Clarinet Systems Inc. has created EthIR LAN 101, a small, stand-alone device that transforms an Ethernet connection into a wireless network access point for Palm and Windows CE devices, notebooks and Internet appliances with built-in infrared capabilities. The EthIR LAN 101 – a single-port, 4Mbps infrared switch – is independent of hardware and software, is fully supported by the native OS, and eliminates the need for cradles, host PCs, PC cards and cables. The EthIR LAN 101 consists of the EthIR Switch, which connects to the network, and the EthIR Beam transceiver, which provides the wireless link between the user and the Internet or corporate network. Network connectivity is established via the infrared port now built in to most mobile devices. The user points the handheld’s infrared port at the EthIR Beam, which is connected to the EthIR Switch via a cable. The Beam sits on a counter or desktop, giving the user easy access. The Switch receives the signal from the Beam and sends it to the host system via Ethernet. The infrared conversion to Ethernet is done inside the Switch. Unlike other proprietary connectivity solutions, this unit is platform-independent, enabling users to connect to the network whether they carry a laptop, Palm handheld, Windows CE unit, or other device. To connect to the EthIR Beam, a laptop must have Windows 95 with infrared protocol stack and IrLAN, Windows 98 with infrared protocol stack and Direct Cable Connection, or Apple Mac OS 8.5 or later with infrared protocol stack and IrLAN. Handheld PCs or PalmPilots must run Windows CE 2.0; Palm Organizers IIIx, IIIxe, V, Vx, and VII must run OS 3.3; and the Palm VII must run OS 3.5. The EthLR is priced at US$249. Clarient Systems, of Milpitas, Calif., is at

Prices listed are in US currency.