Jason Levitt of Austin's LessNetworks outlined the platform approach to Seattle Wireless community networking group's monthly meeting: Last night, Levitt discussed how LessNetworks has built (and is about to release) an almost-turnkey system for enabling free hotspots. Less works hand-in-hand with Austin Wireless City Project: Less handles the software platform and back-end authentication operations, while Austin Wireless develops the volunteer organization and contacts venues to install and maintain free service.
The Less software is based on NoCatAuth, and one of the developers of that package, Rob Flickenger, was in attendance as well. NoCatAuth requires command-line knowledge, while the Less package is rebundles it into a full bootable, installable distribution. With an old PC in hand, a venue or volunteer can install the software, plug in an access point, and create an account at Less's authentication server. The venue can customize their local splash screen. Users create a Less account and agree to usage guidelines, and then can log in for free at all Less-enabled venues.
Less has the software almost ready to go and is in technical pre-release testing. When it's ready, anyone will be able to download a CD-ROM ISO image which can be burned on any platform, and used to boot a generic PC.
Also at last night's meeting, Matt Westervelt and Flickenger discussed the hardware that they're providing in kit form through their new company, Metrix Communication. The goal of this firm is to provide kits that put together the resources that formerly required many trips to many vendors and bulk orders. The company is working with undisclosed community networking partners, the principals said.
Peter Yorke of Seattlewireless TV was on hand to capture Levitt's talk, which will be edited and aired during the next broadcast.
|Many hands examine a completed Metrix box||Matt Westervelt shows models of their system||Matt Westervelt and Rob Flickenger|