You can usually find me in #ptp as webframp
Below content circa 2001:
why why why why why?
or what's in it for you?(why i am devoting _any_ resources to community WANS)
this seems to be a common question from many people i talk with. mainly ones who aren't involved with the project itself, and are often described as new(to computers in general) at best and techno-weenies at worst. this constant questioning of my motives has thus necessitated forming some sort of reasonable/rational explanation. as an unplanned side effect of said explanation i have excited many people about the possibilities available from community WirelessAreaNetworks (WANs), MobileAreaNetworks (MANs) and NeighborhoodAreaNetworks (NANs). i hope you are as excited as i am about the possibilities.
one factor so fascinating to me about the ideas of community mobile networking is how perfectly it seems to fit into the evolving computerized world we are living in. initially computers were unavailable to the general public, huge beige machines partioned off from everyone else by glass panes(if they were lucky) and monitored by scientist and other ph.d's in white labcoats. intimidating is definitely one description that comes to mind.
that all changed with personal computers, sudenly the machines that had been hidden behind glass and kept away from the general public were available, at least to some extent, to the general public. as people began to see the usefulness of computers in their personal lives their popularity grew more and more. the technology involved was pushed more and more, and more and more people became familiar with these formerly strange machines and leveraged the inumerable conveniences they offered. yet to a large extent, personal computers remained isolated, namely from each other, as people used their individual machines in private, alone in their homes and away from any interaction with other people(i was one of these people, thanks to my good ol' Apple-II).
networking began to change that, it started initially with a few connected systems that, underground and above board started to find one another again. a web of interaction started to grow, yet it faced certain problems. the lines used to access this growing network were owned by privately funded corporations intent on making a profit on what seemed to be a growing need/desire of these compter users. soon even the technology for setting up these networks was masked in a veil of technological secrecy crafted by the very ones making a profit on it's use. people started to become no longer leaders or innovators but followers in line with the desires of these companies. networking continued to grow and expand, and today people are dependant on the networks built both by many of these corporations and by entrepeneurs/innovators.
community wireless is the next step in our technical growth. we can loose any ties to a specific location we may have, your desk, office, home computer and move. freedom is the next step and everyone can enjoy it. true freedom will only come if everyone in their community takes a sustained personal interest in developing the type of connncted freedom that can only come from community effort. corporations are already starting to see the immense benefits to offering wireless access, wireless connectivity. the technology is not difficult and can be used by anyone with a desire to try.
but does connected freedom sound like an oxymoron to you? a bit of a contradiction perhaps, yet ask yourself about wireless connectivity, a widely accepted term to describe wireless networks. for years before computers people had personal networks. the chain of gossip that traveled from town to town, the news service, mail. all networks that connected people to information. worldwide connections are now what is possible thanks to the efforts of many individuals. but worldwide network connections loose a bit of their purppose if they are only accessible from designated locations. freedom means access anywhere, anytime. and it's possible, it's possible for everyone who wants it. that is why community is so important to building an open and available worldwide network. wireless networking isn't the same without the 'community'.
community wireless networks represent freedom for everyone who uses a computer, and the internet today. It's open, available and ideally free. It can only remain such with the support of everyone and anyone, and their personal contributions are what make it possible to continue building and adding to the growth of a worldwide free and open network.
some links that might help you understand more of my ideas on openness and freedom:
stuff contributed to ptp wiki -
number of wiki nodes at ptp - 42708 and growing....
last edited - 2002-07-16