The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Other Peoples…

Posted by Deliverator on February 23rd, 2005

Seattle Wireless’ weekly hacknight ran uncommonly late last night. Michael Lenczner who works on/with the “ile sans fil” CWN group up in Montreal stopped by on his way to an informatics conference. He charmed the baristas at CHIC into plugging in/resetting various boxes so that he could demo the custom WRT54G firmware that they use to run their nodes. Who knows, maybe the girls go for those Canadian accents? Their use of inexpensive commodity hardware coupled with customizable firmware seems to be working quite well. I think he said they have somewhere on the order of 30 nodes, mainly in shops pandering to caffeine addicts. Their distro uses a captive portal system that they have cooked up called WifiDog (a play on NoCat, no doubt) . One of the really cool features about this system is that it is very easy for Node managers to customize the splash page to incorporate both network wide and node specific news, thanks to the integration of RSS. Each node can be easily “branded” with pictures/logos and news appropriate to a particular cafe, while simultaneously making people aware of the network.

Matt Westervelt spoke at length about Other People’s Network, a scheme for using the widely available layer 2 transit features of The Linksys Community Network to link true CWN node operators (who could not otherwise directly establish a connection with each other) together, all without adding noise to what is rapidly becoming a saturated band of spectrum. This is a really cool idea, once you wrap you mind about it, but will require a hack/rewrite of the Atheros drivers in order to make it work.

Matt Wilson is still in post-traumatic shock after The Great LiveJournal Power-failure of 2005. He had a lot of bitter, yet interesting things to say about SCSI hard-drive manufacturers that sell their product largely for its reliability, yet use internal write caching to inflate benchmark scores at the expense of data integrity during power failures.