Feeds

OccupySF BOFH runs protest network on pedal power

Protest IT staff running ultimate bare-bones system

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

iProtest

But there have been losses. The group’s MacBook Pro went missing – possibly during a police raid, we were told – and the loss of the central computer left administrators scrambling to get settings and email contacts back online. While the IT administrators with whom El Reg spoke to were keen to get hold of another MacBook to replace the loss, at this point, anything will do.

“We’d love to get an Apple, because a lot of the software we’re used to is on the Mac,” one said. “Linux machines are always nice, given Linux is having the same revolutionary effect on the industry as we are on society, but even Windows machines would be a help.”

OccupySF are using a street bollard for a media center

OccupySF are using a traffic barrier as their media center

Cellular beats Wi-Fi

When it comes to getting actual internet access, the group faces a major bottleneck. With no landline or open Wi-Fi networks in range they are having to rely on cellular systems for basic internet access, while large files for upload need to be transported offsite to somewhere with a landline.

The team is using off-the-shelf LTE hotspots running WPA2, donated to the cause early on, for access. However one clever coder has managed to jailbreak an EVO handset to turn it into an eight node hub, although in effect only about four people can use it at any one time without bringing the device’s speeds below a usable threshold.

Using hotspots in this way does have another advantage: they are highly portable. The police have already raided the San Francisco encampment once, when they stormed in just after midnight a few weeks ago and seized a wide variety of possessions.

However, the police hadn’t done their paperwork and Department of Public Works staff returned almost everything. Nevertheless, while El Reg was there, a representative from the police commissioner’s office was onsite and investigating a complaint, so the group may have to move again.

It should be possible to rig up some kind of basic Wi-Fi connection if there were a friendly hotspot owner nearby – but given that the protestors are in the heart of the Financial District, that seems unlikely. Judging from the look on some of the faces of people leaving the Federal Bank building the protestors are about as popular as a pork pie at a rabbinical conference.

Police guard the SF Federal Bank from protestors

Police guard the SF Federal Bank from protestors

Whether you think the protestors are a bunch of hippies and slackers, or the desperate taking a last stand against powerful forces, the work of the OccupySF BOFHs (bicycling operators from hell) is impressive, considering the lack of available resources and the decidedly non-technical outlook of many protestors.

More than a few IT administrators complaining about underfunding should pop down to their local protest and learn a thing or two. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.