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Now that was a pretty amazing meeting. I got to the UG early to rest a
bit before the storm but wound up talking or cramming on learning things from
3pm till about 9pm...6 hours of action packed educational filled PTP
Now that was a pretty amazing meeting. I got to the UG early to rest a bit before the storm but wound up talking or cramming on learning things from 3pm till about 9pm...6 hours of action packed educational filled PTP
Line 107: Line 105:
 * Phil Busse popped into the UG early on my time there and we had a
chance to talk about the community center the city is inching
towards making at the old Washington Monroe High School site. Win loose or
draw it sounds like Phil has an interest in the project and a PTP vector
is something that he has thought about. Who knows what will happen with
all things political but its good to be able to bump into folks interested
in this sort of thing at the UG
 * Phil Busse popped into the UG early on my time there and we had a chance to talk about the community center the city is inching towards making at the old Washington Monroe High School site. Win loose or draw it sounds like Phil has an interest in the project and a PTP vector is something that he has thought about. Who knows what will happen with all things political but its good to be able to bump into folks interested in this sort of thing at the UG
Line 115: Line 107:
 * Its good to have Lonnie back. We got a chance to talk before the masses
descended on the UG about PTP merch, art work, the Computerbits PTP nodes
page and the whole Austin<>Portland thing.
 * Its good to have Lonnie back. We got a chance to talk before the masses descended on the UG about PTP merch, art work, the Computerbits PTP nodes page and the whole Austin<>Portland thing.
Line 119: Line 109:
 * Sams bike project is damn interesting. The lessons learned just from
the batteryfu is going to be interesting.
 * Sams bike project is damn interesting. The lessons learned just from the batteryfu is going to be interesting.
Line 122: Line 111:
 * Keegan getting Nigel's wireless Sip phone working was inspiring and a
bit freaky. Having a convo with someone in the same room on a sip phone
calling to a cellphone over FWD is like trying to talk to a Shaolin Master
in a chopsockey flick with a bad dub track. You see their lips move but
don't hear the words for about 1 second or so. Voip and all that rocks,
just don't do it with folks you can see speaking, unless your into that
sort of thing and then its a great experience. "you killed my master, now
we fight.."
 * Keegan getting Nigel's wireless Sip phone working was inspiring and a bit freaky. Having a convo with someone in the same room on a sip phone calling to a cellphone over FWD is like trying to talk to a Shaolin Master in a chopsockey flick with a bad dub track. You see their lips move but don't hear the words for about 1 second or so. Voip and all that rocks, just don't do it with folks you can see speaking, unless your into that sort of thing and then its a great experience. "you killed my master, now we fight.."
Line 131: Line 113:
 * Andrew Wood stepping up and laying the whole AUP / NoCat / Sip / Voip
/ Port/Emerging-Tech issue out and calling for our next weekly to be the
day we focus our efforts starting to craft the actual solution was
perhaps the momentum starter of the whole meeting. Having some one step
up and move beyond the debate to get us to a place we are working on an
actual solution is one of the keys to making the PTP more than just a
group that flaps its gums with nothing to show for it. There are lots of
folks who helped build up to this moment at to them Hats Off. Now onto the
fun of doing.
 * Andrew Wood stepping up and laying the whole AUP / NoCat / Sip / Voip / Port/Emerging-Tech issue out and calling for our next weekly to be the day we focus our efforts starting to craft the actual solution was perhaps the momentum starter of the whole meeting. Having some one step up and move beyond the debate to get us to a place we are working on an actual solution is one of the keys to making the PTP more than just a group that flaps its gums with nothing to show for it. There are lots of folks who helped build up to this moment at to them Hats Off. Now onto the fun of doing.
Line 141: Line 115:
 * Ewrt look dang interesting. Buy a 80$ Linksys WRT54g, slap in their
customized firmware and you have a wireless/wired AP, router, NoCat
splashing, other cool things sprouting box. A couple of issues were raised
about the legality of distributing what they are, I would like to hear
more of the pluses and minuses of it here. I'm interested enough to want
to get a box and play around with it.
 * Ewrt look dang interesting. Buy a 80$ Linksys WRT54g, slap in their customized firmware and you have a wireless/wired AP, router, NoCat splashing, other cool things sprouting box. A couple of issues were raised about the legality of distributing what they are, I would like to hear more of the pluses and minuses of it here. I'm interested enough to want to get a box and play around with it.
Line 148: Line 117:
 * Less Networks gave a great presentation of how another group i s
unwiring a city. the city is Austin Texas, yes that very city Lonnie has
been kvelling about. What they are doing is a lot like what the PTP is
doing with a couple of key differences. The big one is they have a couple
of moneymoney players and work with other city groups as a loose
a
ffiliation. They require user names and passwords to log onto their nodes
and they have a central server to handle that and other distribution
issues. They also crafted a HotSpot-On-A-CD solution for setting up nodes,
something that I have been interested in for a while now. In the last
couple of months there have been a couple of HotSpot-On-A-CD solutions and
I think it might be time to grab some PTP mind share and look into learning
from whats out there and crafting our own flava.
 * Less Networks gave a great presentation of how another group is unwiring a city. the city is Austin Texas, yes that very city Lonnie has been kvelling about. What they are doing is a lot like what the PTP is doing with a couple of key differences. The big one is they have a couple of moneymoney players and work with other city groups as a loose  ffiliation. They require user names and passwords to log onto their nodes and they have a central server to handle that and other distribution issues. They also crafted a HotSpot-On-A-CD solution for setting up nodes, something that I have been interested in for a while now. In the last couple of months there have been a couple of HotSpot-On-A-CD solutions and I think it might be time to grab some PTP mind share and look into learning from whats out there and crafting our own flava.
Line 162: Line 120:
 * Lots of talk was had between, after and ,yes, during ("one meeting at a
time please") the meeting. Lots. Finding the time to act on all the ideas
that went thru my cranium would be a full time sleep dep task..which don't get
me wrong I am not shying from but we need more folks working on things. It
was great talking to folks who are looking for new nodes in their hoods
and to folks working on projects they want to bring into the PTP.
Distributing the work load is key to what we want to be and the sheer
amount of things that need doing to be it.
 * Lots of talk was had between, after and ,yes, during ("one meeting at a time please") the meeting. Lots. Finding the time to act on all the ideas that went thru my cranium would be a full time sleep dep task..which don't get me wrong I am not shying from but we need more folks working on things. It was great talking to folks who are looking for new nodes in their hoods and to folks working on projects they want to bring into the PTP. Distributing the work load is key to what we want to be and the sheer amount of things that need doing to be it.
Line 171: Line 122:
 * Mac, Brenda and the Crew of the UG are truly an asset to the PTP.
The space, the atmosphere, the coffee...of all the places we meet up as a
group the UG is hands down my fave.
 * Mac, Brenda and the Crew of the UG are truly an asset to the PTP. The space, the atmosphere, the coffee...of all the places we meet up as a group the UG is hands down my fave.
Line 175: Line 124:
There is tons more but I have just ran out of coffee. Id like to hear
other folks impression of the meeting.
There is tons more but I have just ran out of coffee. Id like to hear other folks impression of the meeting.

Personal Telco Monthly Meeting for April 28th 2004

When and Where

Urban Grind Coffee 2214 NE Oregon St. (take 22nd Ave. 2 blocks North of Sandy Blvd.)

Wednesday, April 28th, 6pm-9pm

Agenda

  • 6:00PM - Introduction to Personal Telco for newcomers.
  • 6:30PM - New node announcements
  • 6:45PM - Irving Popovetsky and Brandon Psmythe of ProStructure

  • 7:15PM - Jason Levitt of Less Networks
  • 7:45PM - Business followed directly by informal meet and greet.

Speakers

ProStructure

Announcing Ewrt: a Linux distribution for the Linksys WRT54G, forked from the Linksys and Sveasoft code bases. The primary focus of Ewrt is to meet the needs of open wireless network operators by providing a captive portal based on NoCatSplash and large-scale management functionality on a stable and low-cost platform.

Company Bio: [http://www.prostructure.com/ ProStructure] Consulting was founded in 2003 by Brandon Psmythe and Irving Popovetsky following ten years of engineering experience at companies such as Intel, Sprint, UUNet and NetIQ/Webtrends. ProStructure provides high-end network design, information security and DoS defense consulting to advanced IT shops all over the West coast.

Portless Networks is our side project to provide professional wireless deployment services to Enterprise and Commercial real-estate customers. We are also reducing the barrier-to-entry for open wireless network operators with our WRT54G-based platform.

Less Networks

"How Less Networks Helped the Austin Wireless City Project Beat T-Mobile in Six Months"

[http://www.lessnetworks.com Less Networks] creates free software that allows people to create customer-branded Free WiFi hotspots in their community. They've partnered with the [http://www.austinwirelesscity.org Austin Wireless City Project], Austin's community-based wireless user group, to promote free WiFi in Austin.

Agenda Items

  • EarthDay Recap

  • New Nodes This Month
    • Powells Books World Cup
    • Portland Indi Media
  • Wolrd Wide War Drive Info
  • Workshops
  • Node Status
    • (whats up , whats down, what in the works, what need help)
    • Subway getting more bandwidth
    • Backspace upgrade
    • Hostel upgrades

Here's Sam Churchill's Review

Portless Networks, which gave the first of two presentations at the Thursday meeting, is testing a Linksys WRT-54G modification that embeds NoCat inside. The modified Linksys Box, unveiled at last night's PersonalTelco meeting, embeds NoCat captive portal software inside the small, popular 802.11g Linkys box which can be found in office supply stores for around $80. By flashing the on-board memory, coffee shops and other venues can plug the modified Linkys Box directly into a DSL or Cable Modem. It's designed to encourage the proliferation of "free spots" in small businesses.

Currently "free" networks like PersonalTelco, SeattleWireless and others use a computer (either a PC or a Soekris board) running NoCat Auth which provides a splash page and manages the "free" wireless side of a broadband connection. The small, one piece solution promises to make installation of "free spots" much less cumbersome.

While Rob Flickenger’s splash54g and Brian Beattie's BeWitched do much the same thing, developers Irving Popovetsky and Brandon Psmythe of Portless Networks, claim they have improved the reliabily of those earlier efforts.

Their software modification requires version 2 (v2) of the Linksys WRT-54G hardware which features a 200mhz MIPS processor, 4mb flash and 16mb of memory. Right now, it's a free effort and still in a testing stage.

Linksys recently embedded Boingo software into their $200 WRV54G but that device does not use an open source base and cannot use the software developed by Portless Networks directly. Similar one-piece access points are available from Sputnik, Fatport, Pronto and Soekris.

For further information see ProStructure Consulting, Seattlewireless Linksys WRT54G page, The Sveasoft Forums, Jim Buzbee's Batbox wrt54g Linux distribution, Rob Flickenger’s splash54g, Linksys GPL code center, The OpenWRT project, and The Wifi-box project. They like Bob Hestand (503) 704-1247 for hardware distribution.

The second presenter, Jason Levitt of Less Networks, reviewed their community LAN solution. The free community lan software allows people to create customer-branded Free WiFi hotspots. They've partnered with the Austin Wireless City Project, Austin's community-based wireless user group, to promote free WiFi in Austin.

What differentiates their free community lan software? Less Networks has simplifed the installation and uses a centralized server to authenticate. Then it re-directs users to the host's website. The Less Networks software requires you to create a user name and password (although there is no charge). The central server architecture provides centralized management and security funtions. The complications of installing NoCat currently require alpha geek skills. The Less Network's free kickstart software/disk (which just became available last night on SourceForge - somewhere), will enable a "headless" (no keyboard/monitor) and will include the Red Hat distribution and NoCatAuth.

Some PersonalTelco members wanted to know the Less Networks business model; i.e. if it was giving away the software for free, would it sell information about users? Levitt claimed they would not. He said the plan is to (hopefully) make money on premium services. Less Networks primary goal and requirement is free Internet access, he said. Easy installation is the Less Networks key to "beating T-Mobile" [at their own game].

The advantages of using the Less Networks auth server include:

  • Don't need to set up your own auth server or get someone to let you use theirs
  • It's a reliable, professionally-managed public auth server
  • It provides a venue admin with a UI to brand the gateway captive portal (jpg, description, other venue details)
  • It enables users to use their account to login on any of the gateways using the server (currently 18, all in Austin)
  • It's integrated into a growing community of 1700 users who can:
    • o publish personal profiles and browse the published profiles of others o venue-to-venue chat and network-wide chatting. o networkwide IMing (without divulging actual AIM or Yahoo nicks)

      o read/submit/search articles on WiFi categorized by "industry news", "geek," and "general user"

      o venue-specific discussion forums for venue owners to communicate with their WiFi users and for WiFi

  • users to communicate back and with each other

TomHiggins 's Recap

Now that was a pretty amazing meeting. I got to the UG early to rest a bit before the storm but wound up talking or cramming on learning things from 3pm till about 9pm...6 hours of action packed educational filled PTP goodness.

Some Points I picked up during the night

  • Phil Busse popped into the UG early on my time there and we had a chance to talk about the community center the city is inching towards making at the old Washington Monroe High School site. Win loose or draw it sounds like Phil has an interest in the project and a PTP vector is something that he has thought about. Who knows what will happen with all things political but its good to be able to bump into folks interested in this sort of thing at the UG
  • Its good to have Lonnie back. We got a chance to talk before the masses descended on the UG about PTP merch, art work, the Computerbits PTP nodes page and the whole Austin<>Portland thing.

  • Sams bike project is damn interesting. The lessons learned just from the batteryfu is going to be interesting.
  • Keegan getting Nigel's wireless Sip phone working was inspiring and a bit freaky. Having a convo with someone in the same room on a sip phone calling to a cellphone over FWD is like trying to talk to a Shaolin Master in a chopsockey flick with a bad dub track. You see their lips move but don't hear the words for about 1 second or so. Voip and all that rocks, just don't do it with folks you can see speaking, unless your into that sort of thing and then its a great experience. "you killed my master, now we fight.."
  • Andrew Wood stepping up and laying the whole AUP / NoCat / Sip / Voip / Port/Emerging-Tech issue out and calling for our next weekly to be the day we focus our efforts starting to craft the actual solution was perhaps the momentum starter of the whole meeting. Having some one step up and move beyond the debate to get us to a place we are working on an actual solution is one of the keys to making the PTP more than just a group that flaps its gums with nothing to show for it. There are lots of folks who helped build up to this moment at to them Hats Off. Now onto the fun of doing.

  • Ewrt look dang interesting. Buy a 80$ Linksys WRT54g, slap in their customized firmware and you have a wireless/wired AP, router, NoCat splashing, other cool things sprouting box. A couple of issues were raised about the legality of distributing what they are, I would like to hear more of the pluses and minuses of it here. I'm interested enough to want to get a box and play around with it.

  • Less Networks gave a great presentation of how another group is unwiring a city. the city is Austin Texas, yes that very city Lonnie has been kvelling about. What they are doing is a lot like what the PTP is doing with a couple of key differences. The big one is they have a couple of moneymoney players and work with other city groups as a loose ffiliation. They require user names and passwords to log onto their nodes and they have a central server to handle that and other distribution issues. They also crafted a HotSpot-On-A-CD solution for setting up nodes, something that I have been interested in for a while now. In the last couple of months there have been a couple of HotSpot-On-A-CD solutions and I think it might be time to grab some PTP mind share and look into learning from whats out there and crafting our own flava.

  • Lots of talk was had between, after and ,yes, during ("one meeting at a time please") the meeting. Lots. Finding the time to act on all the ideas that went thru my cranium would be a full time sleep dep task..which don't get me wrong I am not shying from but we need more folks working on things. It was great talking to folks who are looking for new nodes in their hoods and to folks working on projects they want to bring into the PTP. Distributing the work load is key to what we want to be and the sheer amount of things that need doing to be it.
  • Mac, Brenda and the Crew of the UG are truly an asset to the PTP. The space, the atmosphere, the coffee...of all the places we meet up as a group the UG is hands down my fave.

There is tons more but I have just ran out of coffee. Id like to hear other folks impression of the meeting.

MeetingApril2004 (last edited 2007-11-23 18:02:37 by localhost)