Location: House of TomHiggins
Planned Start Time: 12 Noon
Actual Start Time: 12 Noon
Meet and Greet / Setup
Reset the house AP from private wep mode to public mode. ssid=www.personaltelco.net
Folks came on in fairly close togther around noon. We futzed with pcmcia and usb nics until everyone got connected. There were 3 Windows laptops, an Apple laptop and a Newton. Nics worked with were Linksys PCMCIA and USB, Apples internal, a Netgear PCMCIA and a Silver Lucent.
Questions and Answers
Lots of questions on getting various nics to connect and stay connected. Went over the use of NBTSTAT and NETSTAT on windows to clear routes and examine the state of your computers connections. The newbe pages need to cover these topics.
Lots of Antenna talk. Jack and Dennis were the two pros fielding all sorts of questions and putting each other on the spot.
A good tool for monitoring what your nic is seeing (hearing) is Wlanexpert.This works great for the Linksys pcmcia card and some Prism based cards, but not the Linksys usb.
Talk of setting up direct connections between each others nodes came up. This dovetailed nicely into the antenna talk as the network skills of the others meshed with the antenna skills of the pros. It was pointed out that a method of setting up a small scale MAN is very doable with a few more meetings.
Do we need the Internet? Yea, but not for everything. Talk of local content on the MAN was brought up.
Does living in an apartment exclude folks from getting involved in the MAN? Somewhat, but not totaly. LOS and increased users covering even small areas would lessen the problem of not "owning" roof space.
Speaking of roof space, who has some? Tom and Jack both are poised to mount thier antennas and APs. Is anyone in LOS of them? Does anyone else have roof space to put up an AP and a antenna, if not to host an Internet connection then simply to host the equipment as a bridge / link to others who do?
Simple to set up low cost equipment in LOS locations will get the network built today. The future is on the shelves waiting to be had.
The need to get folks simple, easy to follow instructions on setting up APs, nodes and connectivity is key to increasing the coverage area. The more coverage the better chance people will get involved.
Next meeting:Feb 2003 (Feb 23 2003) NewbieWorkshop02
Topic: Reach Out and Connect to Someone
Everyone seemed excited about building out the network with low cost accessable solutions. If its doable now, why wait? The next gathering will probably include building some sort of homebrew antenna (equipment lists and background needed to do this to be posted soon), a look at some kits Jack and Dennis mentioned at this meeting, begin work on forming connections to each others nodes (proof of concept, work out the kinks, make it happen) and more Questions and Answers on all sorts of topics as we go.
Links Of Interest For The Next Meeting