Flickenger, Rob

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Home—Seattle, WA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, O'Reilly Books, 1005 Gravenstein Hwy. N, Sebastopol, CA 95472. E-mail—[email protected].


Computer systems administrator, writer, and editor. NDA, Burlingame, CA, Unix administrator, 1998-2000; O'Reilly & Associates, Sebastopol, CA, Internet systems administrator, 2000-02, freelance writer and editor for "Hacks" series, 2003—. Co-founded and operated independent Web services and consulting company, Las Vegas, NV, 1995-98; speaker at conferences, 2001-02; founder of NoCat.net.




Building Wireless Community Networks: Implementing the Wireless Web, O'Reilly (Sebastopol, CA), 2002, 2nd edition, 2003.

Linux Server Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools, O'Reilly (Sebastopol, CA), 2003.

Wireless Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools, O'Reilly (Sebastopol, CA), 2003.

Contributor of articles to periodicals, including CIO Magazine and PC Magazine; contributing writer to the O'Reilly Network and Andy Graham's Computer Beat radio show.


American writer, editor, and computer systems administrator Rob Flickenger describes himself on the NoCat.net Web site as a person who loves to find "novel, robust, and … Open Source solutions" to problems, and he is proud to claim his designation as the father of the Pringles Can WiFi (wireless fidelity) antenna. While working as an Internet systems administrator for O'Reilly & Associates, Flickenger discovered he had a talent for writing and presenting his technical solutions. This led to producing numerous articles for the O'Reilly Network and books in the "Hacks" series, work that continued after he left the company as a systems administrator.

Flickenger's first book for O'Reilly, Building Wireless Community Networks: Implementing the Wireless Web, explores the seemingly magical world of wireless data networking using 802-11b (WiFi) technology, in which users can install a low-cost PC card in their laptop computer and network with their geographical community through the free radio wave spectrum. They can also gain global access to the Internet through a base station. The technology has become widely popular, and one of Flickenger's goals in writing the book was to foster thinking about what creates a community. Highly recommended by reviewers, the book introduces the Pringles can antenna, made from a popular potato-chip container and capable of extending wireless signals. In a review of the book's updated second edition, an O'Reilly.com contributor praised Flickenger's "expertise, sense of humor, and enthusiasm for the topic."

Flickenger's second book, Linux Server Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools, is a guide for network administrators moving to the Red Hat Linux computing environment from Windows NT/2000. Rachel Singer Gordon, in a review for Library Journal, found the book to have "a welcome balance of humor and practicality." Kimberly Shigo, writing in Computers in Libraries, said the book's tips and tricks "will save hours of searching for the right answer."

Wireless Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools is written for intermediate to advanced wireless users, covering 802.11 technologies, Bluetooth, and GPRS. It offers tips on extending wireless range, maximizing use of the radio spectrum, security issues, increasing performance, expanding networks, and making antennas. A contributor to Mobile Radio Technology described the book as "full of direct, practical solutions to real-world networking problems."



Computers in Libraries, February, 2002, review of Building Wireless Community Networks: Implementing the Wireless Web, p. 51; May, 2003, Kimberly Shigo, "O'Reilly Offers New Titles for Linux Users"; October, 2003, Kimberly Shigo, "O'Reilly Releases New Titles on Linux, Perl, and How to Build Wireless Networks."

Database and Network Journal, June, 2002, review of Building Wireless Community Networks, p. 15.

Library Journal, May 1, 2003, Rachel Singer Gordon, review of Linux Server Hacks, p. 150.

M2 Best Books, September 26, 2003, "New Book Shows How to Make the Most of Wireless Technology."

Mobile Radio Technology, October, 2003, "Expert Tips for Wireless Gear," p. 44.

Wireless Week, December 10, 2001, Peggy Albright, "Pringles Feed WLAN Fad," p. 26.


NoCat.net Web site,http://nocat.net/ (May 28, 2004), "Rob Flickenger."

O'Reilly & Associates Web site,http://press.oreilly.com/ (July 24, 2003), "Taking WiFi to the Streets: O'Reilly Releases Building Wireless Community Networks, Second Edition."

O'Reilly Net Web site,http://www.oreillynet.com/ (May 28, 2004), "Rob Flickenger."*