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SMT day 1

Page history last edited by rsb 9 years, 5 months ago

 

SMT was a tougher problem than ARD, as they used GSM modems for internet access.  GSM modems are little things that communicate with an internet service provider and plug into your laptop to give you internet access.  Only one person can use one modem at a time.

 

Makeni only has a few microwave dishes serving thousands of GSM modems.  The net is saturated up there.  During the day, you get a highly latent 10Kbps when you are lucky. 90-100% packet loss with any GSM modem vendor is typical.  

 

Fortunately, SMT has at least three modems.  First thing we did was to try to improve that.  We brought a firewall/router that could use GSM modems as the WAN for a corporate network.  It worked as designed, but sharing 10Kbps between multiple people was worse than waiting for your turn to use a GSM modem - it was unusable.  At least we found that out quickly, as well as where the antennae in town were, and in the future I know how I can solve the problem if I get the time.


SMT had a very experienced IT contractor, Bockarie, a young man who had taught himself everything he needed to support them, to the point of getting an online degree from an accredited US university, and taking a list of traning courses as long as my arm, while working and travelling primarily in the pursuit of IT knowledge.  Bockarie will find a good job soon.

 

I dived into my networking job with Bockarie, and we trained staff to get every computer on a working network, get microsoft security essentials and chrome installed, wired and wireless network installed (with DNS from all local GSM vendors in the DCHP lease), printer sharing.  We got most of that done and left the rest to the next day.  We didn't need a internet access via a GSM modem to do this.

 

I think Noah started in with a web development class, but was hampered by his allocated GSM modem not working that day, and switched his team to NAS deployment.  We also had impromptu ukulele classes.

 

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Next: SMT day 2

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