[conspire] (real) Installfest in a Box

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 15:14:16 PDT 2009

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 1:21 AM, Grant Bowman<grantbow at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 5:25 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
>> Quoting Grant Bowman (grantbow at gmail.com):
>> > Did you say "LUG in a Box"?
>> Nope.
> OK, let me ask explicitly as I thought that I remember you saying
> something similar which is where I got the idea.  Did you mention any
> "In a Box" concepts at any time this weekend?  If so, what were they?

I remember very clearly _not_ mentioning The Industrial Revolution in
a Box, or any other such thing that I have knowledge of.

I think you heard something of the sort, but not from Rick or me.

>> > How would you like to proceed? How would you recommend I proceed?
>> [...]
>> As to how _you_ would proceed:  I've already outlined approximately how
>> I would proceed if and when I'm ready to do so.  Maybe that outline
>> suits you too.  Or maybe not. [...]
> Your outline does suit me, that's why I asked for your recommendation.
>  I was hoping for some specifics as when I move forward I want to work
> with you in doing testing at several different installfests and I
> could use some targeted hints when I hit a road block in moving
> forward.  Here's what I'm planning right now.
> 1. start with a debian-501-i386-netinst.iso install to a virtualbox image.

I have an assortment of such images. For Debian, only 64-bit at the
moment, but I can build what you like.

> 2. add some packages, writing down each step as I go.

Exactly. I have done that with Sugar.

> 3. begin work on a flossmanuals.net - Thanks for the suggestion Ed.

A pleasure. I have been out on the Net flogging our Farsi translation
of How to Bypass Internet Censorship today. Available through

> 4. research hardware options similar to http://fit-pc2.com/ as a
> target platform, also keeping in mind using an older machine with a
> wifi card, a network port and a CD-Burner.  An installfest-in-a-box
> tested on a known good new hardware combination would be an attractive
> package to first-timers.  I am already working with Sameer Verma and
> the OLPC San Francisco group to test their XS server software using
> the fit-pc hardware already.  We are preparing to deploy them with
> OLPC XO laptop projects in other parts of the world.

I have the XS install image, and an installed version.

> 5. Think about a mail list for this project.
> 6. Begin talking with others about this - specifically the Davis LUG
> has a vox-if at lists.lugod.org list to which I am already subscribed.
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox-if/ for more info.
> Rick, would any of these actions not be in line with a project in
> which you might want to become involved someday in some capacity?
> Would you be willing to contribute advisory guidance for this project?
>  Does anyone else have any suggestions?

I was talking with Rick earlier today about taking some work off his
plate. Rick knows about the button that says, "Stop me before I
volunteer again," as do I, but it doesn't work very well for either of
us. Rick is quite gracious about helping those who are willing to do
the work and RTFM before asking him questions, but can get downright
curmudgeonly with those lazy sods who think they can and should
presume on his good nature.

> Thank you for further expanding on your idea regarding install media
> that we talked about.  My thought was to combine the features of the
> installfest network with a self serve bring-your-own media burner as
> it's all the same bits required.  I think this idea is compatible
> though you may not have looked at the links I provided.  The code from
> the cenecac.on.ca toaster project might be a useful reference system
> when developing this system.

It is within reason to offer media for, say, $1, or to offer to copy
install files to a USB stick or CD brought in by a user. There is a
definite limit to burning CDs for others unless you have funding to
buy a bulk copier. The fully automatic ones cost from a few thousand
dollars to about $50,000.

> Grant
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> conspire at linuxmafia.com
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Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
http://earthtreasury.org/worknet (Edward Mokurai Cherlin)

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