Ethnography/Interviews/Alcides

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Home < Ethnography < Interviews < Alcides

6 February 2013

Alcides became interested in mesh networking just a few months ago after a conversation with a mutual friend who'd just heard about the Commotion mesh project at Hackmeet 2013. When not working at his job at Safeway or tending to his wife and young son, he's been exploring the world of mesh technology. Currently, he's exploring with his own hardware and experimenting with different firmware, hanging out in #cjdns on irc.efnet.org, and reading up about Project Meshnet (spawned out of /r/darknet on reddit). A blog documenting his journey can be found at http://e64.us, which he intends to turn into a transparent repository of his research and project progress, along with videos and instructables!

Alcides lives in the Exelsior neighborhood of San Francisco, and is particularly interested in the capabilities of a mesh for streaming Creative Commons-licensed content to his neighbors (possibly using an Asterisk server). He also expressed a strong interest in reaching out to local businesses, and providing a means for connecting the community both digitally and physically - "So I could be at a coffeeshop, and chat with someone else on the network at another coffeeshop who would be all, 'Hey man! I'm at this other coffeeshop and there's music and it's awesome!' and I could close my laptop, 'ok, that's it for today!' and run on over."

Toward the end of the meeting we brainstormed some of the possibilities for engaging businesses and consumers in a community mesh project - for instance, providing a neighborhood corkbord for adding and viewing current/upcoming events, or providing distributed wireless access via the community mesh (thus promoting the community and the network of those supporting it). One of the core concerns that arose over the course of our conversation was the potential difficulty of training people to maintain their own servers and the potentially finicky nature of, for instance, OpenWRT. We decided that most business owners are "technological consumers," a useful category to add to the repertoire of roles constituting the variable map that is the reality of the false "digital divide" dichotomy.

He thought Tidepools looked cool, but we didn't go too in depth with it. I gave him a tour of sudo room, and he stayed for the Digital Divide meeting as well as the 510pen Mesh meeting, confirming on his way out that he looks forward to spending his Thursdays meshing with us all :D (my bad joke, not his!).

Alcides' Blog Feed

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