Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I went down to the Cambridge, Massachusetts lab of One Laptop Per Child today to find out what they’re doing with mesh networks. This was a particularly appropriate day for a blog on OLPC, because today they’re launching a fifteen-day-long purchasing opportunity called Give One Get One. You pay them for two of their brightly colored, impressively lightweight computers, and one goes to a child in a developing nation, while the other goes to you.
But the whole point of this blog is that a One Laptop Per Child system has limited value on its own. Its most innovative and powerful features lie in its participation in a mesh network with other laptops. So get your neighbors and workmates to buy them too!
What’s happening at the application level
There must be some kind of lesson in the amusing miscommunications that led up to my visit to the One Laptop Per Child lab. I had been talking to a number of people in Europe where very advanced open-source mesh networking is taking place. One of them suggested I talk to a developer named Michalis Bletsas, and I elaborately set up an exchange of Skype account names along with an ideal time to call. Once we got connected, I found out he was located a fifteen-minute subway ride from me.