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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
10 pc Cybercafe for 30ukp!!!!
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan 2007, 00:41    Post subject: Cybercafe Revamp
Subject description: One Long Christmas
 

Well, christmas has been, and myself and a team of volunteers spent most of it camped out at the centre working our way through a Mercedes Sprinter van full of second user p.c.'s from a local school (they had been quoted £500 for their removal, so I suppose that makes the cybercafe in credit to the taxpayer!). We got a host of goodies all prime for puppying. There was one hairy moment when the centre manager came back from the christmas break a day early to find this...


(The "Before" Shot)

However it was all shipshape and in order by the time "Mr Goose" came to visit on the 5th (thanks for the photo Mr Goose).


(the "After" shot)

All of the computers have been replaced with 10 operationally identical DAN pentium 600/700 machines with 192mb RAM and 4.3gig hard disks, with two spare terminals and a spare smoothwall server Having identical hardware will make software upgrades much easier to implement. We have also upgraded the smoothwall router to the latest service release on a matching DAN 566mhz celeron, as well as replaced the unreliable speedtouch modem that was the cause of so much of the trouble previously with a new donated wireless netgear 4 port ADSL wireless model. This provides separate connectivity and security from the "legacy" windows XP admin computer,. Wink This is a pentium 2ghz which is currently the slowest computer in the building.

All of the old machines, along with a extra "frankensteins" that weve managed to ressurect with the spares, the community centre is selling off ( £30-£70 depending on spec) to raise the funds for an arial and wrt54g routers for our planned wireless community LAN. This will provide internet access at either £5 per month to the local residents (no 12 month contract) or one hour of voluntary work for those that cannot afford that. It will also supply access to our local community currency website (scunnymoney.com) and our newly launched regiving website at www.regive.org.uk. This is a message board for items that are no longer needed and available for free. Both sites are heavily modified phpbb installations that were programmed entirely under puppy linux Very Happy

The centre is also running free beginners and intermediates computer classes every wednesday, and has just got the go-ahead to start a new "cyberactivism" taster course. This will be teaching local activists of all political pursasions the use of new media technologies under Linux such a blogging, vlogging, secure email and messaging, youtube, and general social networking). All of the courses will have an emphasis on Open Source and how it is developed (expect a few new faces on here!).

Currently eight of the machines are dual booting Puppy Linux 1.09ce and Edupup 1.1 (which we are field testing on behalf of of GioveLUG) using a GRUB bootloader (thanks to GuestToo, WhoDo and muggins from the forum for their valuable assistance in this). The remaining two machines are field testing a new dual boot Edupup/Puppy 2.02 with AMSN 0.96, CUPS Java 1.5, Firefox 2.01, Limewire and Full Openoffice (thanks to WiseOwl9000 for AMSN, pakt for CUPS and MU for all of the others). This system will be rolled out onto the other eight within a few weeks when testing is complete (thanks to Dougal with his instructions on how to modify the initrg.gz boot file, and Slapshot for implementing them in Edupup, see here)

Our other plans for the future include setting up a video server using puppy (weve possibly sourced a 100mb Ethernet hub instead of a 10mb!), and installing hardware acelleration for multiplayer LAN gaming.

Finally, a great many thanks to BarryK for his vision and insight, and all the other developers of Puppy Linux and its packages!!!

Woof Woof Very Happy

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Mr.Goose


Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Southampton, England

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan 2007, 11:25    Post subject: Top marks  

I had the privilege of visiting Ecomoney's cybercafé project 2007-01-05. What a fantastic day - apart from getting lost in Scunthorpe town centre, which wasn't much fun! Shocked

Seriously, Ecomoney's cybercafé project is amazing achievement and one that reflects well both on him and on all the developers and supporters of Puppy Linux. Located in a very poor part of the country, the cybercafé project brings reliable modern computing to folks that otherwise simply could not afford it.

I have written up the whole experience on DEOSS so I won't repeat myself here - except to say that I now run Puppy on 3 machines - all of which were destined for the skip. Thanks to Ecomoney for his time and hospitality and respect to all you puppies. Cool

Full text of DEOSS article can be found here...
http://www.deoss.org/positive/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=43

Best wishes, Mr.G.

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paulh177


Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 875
Location: ST862228

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan 2007, 14:38    Post subject:  

Ecomoney -- what you've achieved is wonderful and deserves prolonged applause (appaws?). That you can be bothered to put so much into a community project simply for the benefit of others is uplifting and inspiring.
Assembling a 10+ node network c/w smoothwall firewall etc is a bit of a daunting prospect for the novice. So I wondered if you could post a little more technical detail on how you hooked up the router and hubs, and what sort of ADSL provision you have - ISP, speed and amount of bandwidth the cafe uses weekly/monthly - so that others might have more to go on if they wished to emulate your success. (I'd love to try to myself but I won't have time for a couple of years at least.)
Well done again.
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Mr.Goose


Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Southampton, England

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan 2007, 15:49    Post subject:  

Quote:
Ecomoney -- what you've achieved is wonderful and deserves prolonged applause (appaws?). That you can be bothered to put so much into a community project simply for the benefit of others is uplifting and inspiring.


Agreed, paulh177, Ecomoney is most definitely one of the good guys.

Mr. G. Very Happy

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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 4441
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan 2007, 18:30    Post subject: Re: Top marks  

Mr.Goose wrote:
Full text of DEOSS article can be found here...
http://www.deoss.org/positive/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=43

Excellent article, Mr G. I'm sure Lobster will be keen to provide a link to that from our wiki! Well done!

Cheers
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan 2007, 06:53    Post subject: Networking  

Quote:
Ecomoney -- what you've achieved is wonderful and deserves prolonged applause (appaws?). That you can be bothered to put so much into a community project simply for the benefit of others is uplifting and inspiring.
Assembling a 10+ node network c/w smoothwall firewall etc is a bit of a daunting prospect for the novice. So I wondered if you could post a little more technical detail on how you hooked up the router and hubs, and what sort of ADSL provision you have - ISP, speed and amount of bandwidth the cafe uses weekly/monthly - so that others might have more to go on if they wished to emulate your success. (I'd love to try to myself but I won't have time for a couple of years at least.)
Well done again.


Hi paulh177

I must confess, I am not incredibly technical or knowledgeable when it comes to most things linux (have been using it full time for only two years). Most of what has been done at the cafe has been done by accepting the defaults or running wizards. When Ive got stuck Ive just posted "HELP!!!!" messages on the message boards of puppy and smoothwall and got round them that way (and a lot of them have been really "dumb" questions at that, but no-one has got onto me for my lack of knowledge). If it wasnt for the level of support and willingness from others to help solve problems on this forum then we wouldnt have the cybercafe now.

At the cafe weve only got a basic 1mb connection (uncapped) through AOL This was installed when I arrived at the place and the contract already paid up so we cant switch just yet. We have cable NTL in the area but we seem to be in a bit of a blind spot and cant recieve cable in the cafe (something to do with the council not letting NTL dig up the faux paving outside). Because this is a (mostly) NTL area the exchanges havnt been upgraded to carry high speed ADSL. My friends house across the road has got fast 10mb cable access so one of the first projects is to beam a signal across to increase the bandwidth of the cafe. This will form the first "node" in the wireless mesh project which will allow all of the users in the system to effectively pool their bandwidth. Since they are at work in the day when the cafe is open and they are in in the evening when it is close means they shouldnt get in the way of each other and both benefit How this works technically is a bit beyond me, but apparantly its just a matter of uploading a new BIOS to the wrt54g and rebooting.

http://www.vdomck.org/blog/2005/07/22/how-to-build-a-mesh-network-with-wrt54gs/

Apparently new nodes can be added and the mesh extended by putting pre-flashed wrt54g's within the range of existing ones.

Heres a rough schematic of the cafe's networking setup

Code:


[Netgear]   100mb
      `````````\``````````````````````````\`````````````````````````\'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''\
           [Smoothwall]               [PuppyPC ]                [PuppyPC]       [Doze XP]
                     \
               [Hub] 10mb
                        ````````\````````````````\``````````````````````\`````````````````````\
                    [PuppyPC ]       [PuppyPC ]           [PuppyPC ]          [PuppyPC ]




The smoothwall box is simply an old pc (p166/32mb/1gig upwards) with two network cards, one of these it labels RED (for your router and the outside world) and the other it labels GREEN (for the internal connections to the pc's via the hub. You boot from the cd (about 36mb) and tell it to get an I.P. address from the router via the RED interface via DHCP (just like the puppy autoDHCP wizard). You then tell it to start a DHCP server (which I wish puppy had!!!) on the GREEN interface. This means that the puppy pc's can get their IP address and connect to the internet with their networking wizard, just as if they were plugged into the ethernet modem directly.

You notice two of the puppy machines are plugged directly into netgear, one of these is the development machine where I tweak the setup for the rest of the cybercafe. Because it has a 100mb connection, I simply zip up thepuppy files (pup_save.sfs etc) and squirt them down a long 20m ethernet cable to the computer that Im setting up. I do it via the router because the hub that were using is only 10mb and its a bit slow (I LIKE setting up computers in ten minutes flat! Very Happy). Hopefully we have a replacement 100mb hub on the way which should just plug in.

In terms of traffic, there is nothing too taxing as yet. The cafe hasnt been advertised locally (our local rag only seems interested in bad news) so we only have a few people in at a time for the moment. This suits me because I want to get it perfected before this happens. The number of people using the cafe is slowly increasing. Mostly its people coming in to check items on ebay, search google, book holidays. At dinner hour a lot of children come in from the local school to chat on MSN or play flash gameswhile they have their lunch (theres an actual cafe in the cntre too with discounted but healthy meals). We do have google video and youtube but this has yet to catch on (flash 9 beta in the next release). Theres also a number of people who have been in recently to use the computers because their own home XP machines have virused up, or because the ones at the centre are so much faster. They just bring them in and I squirt an new puppy installation down the wire at them for a small contribution to the centre. On saturdays there is an all day creche and childrens play/activity day, and they often come out to play on Gcompris on edupuppy as part of that. There is also a growing number of local computer hobbyists coming down to the centre who are coming to pick away at our mountain of spares in the lock up at the back of the centre, and to check out this new wonderful linux puppy thing that both baffles and amazes them Wink

When I have the new setup complete, I am going to upload a zipped up version of the software that we use on the machines to our public mirror at www.ecomoney.eu. If anyone wants to emulate the cafe it will just be a matter of booting from cd, formatting the drive using gParted, downloading the setup file onto it and unzipping, reboot and run xorgwizard when it goes to the prompt. If you want to set your own up I would be happy to lend my assistance with my limited abilities. I would say go for it it will be quicker to set up than you think.

Since setting up the cafe, weve had interest from two other community centres in the surrounding villages who wish to have one of their own. Since weve still got 15 of the same make and model of the computers used from the school this will be a relatively simple task. These will be funded however (though at a lot lower level than if they had had to go the Micro$oft route), so I hope to be able to put a little aside in the company kitty to cover my own internet costs, petrol etc though I doubt there will be enough to pay me a wage as yet.

The purpose of the Cybercafe is not only to provide internet access, but to promote open source to the wider public and to provide better feedback to developers from non-technical people. I think the internet offers a real opportunity to humanity to better manage their own affairs, but unfortunetely poor quality software is putting people off using it as a means of commerce and communication. Linux works well and reliably, but all to often it is programmed by the programmer for the programmer. Puppy seems the easiest to use for the new user and the easiest to trial for the recent windows convert, and thats why it is doing so well in the local area. All credit to the puppy team for this!

Right, off to the centre! Bye for now.

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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7047
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan 2007, 07:48    Post subject:  

I'm blown away by all of this! What I think is particularly great is the spirit behind, it, not that you're using Puppy (well, that's good to!). I think that your individual positive and practical contributions send out wider ripples than you might think.
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4759
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan 2007, 09:34    Post subject: Thanks and dont forget  

Quote:
When I have the new setup complete, I am going to upload a zipped up version of the software that we use on the machines to our public mirror at www.ecomoney.eu.

Very Happy Thanks for that - and please dont forget the how-to (like what Puppy version to boot, etc.)

Cheers!

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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan 2007, 23:09    Post subject:  

The world desparately needs help - clean environment, water, food - shelter -
and shared knowledge.

Fortuitous Alignments of the stars is regarded in Scientific fields -
As the extremely rare opportunity to increase world knowledge.

Projects as listed here - may/will have potential to more Practical Impact
Esp. for underprivileged of the whole world.

Congratulations - IMHO > It cannot be stressed adequately - You are Cool A L L contributing
to world aid goals ~ In best of OSS founders principles
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan 2007, 01:02    Post subject: Upload
Subject description: Taking the puppy out for a walk
 

Wow thanks guys for the words of encouragement. I really am just the delivery boy of this supurb software, it is you who have built it. Thank you for allowing me to take your puppy out for a walk!!!

Ive already seen today quite a few examples of how this technology fitting in with the local community and the difference it can make. Several people have done CV's, while others have been searching for jobs. One spanish came in and we were able to find her old solicitors in spain via google, and ring them with skype for 3 British pence (she needs the number for a forthcoming childcare case). Weve had several other small children in with their mums whos first experience of a computer was with Gcompris.

We also started a new teaching class of fresh puppy recruits who have been tapping away into tuxtype and Gcompris to get up to speed for the classes next week. One of them is an "intermediate" who will be updating a new website for the community centre with Joomla from her puppypc at home. Weve already raised £120 towards our target of £200 for starting the wireless community LAN through the sale of the old cybercafe P.C.'s.

Its 4:35.am here and Ive just finished the next major update to the cybercafe. It been rolled out via ftp to four of the computers here on the network in under half an hour thanks to puppy's small size an speed. Ive also started the job of uploading it to my webspace, gFTP says it will take eight hours so Im turning in for the night, its nearly a whole gigbyte (wow huge!). This is two complete and hopefully fully configured operating systems (puppy 2.02 seamonkey based with openoffice, games etc and [puppy 2.11 based Edupup 1.1)

The file is literally a zipped copy of all of the files on the cybercafe's computers hard disk. All someone would have to do is boot in memory, format to ext2, install the grub bootloader then download the files. It would then be a matter of unzipping to the hard disk, rebooting and running xorgwizard (and perhaps ALSA wizard) and they would have a clone of one of the systems here.

My www.servage.net web server (£5.25 per month) seems pretty fast to download from and Ive certainly got lots of bandwidth and hosting space spare to do it (will be monitoring my bandwidth tho!). If anyone more technically knowledgeable than I would like to download it to a spare hard disk (I think it should be set to primary master for the bootloader to work properly come to think about it) I would be very grateful to hear from them.

Right, I must be off to take the volunteers home! Thanks again for all your hard work you have put in over the years to enable this to happen Very Happy

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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5010
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan 2007, 03:36    Post subject:  

A Cyber Cafe like this is exactly the thing I had in mind with LanPuppy...
Except with diskless PCs, users have USB flash drives for personal data.

This is a also a perfect arrangement for multi seats on one PC.
Each PC has 4 video cards & 4 sets of USB keyboards & mice.
1ghz to 2 ghz PCs are perfect, & even slowers PCs work well!
The project is called: "BackStreet Ruby".

When LanPuppy is an up & running distro. I plan to integrate it into it.
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mechmike

Joined: 29 Nov 2005
Posts: 103
Location: Pelham, AL

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan 2007, 12:35    Post subject: I Dugg your Positive E-Zine article this morning...  

It is now on Digg - we'll see if that gets you and Puppy some attention...

http://digg.com/linux_unix/Ten_computer_cybercafe_for_30UKP_or_about_60_USD
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan 2007, 18:24    Post subject: Updates  

Sunburnt, LANpuppy seems like an interesting project for small kiosks. I will look forward to testing it out when you have it finished. Certainly around here though old P.C.'s are a big disposal problem so given access to sufficient networking kit (and smoothwall) it is more beneficial to use the older pc's for as long as possible before they must be finally thrown away.

Weve decided to roll out our new updates gradually over some of the PC's. Heres a poster we have put up.


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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5010
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan 2007, 18:37    Post subject:  

ecomoney; The old original version of Puppy would work well in an open environment (no login).
Keosks of the public type have no login, as do many special purpose terminals.

As to old PCs, I'm still using a P-200mhz as my LanPuppy client PC for testing.
With 64MB of ram it runs Puppy very well with no hiccups at all.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jan 2007, 23:07    Post subject: Kiosks  

Ahh I see, so you have a setup a but like what is possible with Edubuntu, with a central, reasonable power computer with terminals of very low spec attached? To make updates it would just be a matter of updating in one place (the central pc)?
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