Subject: [NYCGA Internet] Re: ows.offline
From: Dan Phiffer
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 07:44:37 -0700 (PDT)
To: internet working group

Hi Nathan,

I'm assuming this is the same Nathan who graciously lent me his laptop
at the Occupy Together hackathon yesterday :) Thanks again!

I hadn't assumed a specific use for the forum, and a forum may not
even be the best model for communication. Maybe it's a wiki or wiki +
forum, or something else entirely? I was expecting that aspect to be
guided through usage. Basically a forum was the easiest thing I could
get working, and seemed to support a type of dialogue that to me seems
missing from what is capable of being expressed through the human

Yeah, I don't think there's anything inherently OpenWRT-related about
the project (despite the project name on Github). And a phone
definitely seems like a good option for keeping a server-ish device
safe in challenging conditions. Unfortunately I don't have access to
an Android phone and I'm not very familiar with the platform.

I wonder if you could try getting it running on your phone? The
installation instructions on the readme are written with OpenWRT in
mind, but I think they should generalize to any Unix-like environment.
And perhaps a modern phone environment could provide a slightly more
sane set of constraints, like maybe I could level up from flat files
to SQLite!


On Oct 15, 10:07 am, Nathan Freitas <> wrote:

This is a great project. I think it touches on a fundamental question
about local interaction within a specific #occupy site like ZP, and
interaction between on the ground participants and the wide world. What
type of communications should happen within this locals only zone,
versus what happens on a list like this or twitter?

I mentioned on your site that I have been working on a similar project
with Android phones (via my work on and
would love to collaborate. The advantage of running this on a phone, is
that you have a battery powered (solar even) efficient device, that can
be stored more easily and made impervious against the elements with a
waterproof case. Downside is fewer active connections are possible.

Maybe we can get your code running on an Android based web server?


On 10/14/2011 11:53 PM, Dan Phiffer wrote:

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to introduce myself and my project, ows.offline. It's
very simple forum software I built to run on an autonomous wifi router
running OpenWRT. It's designed to be used independently of the broader
internet, thus narrowing its audience to those within range of the
wireless signal. I'm hoping it might serve as a useful resource to
folks in Zuccotti Park and elsewhere.

Here's a diagram that might explain how it works:

I've written about it in more detail here:

Source code is available here:

And there's a test installation here:

I'm curious what you guys think -- if it's relevant to the working
group, or if you know anyone I should get in touch with. I think the
biggest challenges are making sure it stays plugged in and out of the
elements, and getting the word out to people who might benefit from a
local (offline) forum.

(I did a test run on a router in the park a few days ago, but it seems
to have gone missing in the shuffle. I do have another one, but I'm
hoping to be a little more careful with deployment in v2.0.)