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OLPC Mesh Networking Tester Explains How It Works 92

An anonymous reader writes "James Cameron is an engineer working on the OLPC project, specifically testing the wireless network capabilities of the OLPC XO laptop. Cameron lives in a small town called Tooraweenah in a remote region of the Australian outback. There is little noise in the spectrum in the area, so it's perfect for testing the wireless networking capabilities of the XO as it mirrors the kind of rural, spacious environment the XO is intended to be deployed in. Cameron breaks down exactly how the OLPC XO's mesh networking works, including the cheap US$35 solar powered mesh nodes that can be mounted on top of a tree to further the network's reach. Testing in the Australian outback, Cameron discovered that the range of the XO could go up to 1.6km 'quite easily' at 1.5m above ground. 'Assuming a range of 1.6km holds true, (the mathematical formula for area of a circle) Pi R squared tells us one well placed mesh node will cover up to eight square kilometers.' The article also includes numerous pictures of the mesh nodes and testing of the XO."
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OLPC Mesh Networking Tester Explains How It Works

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @10:26AM (#22635124) Journal
    I found this review to be logical and informative and therefore boring. So I decided to let a few key individuals weigh in on this and tell us exactly how this mesh network works.

    Senator Ted Stevens: "This here larptop isn't an intersection for trucks to just ... DRIVE over, no, it's a junction for that internet and also your own personal internets. See, just the other day, I got on this here thing and it sent out what I call a "searcher tube" looking for other laptops ... up to 1.5 km away. That's right, once a searcher tube finds another larptop or 'junction tube' then it connects to that and the series of tubes continues to grow. Unfortunately, this series of searcher tubes and junction tubes makes it highly probable that my messages get backed up in those tubes. Therefore, this will provide an own personal internet for poor children in countries we either need to invade or ignore but it will not, however, suffice for bridging islands in Alaska."

    The Reverend Billy Graham: "And lo, I did with God's good graces ask for power to be restored and replenished throughout the XO's motherboard thereby bringing the only free BIOS to life ... and it was good! Upon God's recognition of my authentication of that which you call "the login screen" a hand descended from the heavens. This hand stretched 3 km end to end and it was then clear to me then that this hand was intended not for me ... not for the rich ... not for the privileged but for the poor and pathetic chillun' of the world that need God's help. Now I have a method by which to contact them and teach them about God and ask them for weekly tithes! And when I realized that a TCP/IP connection had been made, I fell down on my knees and prayed to the Lord God for He is Good and Holy and brings life to these innate objects you call the XO laptop, Amen."

    Bob Dylan: "Yeah, ok so like, I got this laptop and it was pretty groovy but I had to put my Mac down because it was like I couldn't use two laptops at once ... so anyway the laptop like wanted to be alive so I hit the power switch, man, and then it was like *wham* *whiz* *whazzle* and suddenly like the thing could 'talk' to other things like 1.5 km away and I wasn't sure if it was the uppers I had just taken or if I really was connectin' to another machine or network that far away.

    Mitch Bainwol: "We have discovered that a new technology exists that is a threat to your safety & the economy and will further destroy our income in the near future. It allows criminals, drugs users and child molesters to contact each other freely and unmonitored up to 1.5 km away. They can trade ... no steal music at their leisure from a vast expanse of 1.5 km. They may already be using these laptops to steal your diamonds and moneys. Putting an XO laptop into your child's hands is only a gateway to crime and an early death. It's cheap price makes it easy to manufacture and distribute, we are here to warn you about the looming threat of a solid network of these devices stretching out across our free country. Thousands of children in other countries have received them already and their quality of life has plummeted. These laptops are sturdy and brightly colored, they are easily identifiable. Find people that have them and report them to the RIAA."
  • Skynet? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Serenissima ( 1210562 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @10:29AM (#22635152)
    James Cameron is working on computer networking technology? I think we see where this is going...
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @10:34AM (#22635214)
    Everybody says "Pi R squared", but pi are round. Cake are square.
  • by Malevolent Tester ( 1201209 ) * on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @10:42AM (#22635288) Journal

    Testing in the Australian outback, Cameron discovered that the range of the XO could go up to 1.6km 'quite easily' at 1.5m above ground. 'Assuming a range of 1.6km holds true, (the mathematical formula for area of a circle) Pi R squared tells us one well placed mesh node will cover up to eight square kilometers.'
    Test data should be extrapolated from to assist in promoting fear and despondency among project managers, not validating requirements. Please hand in your testing card at the next available opportunity and go and work in marketing where you belong.
  • by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @11:08AM (#22635596) Homepage Journal
    No, no, no. Pie ain't square, cornbreads is square.

    Yew ain't from aroun' here, are ya? *cocks shotgun*
  • by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @11:15AM (#22635724) Journal
    Bill Gates "The Microsoft MOLPC device embraces, enhances and extends the basic principles and standards already developed to afford the user a greater, more secure and trusted computing environment. When connected to the grid network, the MOLPC device interfaces with the local Exchange server (one per community) in order to provide a local communications hub. A local proxy server (one per community) affords secure, cached Internet access, further enhanced by the use of our specially modified MOLPC browser, user certificate and licensing programme. A community Licence Server (CLS) will ensure that all connected users are protected from non-genuine software and our hi-performance HotMesh2 network includes additional, proprietary protocol layers to ensure that unauthorised users operating with standard TCP/IP-based technologies cannot access the bandwidth. The required MOLPC hardware and software licences will be available from mobile vendors who will tour towns and communities on a scheduled basis in a Microsoft Jeep. Due to the additional security benefits and other enhancements we have added to the original OLPC framework for our MOLPC, some third party equipment may not have the processing power or software technology to operate over the MOLPC grid, but we feel that our approach offers superior the users. There is no truth in the rumour that MOLPC stands for Multiple Operating Licences Per Child."

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard