|Oct. 7th, 2005 12:31 pm Starting to wind things up here|
Well, I'm leaving Mississippi tomorrow afternoon, staying overnight in Pensacola FL tomorrow night, and heading home on Sunday morning, so I'm starting to wind things up here... Mostly, that means writing documentation; getting various network design details and thoughts and to-do items out of my head and onto (virtual) paper, so that somebody else can pick up the ball and run with it. 1 comment - Leave a comment
We've finally had a stable, working network for most of the last couple of days. Jeff and Don are out today, adding a couple of more sites. At the moment, we've got 7 sites online, and should get at least 2-3 more online today. Each site serves anywhere from dozens to thousands of people, so I feel pretty good about what we're accomplishing.
The biggest challenge is maintaining Internet connectivity for the network. Our primary link (terrestrial microwave to an MCI-donated 45 Mb/s DS-3 in Gulfport) has been down for days because of radio interference problems, and we've been using the Hancock County EOC's backup satellite link; if they lose one of their primary satellite links, though, we'll get bumped off and be scrambling for Internnet connectivity again.
The network is an amazing amalgam of donated hardware; mostly Trango 900MHz radios (sorta like WiFi, but on different frequencies and working over several miles rather than just several hundred feet) and Linksys routers (the ubiquitous little black-and-blue boxes), plus a couple of Linux boxes and a few other things thrown in for good measure. I've greatly enjoyed figuring out how to take the boxes of hardware we had on hand, and make a functioning network out of it; it's sorta like Junkyard Wars for IT geeks, though with a much more serious purpose in mind. The network we've built isn't pretty, but it's functional, and that's saying a lot given the conditions. Those of you who've worked with me, know that that's exactly the kind of challenge I enjoy.
Well, more volunteers are coming in soon; the number ebbs and flows. Hopefully they'll take the time to understand what we did, and why, and build upon it.