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Sim Day mentioned in the Mercury News (sorta) - MtnVwPilot

Sep. 23rd, 2006 01:43 pm Sim Day mentioned in the Mercury News (sorta)

San Jose Mercury News columnist Mike Langberg wrote about his visit to the TechReach Silicon Valley Sim Day that I helped organize last week. I didn't get mentioned in the article (no surprise, there were over 100 people there), but some of my work did:


Dieudonne Kamara, a network engineer with the European mobile phone company Telenor, was sitting inside what looked like the wooden frame of a phone booth, planted on the median strip of Garcia Avenue, near Highway 101 and Rengstorff Avenue.

On top of the structure was a satellite antenna about the size and shape of a laptop computer. The antenna was wired to a receiver, in turn connected to a car battery. This rig linked Kamara's notebook computer to the Internet, thanks to a satellite orbiting somewhere over Brazil.

The "wooden frame of a phone booth" was something I designed and built... ;-) It was actually considerably larger than a phone booth; it was a 4x4 foot platform, 8 feet in the air, built out of 2x4s and plywood. I built it specifically to get the satellite units up in the air, above peoples' heads and the landscaping, in hopes of getting a satellite signal. We had planned for it to sit in the parking lot, next to the corner of the tent that I'd staked out for networking gear, but we couldn't get any signal from there. It turned out that the only place we could get a reliable satellite signal was on the median strip in the middle of the street, so that's where the tower ended up... ;-)



Oh, yeah, and the shade canopy in the accompanying photo is mine, too; my Burning Man campmates will recognize it... ;-) The corner of the tent where I spent all day working on the network is just out of frame to the left.

Truth be told, designing and building the wooden platform was more fun than working on the network... I guess maybe I'm getting bored with this technology stuff, after 20+ years or so in the game.

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