Local wifi networks and messageboards

17 September, 2005

I live in an apartment block. My last home was also in an apartment block. Before that, a house for a year, but for the two years previous to that, I lived in an apartment block. Our noticeboard is very small, and covered in messages from the owners of the building.

Everyone living in an apartment block shares some similar concerns – am I paying too much for rent?, when do the bin men come? where are the good restaurants around here? my cupboard doors keep falling off – poor construction, or is it my fault? Apparently this is where residents associations normally come in. Personally I’ve never seen nor heard tell of one, so I’m going to assume for the time being that they only exist in US comedies and old peoples’ homes.

Whilst at my last apartment, I bought a wifi router (the Linksys WAG54G if you must know – no, not the one with onboard Linux!), and I could pick up the unsecured signals of a couple of other wifi networks nearby. The same goes for my current apartment.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could set up a wifi-based local apartment block noticeboard? Or even hire out ethernet-over-power adaptors to people without wifi cards so that they could get in on the act. Then we could share all these worries, wirelessly, for free, without hassle. The guys at Neighbornode think so; they’ve even got the software and downloads to let people do it. They don’t mention the ethernet-over-power bit, but it sounds like a logical extension, although fraught with actual human interaction 😉

I’m far too reserved to possibly suggest to any of my neighbours that we actually do something like this, but it might be nice.

I wonder if there’s any way of broadcasting out to other local wifi nodes that I have something available, and seeing who answers? I hear that iTunes has some network sharing facilities, which is a possibility, although that would rely on someone else using iTunes too. An interesting field, but one I probably won’t be exploring any time soon. 🙂

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in September 2005.


18 September, 2005 at 09:14

You could start by just setting it up and then seeing how many wardrivers you have in your apartment block 🙂
I think word of mouth would help to publicise it – and you could always use the traditional noticeboard.
Note that you’d have to watch the toc of your isp to make sure they don’t mind you doing this!

18 September, 2005 at 09:14

I’ve been thinking about this as well. Well, setting up a residents association – not so much the board bit!

There are about 10 flats in my building and the managing agent is terrible at getting anything done, strength in numbers etc…

Why do it over wifi though? Why not just stick a php bb on a server?

18 September, 2005 at 13:57

Well, so long as I’m not actually providing internet access via my router (which I could block at the router’s firewall), it shouldn’t be anything to do with the ISP.

phpbb? I may as well *ask* for my server to be hacked 🙂

anyway, wifi’s more fun 🙂