Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mesh Networks: the Best Thing Involving Mesh Since Fishnets!

I suppose a little celebration is in order, because sometime later today I will be receiving a new motherboard by way of Fedex. This system build has been hell (I have since socketed two or three LGA775 processors at work without incident, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't my fault), but I can take at least a little solace in the fact that Asus was out of stock of the motherboard I bought and gave me the option of accepting an upgraded model, which I did with no hesitation. I doubt that Penryn support and PCI-E 2.0 are going to be all that big a deal for me (both will be outmoded by the time I have cash enough to upgrade or overhaul), but it's really just the sensation of getting something more after all this time, I think I would be positively crushed without it. This has certainly not been the most pleasant of projects for me, but I can now attest to you that if you buy some bum components from BFG or Asus, they're pretty decent about RMAs. For what it's worth, I'm a little bummed that the two companies I chose to buy from on reputation (well, the BFG 8800 was also on a CRAZY sale online, but I digress) were the ones which yielded the bad components which have so delayed my build.

The watercooling system will probably be drained and set aside for some time. I may very well elect to mount it on a practice system or two before I bring it to bear upon the mighty quad-core system.

I should feel more excited, but at this point I can barely remember why it should be so.

On the subject of computers, I read today that Intel is attempting to give notebook wi-fi connections the functionality of bluetooth, such that your laptop will be able to serve as a base-station for printers, cameras, and pretty much anything else wireless. Setting aside the obvious security threats, and the eerie prevalence of microwave-band radiation in an ever more wireless society, I want to look at the potential good of this technology and its future derivatives. I think the first thing people should look at with this tech is the potential for an OLPC-like mesh network, whereby everyone with a wireless-enabled device becomes part of a Great Chain, if you will. Wi-Fi can only extend so far from a base-station, but imagine what would happen if signals could be relayed from router to laptops to smartphones to coffee shops...it would, in essence, be like a cheaper version of Wimax, albeit a gigantic Kludge. On top of this, suppose these connections relayed more than data? What if they broadcast your mood, or anything else you wanted people to know about you? Peripherals are NOT ENOUGH, Intel! Everything from computing power, to a common interest in videogaming should be shared across the great wireless interconnections of tomorrow's laptop!

Where this gets really cool is when you overlay the two ideas. Suppose you want to know what it's like outside? The smartphone of a woman passing by the coffee shop window relays temperature data and a picture of the sky, or perhaps an amateur meteorologist has a whole set of instruments and cameras streaming content over wireless? Well, you could find that, too. The girl or guy in the corner thinks you're cute, and so sends a note to your wireless printer. You speak into your microphone, and the signal is broadcast to his or her wireless headphones, etc. Granted, this is a specific and idealistic case, but it would just be so damn cool if you could play with EVERYTHING wireless in a room. It could turn anything into a game, anywhere into a classroom, or a party, and hell, it could probably order your coffee for you! Maybe even report spills to the local roomba/scooba bots!

For crotchety people who hate new ideas and fun, you could simply build in a toggle switch to allow or disallow foreign access by hardwiring of some kind. Maybe use a different encryption scheme for public mesh networking, and then the toggle switch could physically disconnect the main Wi-Fi receiver part from the public decoder chip, or something. Not being a microcircuitry guru, I wouldn't know what to do.

Final Note: public party buttons. AWESOME



No comments:

Some Rights Reserved

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.