Community WiFi – Reloaded …(or “I won?!?”)

I really hope this isn't a scam. Before leaving on vacation I entered a contest for a MvixBox, by posting in the Tech Support Guy forums. This morning I checked my email, and it said that I won. I know, lots of spam say you won something... but in this case the original forum posting and the podcast back it up. What does this have to do with WiFi? Well, I have an extra Linksys Router, and I live in an area with many apartment buildings, and I'd love to share in a community network with some neighbours. But how to get people interested? How about if when a person connects to an open access point they get fast access to all sorts of open-source or community-commons files. Perhaps by seeing that little bit of value they'd consider sending me an email to learn a bit more about how to create a persistent network connection to share more... and grow from there. You have to start someplace, right? That MvixBox would be a nice standalone unit to provide safe storage for that access point, and it's a lot smaller and easier to manage than having a dedicated PC to do the same thing. Hopefully it will be the seed to something a lot more interesting in 2009...

How to meet the neighbors???

I live in a fairly high-density area: lots of apartment buildings. Looking out my window I can probably see a hundred other apartments facing me from several buildings on other streets. A perfect place for a community WiFi network? Apparently not: WiFi Usage I don't know how you find other WiFi/computer enthusiasts when they're all locked in other buildings with restricted access. With a street full of houses you could at least put some paper in the mailboxes to get the word out. Maybe I'll buy a couple hundred LED Xmas lights and punch them through a big square of cardboard to spell "802.11g" and put it up in my window for all to see. Christmas spirit and all that. Ho ho ho!