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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 Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @12:34PM (#22636790) Homepage

    Bottom line - OLPC network mesh software is pre-alpha.

    Just because the OLPC is designed to use the entire WiFi band for its mesh network *does not* imply that it's not a mature design, just that it wasn't designed to co-exist with other WiFi networks on the same band.

  • by monkeyboythom ( 796957 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @01:02PM (#22637218)

    You are new to life in general, aren't ya? Didn't anyone tell you that humanity, as a collective, is a lazy and sheep-like group? The autonomous consumer telco is the urban fantasy that is right up there with growing your own vegetables, weaving/sewing your own clothes, and "living off the grid."

    Sure, there are examples of people doing just that, but how many others are there that simply want to live without the "hassle" of being self sufficient.

    A no or low cost Autonomous consumer owned telecommunication infrastructure is what will evolve out of this. No more cable, internet, or cell phone bills.
  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @01:45PM (#22638132) Homepage

    Dude. Mesh is not for synchronous communication. Centralized, synchronous services like WWW just aren't going to happen on mesh.

    What can happen is something a synchronous like Usenet or E-mail. You could even supplement the existing network with vehicle-mounted hot points. Postal trucks, mobile health clinics, bookmobiles, and other services make the rounds regularly. No reason why they can't spool or relay messages at each stop.

    Besides, centralized services like WWW are too easy to censor. Mesh can help drive a new round of freedom of communication, if it can steer clear of proprietary codecs and formats entirely.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."