Meet Up At d!g Buffalo

Friday’s meetup went well, and I got to meet some of the folk from FIKA Buffalo, whose meeting was right before ours. Thanks go out to d!g Buffalo for hosting the meetup, it was definitely enjoyed by all 🙂

We covered some ground, namely planning what the network for Northampton is looking like going forward. Matt is working on the internal wireless network for The Foundry, to allow him some experimentation with hardware, but also to possibly let us piggy-back on that as well. We’re looking on mounting radios facing down Northampton, in order to get coverage down the street, and looking to approach other residents of the street to assist linking in a business down the road.

On this note, I’ll be posting a survey form that we’re looking to employ to get a feeling for two things:

  • What community members want from a community network
  • What communities are most interested.

It’s using Google Forms, and this will allow us to actually find out what the community is interested in, instead of deciding for them.

Also, the idea of doing a Second Saturday event at the Foundry, which we would teach people about mesh networking, the various components of a wifi network, and flashing a router with Commotion. More or less: Show them why they want it, Show them how to make it, and then give them the tools to put a node in the air. We’re looking at our first crowd funding to be targeted at getting hardware for the participants so they can go home, and install the node.

And, we have a GitHub project now. I have every desire to establish continuity for the project, in the event I “quit the internet forever” or some other such thing. The github project is hosting a copy of our website’s code, which would enable anyone to pull down a copy, and instantiate it somewhere else. Also, hosted in that project are the apps being presented in the Kaisertown network at this time.

More details are on the Meetup’s wiki page. Also, Meetup #7 is being scheduled for the 21st of this month at the Foundry.


More Services In Kaisertown

Firstly, I hope everyone had safe and fun halloween weekend. It’s been a busy couple of weeks since the last meetup. Matt? has been working on hardware for the Northampton network, and I have been working on sample apps to deploy to the local mesh networks.

Currently, in the Kaisertown network, there are three apps published: This site, an eBook library, and a web-based chat application. The library could probably use some sprucing up, but it is a start for a great idea: Free eBooks to anyone with an electronic device, available completely for free and without the need to pay for an ISP. Steps will be solidified on deploying these apps to any local mesh operator who would like to deploy them.

We’re making great strides thus far: We’ve gotten some nodes in the air, some basic apps for the mesh are now ready to deploy, and we’re finalized on hardware specs. Details and demos will be done at our next meetup this Friday at d!g Buffalo.

Next plans are to get another pair of nodes in the air in the Northampton network, and to add another node in the Kaisertown network. After which, we will start to work hard at getting Northampton “feature-complete”.

Internal Services In Kaisertown Mesh

Great news folks. Our first service is “officially” on the Kaisertown mesh now: This website. It was accesible via a one-hop jump with only one mesh node in the middle, but I was running into issues getting it two work across multiple nodes. I’ve gotten the dual-homing, firewalling, masquerading, and iptables issues completely resolved. This is now a fully-routed network! And, this post came to you from the mesh!

One outstanding issue still is the automated propagation of host names. As of now, the host files are managed manually, until a reliable DNS service can be set up inside of the mesh here in Kaisertown. But, never fear; SSH scripts are here to save the day 🙂

Until the DNS service gets resolved properly, I’ll just be pushing out host files as needed. Next services to be implemented: VoIP service (Likely uMurmur), and then email. I’ll also be working with getting similar services up at the Northampton network going, including getting The Foundry’s website available as an internal service, not relying on internet connectivity.

Keep a lookout here for more updates. I foresee them coming fast and furious, now that the humps have been started to get overcame.

Nodes In the Air

As of Sunday evening, we have some exciting news: We currently have three nodes in the air, passing traffic! Thanks to the hard work of Matt L? and Kevin H, two nodes are operational in Northampton linking The Foundry, and the Eaton home. Hats off to those two for their long, and hard work making this happen.

We also have the first node up in Kaisertown, handling traffic there. It’s accessible on the SSID. The second node will be going online within the next few weeks.

In addition to this, our website is also accessible on the mesh in Kaisertown, and I’ll work with Matt to get it available there as well in Northampton, as we work towards getting internal services available without internet access.

We’re definitely making headway on this, and expect more exciting news soon. Hope to see you at our nextmeetup!

Next Meetup

Our next meetup will be at d!g Buffalo, and this is exciting news! We hope to dovetail into the FIKA Buffalo meetups they have there on the first Friday of every month. You can RSVP for that at NextPlex.

Things up on the agenda are planning more hardware in the air, along with some ideas for going for on some of the sub-plans for the project as a whole. Complete details are on the meetup’s agenda. Feel free to add whatever you’d like to have discussed.