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A question of communication

A wee problemOnce camping in a field meant being well out of touch, but today your ‘umble scribe at the Ragged Hedge Fair has sent a birthday greeting to his sister by text message and phoned the family on a VoIP telephone (routed via satellite, back to earth in Germany, Bath, Switzerland, back to the UK and then breaking out into the telephone network for the final leg ) – all quite wonderful if it is remembered how isolated one could be in the same situation just a couple of decades ago. Unfortunately, sometimes the most basic communications can fail, but the best has to be made of a bad job, as the image shows.

Day dawned bright and sunny at Cirencester and there’s a bit more breeze for Magrec Ltd. to keep us running. Magrec, our neighbours here, have some very interesting bits and pieces, including small solar rechargers just suitable for mobile telephones, although our Rich is hesitating over whether to buy one(at 12 quid they cost more than his phone. Ed. 🙂).

Steady traffic has flowed through the cybertent all day, although working here has been a very relaxed affair. Our only casualty to date has been one of our new Evo T20 thin clients, which has decided to turn into a brick, although Bails has the expertise to revive it. The wireless access has been working perfectly, except when someone closes the van door… (name(s) omitted to spare the blushes of the guilty! Ed.). On the plus side, there’s been plenty of interest in Linux and open source and our setup has impressed visitors and users – a good weekend for advocacy.

We’re taking down and heading back to Bristol tomorrow with some good memories and souvenirs; will it be good to sleep on a mattress again?

3 Responses to A question of communication

  1. Martin September 3, 2007 at 5:58 pm #

    Fascinating conversations with one of the team whose name I didn’t collect inspired me to find out more about that network thing where the stations have no cpu – (I’m not a technician)

    Ragged hedge = Haggard Reg – least that’s how I felt by Sunday afternoon

  2. Steve Woods September 4, 2007 at 10:34 am #


    Hope you had as good a time at the Ragged Hedge as the Bristol Wireless crew did; we all had a very pleasant time indeed.

    The setup we use is called LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project), where the entire suite is run off one server – in the case of last weekend a laptop. The thin clients have no hard drives and a minimal amount of memory (e.g. 32 MB); their main purpose is the provide somewhere to plug in a keyboard, mouse and screen.

    More details can be found on this wiki page, if you’re interested. We also have installation details for the really keen.


  3. martin September 9, 2007 at 1:13 pm #

    Brilliant thanks – I tried to relay what I’d learnt to James at Boundless in Deptford ( in my garbled fashion so your reply will help a lot.