Microhomepages – Tiny networks on tiny devices

27th september 2014

The Internet connects us to others around the world in an instant; its global reach has long been its most compelling feature. But the novelty of being part of a planetary-scale electronic village is wearing thin— today, we exhaust ourselves managing our image on social networks, we fear for our privacy from government spies and corporate advertisers, we give up our data to be trusted and manipulated in a nebulous and shapeless “Cloud,” and we frustrate ourselves with a never-ending stream of information from far off places while we struggle to simply stay connected to the people sitting right next to us. Without a doubt, modern computational tools for communication are wonderful, but too often we have been forced to accept communications at a single speed and scale: fast, global Internet seems the only option.

In this workshop led by Sam Kronick of The Consortium for Slower Internet, participants will explore situations where we might desire to use the tools of networked applications on a radically smaller scale than accessing the global Internet. Participants will learn to use open source firmware (OpenWRT) running on small, inexpensive WIFI routers to build microhomepages— web apps that are only available to people within physical range of the WIFI signal.

In the first half of this all-day intensive workshop we will learn the necessary tools and set up our hardware; in the second half participants will have a chance to develop a microhomepage project on their own or in teams with other participants. Possible projects include blogs, file sharing services, bulletin boards, or shared calendars to serve a specific house, business, club, or community space.

Some experience with computer programming will be helpful (we will use the Python language), though any participant with an idea for a microhomepage project is welcome to join and form a team with others of mixed technical experiences.

Targeted to: Interested public with any idea to develop a micro site