles. As opposed to OpenBT, BlueZ doesn't use the BlueTooth USB to serial converter, but uses its own USB driver (and of course, you can't have both running at the same time).

First, you need to get the USB stack up and running. This depend on your USB controller (UHCI vs OHCI).

To get you USB dongle working, you then need to do :

BlueZ and the Brainboxes Pcmcia card

The version 1.6 of BlueZ has changed the way serial devices are initialised. Instead of using hcid, you will need to use hciattach.

My obsolete patchthat adds CSR chip support to hciattach has been included in BlueZ 2.0 (and improved), so it will work out of the box at 460800 bauds. With a few more patches you will be able to do 921600 bauds.

You start the stack like this :


PAN and BNEP are the 'official' way to do networking with BlueTooth. BNEP is a simple encapsulation of Ethernet frames in a L2CAP session. PAN is the BlueTooth profile using BNEP and defining how to do networking. It includes the definition of the SDP attributes and various node roles.

What are the node roles ? It's just something to make your life more complex. In a typical Ad-Hoc scenario, the server will have the role GN, and up to 7 clients with role PANU can be connected to it. An Access Point would take a NAP (yeah, boring).

The support of BNEP in BlueZ is quite new and and not yet documented in the Official Howto, but there is an alternate Unofficial Howto.

As usual, I'll go straight to a very simple example of setting up TCP/IP between two nodes. You can do more complex stuff by reading the Howto above.

First, you need to set up the server. The server will listen for incomming connections. In our example, it's not an Access Point, so we do :

On the client side, we first need to know the address of the server ; the inquiry is currently done like this :

Now, you just need to connect to the other side :

Unfortunately, pand can fail silently, so the way to check if this succeed is to see if a new device bnep0 has been created, either using cat /proc/net/dev or ifconfig bnep0. You may notice that the interface is down, that's perfectly normal at this point. In case of problem, you need to check the logs for details, in my case /var/log/daemon.log.

What's left ? BNEP is only a Ethernet emulation. We need to configure TCP/IP on the new interface. This is done with :

Just remember that you need to assign an different IP address on each node, otherwise it won't work. After that, you should be able to ping, telnet and all that jazz.

To terminate your connection on the client, just do :

If you want to get more fancy, you can use HotPlug to automatically assign IP addresses to the bnep interfaces, and you can start playing with the SPD to know which node support PAN or not. And, if you want to build an Access Point, you will need to enable bridging. The HOWTO explains that in details.

OpenObex over RfCOMM

Obex is the prefered way to communicate over BlueTooth for a wide variety of profiles (file transfer, image push, vCal, vCard). Obex runs over RfCOMM.

The support of Obex over BlueTooth is not fully documented, and various application will implement it differently. It requires BlueZ 2.3 or later and OpenObex 1.0.0 or later.

Here is a very simple example of Obex over BlueTooth :

  1. Make sure you have BlueZ 2.3 and RfCOMM protocol support enabled in your kernel. However, you don't need RfCOMM TTY support.
  2. Download and install the OpenObex 1.0.0 package (this is the main Obex library).
  3. Download and install the OpenObex-apps 1.0.0 package (which contains the obex_test utility).
First, we start the test server :

On the client side, we first need to know the address of the server :

Now, you just need to connect to the other side using the default RfCOMM channel :

Obviously, this is only a basic test and is not very useful. However, some popular applications such as ObexFTP and Multisync already support Obex over RfCOMM. If you are interested in the programming side, my e-Squirt library shows a complete implementation of Obex over RfCOMM (including SDP).

Wireless LANs and IrDA - [email protected]
Created 9 November 01
Updated 5 June 03
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