Monday, May 11, 2015

Hi-Fi, Wi-Fi and Fi Wordplay

             Readers of a certain age probably know the full words to the acronyms in this blog edition.  Hi-Fi refers to high fidelity and the stereo receivers and amplifiers of the 1960s that reproduced music with greater frequency range.  Wi-Fi refers to wireless fidelity, possibly a stretched play on words using the Hi-Fi concept to cover wireless broadband access.  The mostly male, engineers that served on various 802.11 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standards groups must have had a chuckle.

            Along comes Fi from Google: we move from high, to wireless to a new brand of wireless.

            Okay, some of us get the wordplay.

1 comment:

InfoStack said...

Part 15 spectrum was considered garbage spectrum in 1938. It was used for MW ovens and then garage door openers. Water molecules resonate at 2.4ghz.

After divestiture the Bells began to shrink their workforce and outsource inside wiring, with the result that inside wiring jobs cost a lot by the late 1980s. The solution, especially with the explosion of voice calling options and affordability brought about by a competitive WAN (yes the IXCs created the commercial foundation of the internet), were the cordless analog, then digital phones in the 1980s-90s.

Then as PCs exploded and LAN's grew (particularly in commercial settings) a new inside wiring problem started with locating computers in houses. I remember installing my first home LAN in 1998 when cable broadband first hit (1.5/.25 mbs) my neighborhood and going through the comparative math between "WiFi" at 2.5mbs and 100base Cat5 at 100mbs. While the latter cost more (2x for the components and cost of wiring), I figured I would future proof my house with wire at significant expense. Of course Centrino wasn't commercialized for another 5 years making the laptop the default transportable computing device throughout the house. I think by the mid to late 2000s the wired cabling in my house was redundant.

Yes, all on garbage spectrum brought to you by wireless hi-fidelity.