HubSys / DarkPi

human-system interfaces

Why the hiatus? —

I made a comment more than a month ago about how I had acquired a wifi dongle and would be testing the wifi capabilities of my Raspberry Pi. That didn’t exactly work out like I had planned.

The wifi adapter I obtained is the Linksys Compact Wireless-G USB Adapter with SpeedBooster (model number WUSB54GSC). While working through SirLagz’s tutorial on how to turn your Raspberry Pi into an access point, I ran into a few issues. Namely, the wifi adapter that I was (attempting) to use has some driver issues. I worked at it for a few hours, but didn’t make any significant progress. I’ve decided to not pursue this avenue, and instead purchase a long range wifi antenna of the sort I’ve mentioned in the past.

I’m not sure which one I’ll end up getting (although I’m leaning towards one of the Ubiquiti Wifistations), but when I decide I’ll post it here. I have a bit of cash from Christmas that I’ll be using, so while my budget isn’t large, it is larger than it was before.

In other news, I’ve run into a bit of tech that may both make the DarkPi more interesting and more feasible. It’s called “FreedomPop” (Forbes was running this article on it), and it’s a service that makes monthly internet (nearly) free. Put down a deposit, and you can get 500mb of 4g wireless access. Share that with others, and you can get free upgrades.

I haven’t tested it yet, but my thought is this: Instead of trying to make the DarkPi connect to the internet via any nearby open access points, why not use one of the USB dongles produced by FreedomPop? Ideally, each DarkPi would have one of these. A single DarkPi would be forced to directly connect to the internet through the dongle. But bill_mcgonigle mentioned in a comment on SlashDot that it might be possible to spread out the packets over all available connections. If this is possible, any request on a given node network could be distributed over a random number of nearby nodes, reducing both the bandwidth on any specific node, and protecting the anonymity of anyone on the network. I’m going to do a bit of digging to see if FreedomPop supports linux, or at least provides drivers usable on linux.

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