PirateBox: an "artistic provocation" in lunchbox form
When NYU art professor David Darts shows people his lunchbox, "a smile just starts creeping up on their face."
Painted black with a white skull-and-crossbones, the metal box doesn't hold a pastrami on rye; instead, it's stuffed with networking equipment and batteries, and it hosts a Debian Linux install running a barebones Python-powered Web server. The goal of this "PirateBox": to create an open file-sharing network in any public space, and to do with total privacy.
Inside the PirateBox sits a Free Agent Dockstar, an Asus WL330GE wireless router, and a SanDisk 16GB flash drive. The software, including Debian Linux and the DD-WRT open-source router firmware, is all free. The total build cost is under $100, not counting the lunchbox enclosure and the optional battery pack (the PirateBox can alternately run on AC power).