Good causes-and a good man

Appeals have come across my desk recently from two worthy causes. I want to pass them along to you this month, along with an announcement that rewards another kind of worthiness.

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Appeals have come across my desk recently from two worthy causes. I want to pass them along to you this month, along with an announcement that rewards another kind of worthiness.

Joe O'Brien, a long-time contributor to the cabling industry, called last week to let me know that the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-Arlington, VA) is forming a new committee, TR-42.9, to look at industrial telecommunications infrastructure. Clearly, the requirements for industrial telecommunications infrastructure are different from those of residential, light commercial, and commercial installations already covered by the TIA, so this effort deserves the support of all of us in the cabling industry. I told Joe that I would pass along the following request for volunteers to serve on TR-42.9: "We are currently seeking interested parties and subject-matter experts to participate either as members or as presenters to assist the subcommittee in understanding the end-user and manufacturer requirements for systems affecting the standard." If you would like to participate, call Bill Sewell at (703) 351-4318, or e-mail him at

Another invitation has come from AIT Global (Kings Park, NY), a worldwide association for information-technology (IT) professionals. The organization's executive director, Mike Lackey, has arranged a three-day information-technologies exhibit to be held at the United Nations building in New York City in early July. The exhibit will run in conjunction with the UN's ECOSOC 2000 Global Meeting. ECOSOC, the UN Economic and Social Council, has chosen as its conference theme the role of IT in the global knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

The meeting will be keynoted by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and hosted by ECOSOC's president, Ambassador Makarim Wibisono. Mike Lackey is interested in attracting exhibitors, who will have an opportunity to interact both socially and professionally with a wide range of UN ambassadors and decision-makers during the event; he also wants to encourage media coverage of the event, through announcements and articles in IT-related publications such as Cabling Installation & Maintenance. If you are interested in finding out more about this event, contact Mike Lackey at (631) 269-6713, or visit the organization's Website at

And finally, it is with pleasure and pride that I announce the appointment of Patrick McLaughlin as editor-in-chief of Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine. Most of you know Patrick's incisive work as our technology columnist over the last year, and many of you have met with and talked to him at the various trade shows, seminars, and press conferences we have covered over the last three years. What you may be unaware of is that Patrick has been instrumental in the success of many other ventures undertaken by our magazine staff, among them the Cable Pulling Video series and the recent launch of Cabling Installation & Maintenance Europe.

In short, Patrick has become my right-hand man, and this appointment is his just reward for his long hours, willingness to take on any assignment, and high journalistic standards. I will continue in my role as group editorial director of the Cabling Installation & Maintenance group of information products, including the Cabling Installation Expo trade show and conference, Cabling Installation & Maintenance Europe, and a variety of other projects and publications, both domestic and international. Patrick and I will share editorial-writing duties for this, our flagship publication, but he will be the go-to guy for those of you wanting or needing to contact the magazine.

So, please join me in welcoming Patrick McLaughlin to his well-deserved new role-and don't forget to support the TIA and AIT Global projects described above!

Special Report on wireless datacom

This past winter, a number of major players in the wireless data-communications arena introduced 11-Mbit/sec wireless local-area-network (LAN) systems based on the new IEEE 802.11b standard. We deemed these new systems and other late-breaking news on wireless data from the ComNet and Cellular Telecommunica-tions Industry Association (CTIA) shows so important that we are previewing them in a last-minute special report published in this issue. In addition to our coverage of wireless LANs, we will look at personal area networks and smart phones. This special report is part of the expanded coverage we expect to give to wireless data communications in the year 2000.

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Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.
Group Editorial Director

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