If I can figure out a reliable long range mesh networking solution that can be deployed for less than $50/node and works with commodity hardware and linux, I could bootstrap a community message board or a community wide intranet.
I feel like I'm having this conversation every three weeks, but I'm actually in a position to act on it now.
What hardware exists right now? What software? (I'll thread some.)
Coupled with that software I talked about in my other #mBBS thread that doesn't exist yet and you've got 'email' and 'blog' and 'forum' support.
(and, of course, nothing says that these things have to use ESP8266s. They could just exist on the internet.
But I'm thinking about a time when I no longer trust the internet at all, instead of only mostly mistrusting it like I do now.
And if that time ever comes, we will need to have been ready already.)
A lot of what I talk about and focus on WRT the new internet and my #mBBS project is very focused around using full computers or raspberry pis to emulate the way we interacted with an older system like a BBS or a mainframe or just the pre-web internet.
But the ESP8266 is so cheap, and way more powerful than a lot of folks realize. It has me thinking we could use it to create a new class of device, and a new kind of networked communication.
Half baked tech idea rambling
I've talked a little bit about the #mBBS thing I want to build.
The current iteration looks like this:
- Is a public message board, social network, private message system
- Does not rely on the domain name system (.onion at the moment, considering other options.)
- cannot be accessed from a web browser.
- Can federate peer-to-peer/node-to-node (Sorta! eventually!)
- Is largely powered by old BBS software, but won't be forever.
- Can be accessed over LAN
I haven't talked much about my Tor BBS project (or, well, anything) for a few weeks.
Let me catch up there.
I have done some experimentation with other BBS software solutions, because I didn't like the way the BBS I was using stored passwords.
It's going well! My only concern is that I think I want to move it to a pi 3 or a pi4 instead of a pi 0. Or maybe even in to a VM or a container on a more powerful system. The 0 just struggles with multiple connections.
After talking about my #mBBS project a lot yesterday, and thinking about it in detail for the first time in a while, I have decided a few things:
- I need to re-evaluate my assumptions and goals
- I need to run a private (or rather, public but not usenet) NNTP or UUCP usenet server for a few months (or more) and see what that is like today
- I need to figure out if it is possible to run a dialup BBS from an android phone, and experiment with that.
This idea comes up any time anything bad happens to the internet (Like, you know, the Net Neutrality rollback, or the pending European copyright clusterfuck)
Based on my experiments last night and today:
Also, it looks like the DAT package has an HTTP bridge built in, that I'll have to look at.
[Short thread, I won't overwhelm your timeline with my nerd shit today.]
Okay, Hashtag #interests time because I want to find more people!
Uhhh... I guess that'll do for now.
What are your #interests?
I write and build stuff.
Est. 1990. (He, Him, Etc.)
A social network for the 19A0s.