Mesh/21 March 2017

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Sudomesh meeting - 21 March 2017


  • jenny, juul, jorrit, daniel, grant, andy, ian

ian: I am a techie. Was not at the event. Not a people person.

sesh on first ever BYOI internet event

what did you like about it

  • Daniel - lots of enthusiasm, participation, motivated sudomesh crew excited to make it happen. people excited about crimping cables! at one point 7-8 people around the table practicing
    • Didn't think people would be interested in learning crimping but many people were and even asked questions that Daniel had too look up the answer to
  • liked the visual display of the link propagation
  • jorrit: I was sitting at sign-in table. Liked handing out paperclips and things and liked telling the story "this is what you need to build your own internet". It was nice to be able to give something that you can put in your wallet (some people clipped the laminated ethernet crimping diagrams to their clothes with the router-resetting-paperclips)
    • asked people how they learned about the event - some saw it at the bus stop - flyering actually works!, saw on fb, word of mouth, one person from manylabs,
    • asked people if they found what they were looking for en route out - someone helping to run a library in marin (ivan!), wants to help work with oak libraries. teacher from CCA asking if we could give a lecture to her class - said "what's in it for us?" maybe have your students write the curriculum of what they want to learn about. sign-in table is v effective!
    • impressed by the talks and how it all came together. good to have even a slim structure to help with organizing people.
  • andy: crimping station and node mounting station got a lot of activity
  • grant: people receptive and talkative, engaged. lots of good questions, some of which i didn't know how to answer.
    • jenny: maybe we should have a live roleplay of how packets are transferred in a mesh network
  • grant: have people put stickers on a map
    • jenny: mesh speed dating
    • jenny: could have nametags that use color coding
  • jenny: great crowd.
  • "non-technical roles: community organizing, documentarians, educators, legal hackers, people who like to climb tall buildings...
  • didn't put in much effort, was very effective - don't want to see this balloon into an intensive project that takes a lot of effort
  • eve: really liked daniel's station and being walked through setting up the access point. could be a good demo, maybe projected on the wall. Will gave a really good talk. Pleasantly surprised by turnout and likes all the ideas that she's heard

learnings for next time

  • Daniel: need to have flyers and swag ready at least one day beforehand; help with proofreading (make how-to sheets more collaboratively-produced); wants to add photos to the how-to guides
  • jorrit: more of a process to see how people fit in - eg, learn the protocol, neighborhood outreach, etc
    • jenny: like a skills and interests assessment...
  • jenny: someone whose role is to document / take photos / take video
  • grant: handouts for each station?
  • andy: maybe make sense to have more talks. getting into firmware and radio propagation. but do them as breakout talks. use the main stage for general information and present the schedules.
    • grant: it'd be better since then we wouldn't have to repeat ourselves. had to repeat my intro to the babeld lab several times, maybe having a few set times in which a given station is intro'd
    • jenny: maybe two staggered times for different "tracks"
  • grant - wish i had something more comprehensive to hand to people in paper form
    • difficult to assess given number of people how many talks to have
  • jenny: maybe a more engineered flow. e.g. after they crimp the cable they should be able to plug it in and see it work.
  • daniel: screen was too small for people in the back. bring chairs to front or use bigger screen. or instead of having stage then have every station talk one at a time (with mic and amp) and have entire group move from station to station.
  • andy: de-emphasize the lecture aspect and emphasize the workshop aspect.
  • jenny: we should have given a brief "history of" to contextualize. how the group operates and the ethos of the project.
  • andy: one station just to answer question about security/practicality "don't trust the network" and "we run a vpn"
  • grant: we should have community outreach station that demo'd more of the comminications
  • jenny: we should practice (have a rehearsal) for at least the talks beforehand
  • leslie: would include more of an overview at the beginning - detailing the different stations available etc
  • daniel: assign people random numbers and make links ad hoc
  • jorrit: table for handing out routers
    • jenny: (maybe discount if they successfully flash their own router?)

next workshop

  • July 1st 2-5 pm

eve: Should we say "come back and it will be more in-depth" or something


  • ping Ivan about the library project, invite him to next meeting
  • get back to lady from CCA asking for an example curriculum - interested in
  • check in with jehan about stickers for the routers, work on a basic guide for setting up your node.

we need emojis

  • you should be able to easily explain exactly which emoji in e.g. 10 words or less
  • it should be reasonably unoffensive

should the SSID change when no internet present?

  • marc: if there are two nodes or more they can connect. but otherwise people will connect and not get internet and it's bad advertising. change the ssid automatically when there's no internet
  • jorrit: sounds like a problem we'd like to have... "peoplesopen doesn't work" and people actually log in and file an issue.
    • marc: could have a peoplesopen node that doesn't connect to the internet and that's what was intended..
      • jenny: longer-term may be a good way of promoting an oakland-based, independent internet with local services and alternatives to large corporate cloud providers, eg google
  • marc: may be intentional, or it's down because the neighboring node is down,


  • email the list if you wanna come / coordinate!
  • marc, jenny & jehan going so far
  • Vienna, June 5-11

NPR interview update

  • marc was supposed to do it today, but the reporter stopped responding
  • when/if it does air, we'll get a lot of media attention
    • jenny: should ensure we have our legal ducks in a row before then

board meeting

  • andy: discuss further the structure of the group and how we can organize it to be more productive
    • have been working with the DSA, very productive & organized, get a lot of things done
    • some broad areas, communication/outreach, software/monitoring, node mounting - propose some committees/working groups and have meetings focused on specific areas. more focus sense of ownership etc etc
  • daniel: this group seems much more self-motivated, dynamic - we have these groups already, so let's formalize that and let those in the groups decide how they meet / what they work on / etc
    • jorrit: something concrete / formalized to point people to based on how they'd like to participate
  • communications - blog, workshops, social media, press
  • outreach - node mounting, neighborhood engagement
  • software - firmware dev, network monitoring
  • jorrit: or we could just keep the general part shorter and then break out into different groups?
    • andy: people might want to be part of multiple groups

next meeting facilitator

  • if someone volunteers each week to facilitate the next meeting, can help keep us structured
  • facilitator responsibilities -
  • andy!