Things Happening Now!

So, it appears we’ve been somewhat quiet lately, however, it’s because we’re not meeting every other week “just because”. We’ve switched to meeting once per month to discuss administrivia and strategy. Basically, organizational meetings. On the second Saturday of every month, we’re doing a Second Saturday event where we meet and greet members of the public and explain what it is we’re up to, and what it is they’re interested in.

So, on that note: This coming Friday is our strategy discussion. It’s at 6:30PM at The Foundry Buffalo.  All members of the public are welcome, and tech chit chat will be kept at a minimum.

Second Saturday will be coming up on the 14th of February (Valentines Day).  We’ll be meeting with the public, and also playing with hardware.  Bring your hardware down, and we’ll figure out if we can load the proper firmware, or find some way to deploy it on the mesh.  There’s a job for all hardware 🙂

Some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that’s been happening:

  • Matt has been working to ready hardware for deployment.  We’re aiming to get 2 more nodes in the air over the next month or so in Masten Park.
  • Our GitHub repositories have been getting filled out with tons of projects we’re working on too.  If you’re a software developer, feel free to pop over and give us some pull requests!
  • We’re working on incorporating in some fashion.  Some routes are being explored, including locating a Fiscal Sponsorship.  If you know of an organization willing to sponsor this project, let us know!
  • We’re currently collecting community input via a Google Form to gauge needs and wants of the community, as well as willingness to lend a hand in planning.  The form link is here: http://bitly.com/17KWLEY

So, while it’s been quiet on the site, it’s definitely been pretty active.  If you show up to either of the events listed here, and are interested in lending a hand, let Matt, Kevin, or myself know!

Second Saturday

Well, we attended the Second Saturday event at The Foundy, and it was a mixed bag.  Not a bad experience, but rather a good experience that was a mixed bag.

Some things went well, namely, we had a member of the Buffalo Municipal Fiber group show, and he had some exciting news coming from their direction.  We’re excited to hear the progress they’re group is making.  A new person came, so we could check the hardware he owned for compatibility.  We sadly found it wasn’t, however, we still have options for incompatible hardware.

We also learned that we need a better table display.  Having an AP up, and online was good and all, but nobody knew anything about it, and nobody knew how to use it.  We’ll be working on a pop-up demo AP and service simulator.

But, it was good.  Foot traffic was low, so we didn’t lose much reputation points there.  I see it as a dry run.  Lessons learned and what not.

There’s some notes about how things went, and where we’re going from here located here.  Thanks for all who came out, and thanks for your hard work on this project!

First Meet Up For 2015

Well, we had our meetup this evening, and we made some big decisions.

Our first Board members were voted on, and decided. The following individuals will be board members until we hold our first elections:

  • Matt Lehner.

Matt has been instrumental on this project since day -300. He’s been working on this project as best as he could on his own prior to myself even showing up on the scene. He’s also been key in assembling our first node’s hardware as well as initial clients for installation.

  • Kevin Hayes

Kevin is the guy who knows how to take the group’s “Nerd speak”, and translate that into something that our served communities can understand. He’s also “Been there, done that” in launching both for-profit initiatives as well as non-profit groups, so he brings a huge amount of knowledge in how these things work to the table. He’s also gracious enough to let us use The Foundry as our meeting place.

  • Corey Reichle (Me)

Well, I’m not going to brag about myself. Tech stuff is my game, and solutions are what I bring. Also, toss in a smattering of project management experience. I more or less herd the cats, and sometimes come up with good ideas.

Also, this evening, we have decided that we need to break apart technical discussions and administrative meetings, in order to better smooth the transition into a formal non-profit. Administrative meetings will be held at The Foundry on the first Friday of each month, just like they are today. These meetings will briefly touch on network statuses, budget discussions, and other administrivia. All are welcome to attend, but they will be more structured meetings, with agendas of items we must discuss. Proposed new business from the general membership will be accepted, time permitting.

Our general meetings, where we’ll actually be doing work will be held on Saturdays for now. These meetups will be “fun”. These are the days where we’ll be testing hardware, doing installations, etc etc. If anyone has issues with this, let the group know, and we’ll work around it. Remember: We’re not limited to a single work day per month 🙂 The next meetup will be on January 10th, at the Foundry, circa 12:30PM.

Not too much in the way of progress as far as installation/network expansion has happened over the past month, which is not surprising given the holidays. However, we’ve got a laundry list of things we’d like to knock out in the coming month, so the next few meetups will be exciting to attend. We had Mike from Rocmesh.net attend tonight, and we look forward to helping him bootstrap the Rochester Meshnet group 🙂

Some more exciting news! Speaking of the Rocmesh group. Rocmesh is hosting our Node Mapping solution, and it can be hit via http://map.buffalomesh.net Hats off to Mike for getting this off the ground.

Also, the website will be getting an update over the next couple of weeks. Keep tabs on that, and I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂