Mesh is in the Air

I’ve just returned from an event that I found very encouraging and enlightening. Mesh is in the Air was the title of this years meshup of Battlemesh v11 and Wireless Communities Weekend which took place May 7th – 13th at c-base space station, a hacker space in Berlin, Germany. This event brought together dozens of individuals sharing a passion for distributed networking and community. The organizers pulled it off and then some, and I thank them for it. Thank you!

c-base bathrooms with filtering organism
a model of the complete space station

First, the fantastical setting. A hacker space founded decades ago in Berlin. Really, a clubhouse for members with a semi-public upstairs featuring a bar, and a downstairs hacker and maker space for members… with a twist. The entire club is decorated and drenched in a lore – that c-base is the earliest excavations of a giant space ship that crashed into what is now Berlin. That famous antenna of Berlin? A part of the space ship. Once the plans are fully recovered they will finish reconstruction and take off! It was all in good fun. At right, the restrooms have a filtering organism growing all over them, it eats fecal matter.

elektra’s presentation on self
outdoor hacking and bbq space

The people I met came in from germany, finland, italy, spain, rio, new york city, france, india, japan, greece, netherlands, and I’m probably missing a half dozen more places. The communities (wireless and human), and projects that were presented ran the gamut of philosophy, outreach, politics, legal, technology, and community.

For the battlemesh some people setup a testbed of a few routers, distributed around c-base. They then ran traffic over various mesh networking protocols and did some science. There was actually a discussion afterwards as to the usefulness of the data as the protocols have performed similarly the past two years. Possible a different test, metric, or challenge is in order. Below is a slide diagramming the network topology.

And the food! The event coordinators were able to pull off an ongoing bbq that kept everyone fed with infinite sausages and ribs. This allowed everyone to spend as much time as possible learning and participating by keeping our energy reserves up throughout the day. It also was at no charge, making attending the event a far less expensive prospect.

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