Month Six: Computer Adoption and Broadband Stimulus


Dear Broadband Stimulus,

Where are you?


Everyone but the peeps who already found out about their application.

Comment from Claudia Escobar on January 28, 2010 - 2:50pm

Hi Melissa! Thanks for your kind words! Your works seems exciting and technical. It was like reading German to me :x Hope everything is great in LA!

Month Five: Can Has Networks?


Projects are mostly slowing to a pausing point as the holidays and a little offtime approaches. Am prepping donated computers for the upcoming computer literacy/computer adoption class and following up with the participants.

My supervisor is leaving sometime around the end of January, so things are a little tenuous.

Month Two: Wikwikwik


Since my last report, a bunch of projects have progressed and a bunch more have begun. The wiki has been moving along. Almost all of the content is up, it's been reskinned, and I've added a translator and some access restriction extensions so we can store some somewhat "classified" information to it.

Comment from Mira Allen on October 7, 2009 - 4:28pm

Sounds like a great project! Keep us posted.

Comment from Mark Woodward on October 12, 2009 - 12:32pm

I'm very interested in the internet over power lines technology...any updates?

MuniWireless and Community Wireless


In late October, I flew out to San Jose to attend the MuniWireless '07 Silicon Valley conference. As a VISTA I run a project that provides free wireless Internet access to low-income residents of subsidized housing in Boston's South End neighborhood.

Comment from Morgan Sully on November 7, 2007 - 10:20pm

Hey Gabriel,
Morgan here from NAMAC. this is a great write up of your experiences at the MuniWireless conference. Do you have any pictures to accompany your post? are there any links to some of the reports you mention?

When I was a VISTA the San Diego community technology coalition, I compiled some reports on the digital divide and municipal broadband.

You can view the reports here: http://del.icio.us/sdctc

In the meantime, would you be interested in submitting your field report to either NAMAC or the next VISTA newsletter (or both)?

I think some accompanying pictures could be helpful for illustrating a bit of what you're talking about too.

Comment from Gabriel Fishman on November 7, 2007 - 11:07pm

Thanks for the compliment.

I'd be happy to submit it to either NAMAC or CTC VISTA, or both, whichever you think is appropriate. I didn't take any photos at the conference, but I'm sure that I can find appropriate pictures or graphics to illustrate. I didn't really know how to footnote the blog post, so I didn't bother, but I can definitely do that for publication.

Just let me know what the process and the deadline is.

OpenWRT, RAID Crashes, and a Truck


My first day at my host org, I arrived minutes before the moving truck. My organization got new digs and I was just in time to help set up. On Weds of that week, we had the annual staff retreat out on Watauga Lake, and I got a good introduction to all the staff and various projects going on here.

Comment from Ben Sheldon on July 11, 2007 - 1:20pm

Hi Sil,

it sounds like you got a good orientation to the organization. I wish we could have our PSO at the lake.

Sounds like you have a lot on your hands and that is always the time for a hardware failure. I hope you've backed up that sole hard drive :-)

I've used WDS at my house and it works pretty well. It does though halve your throughput (since half the bandwidth is reserved for inter-router communication). You probably won't notice this though. I've never used OpenWRT, but I'm a big fan of DD-WRT. Those linksys routers are pretty easy to come by---though watch out since the later hardware revisions won't run the custom linux firmware.

Thanks for the update!

Comment from danielle martin on July 11, 2007 - 4:54pm

Hey Sil,

Great post! I almost feel like I'm sitting there at work with you.

I went through quite a bit of work evaluating custom vs. open-source CMS options earlier this year with the StoriesForChange.net project, so let me know if you need any help in that area. We put out an RFP so I got a good range of proposals from folks doing everything from custom CMS to Plone to Drupal. [We went with somebody doing Drupal, btw, because they included a really great technology planning component to the project planning.]


Comment from Sil Greene on July 11, 2007 - 6:37pm

Well, technically I've installed X-WRT, which is OpenWRT plus the webif^2 configuration interface. DD-WRT is similar, running an OpenWRT kernel with a few added packages and a user-friendly web config. (Using OpenWRT naked is NOT for the faint of heart!)

Comment from Tony Brown on July 12, 2007 - 6:06pm

hey sile u can try to go into the router's config. & set one up as the gateway & one as a router that should fix the problem

Comment from Josh King on July 13, 2007 - 3:39pm

I've never had much opportunity to fiddle with it, but besides WDS you can also install OLSR through OpenWRT's package manager. It's an open-source mesh routing protocol, and while I'm not sure how much set up it requires, it can scale up to clouds of 5-10 nodes pretty easily (don't have exact specs for running it on WRT's, which are a little less than ideal for mesh node hardware). But it might be overkill for just two or three nodes. Of course the easiest way, unless you really need a reason for roaming through the building is just to partition the network. That's what we do here in our building, where we have "OpenUCIMC0-3" in different parts of the building, and they all route to the same physical subnet. If you can't run ethernet lines then you could also run two routers back to back, with one in wireless client mode and the other in AP mode. Finally, you could just get a big antenna. Super Cantennas (http://www.cantenna.com) have pretty great signal penetration, we use two to provide coverage in a pretty huge old stone building. You could hook one up to your first WRT and just blast it through the whole building (depending on layout and the kind of materials your building is made of). Or just use WDS, which would probably work fine too. Just wanted to suggest some other options.

Comment from Sil Greene on July 13, 2007 - 9:47pm

re: partitioning... are all your "OpenUCIMC0-3"'s on separate channels? or are they all sufficiently far away that they can all coexist on the same channel... we're in a building too big for the Linksys by itself, but too small to put to AP's on the same channel. hmmm. the antenna option might actually be the right one; i'll have to dig farther into that.

Comment from Josh King on July 17, 2007 - 4:56pm

I believe they are all on separate channels, though I'd have to go check to be sure. The thing to remember is that channels 1,6,and 11 are the only 802.11b/g channels which are fully orthogonal (if that's the right word). So if you have multiple routers, try and put them on those channels to minimize interference.

Madison Park WiFi Presentation from PSO


Here's a pdf of my presentation from the Pre-Service Orientation last week on my work at the CTC and wifi project.

madison park, roxbury maMadison Park Development Corporation provides 986 affordable rental housing units overall, with 546 units in the Village, consisting of over 1000 residents. (See the old project description).