Ongoing MAZI research into DIY networks and complimentary solutions has turned up many great options. Our current favorite is Sandstorm.io a a collaboration suite of open source software which continues to develop and swell with features.
Three new servers in centres of activity, have been introduced where the rising need for safe, secure and stable alternatives to corporate cloud is called for by subscribers and collaborators.
Friends at Brookmill Park and Deptford Creek currently share access to their Sandstorm tools installed onto an Atom powered mini PC which is well suited to the task. Demands on the server is still very modest at this point but with new friends gaining skills and interest this will change. They have started making use of the Etherpad (whiteboard), Davros (file store) and Weekan board (list manager) tools. Both groups are still practicing with their respective wordpress based websites at commercial webhosts though these too could be hosted within Sandstorm.
At Deptford Housing Coop the members share FTTC broadband access over a structured wired network and wireless access system SPC installed in 2003 and continues to maintain. Over a hundred people a day rely on continuity of access for their web, mail and media needs. More recent requests for shared resources and services have mostly been met with addition of an other sandstorm server here very recently.
Mayday Rooms in Fleet Street hosts an array of archive activation, cultural collaboration and social intervention processes which grows in scope and it’s requirement of network resources, secure messaging, project management and collective development tools. Many of the weekly processes of booking rooms, engaging archives and holding together of the administration tasks depends on email, web and face to face arrangements being accessible and track-able. Some of these tasks may well be better suited to alternatives, some of which are well supported in Sandstorm so we are giving it a go!
You can’t rush at any of these solutions in the hope that all difficulties and obstructions to communication fade to transparency on contact. Working locally and acknowledging limited abilities, preserving a strong sense of respect and appreciation for privacy concerns, demands attention and requires dedication of effort on us all.
Mazi is well on track to present combinations of network and collective development tools in 2018, a pick and mix of hardware, software and scenario conditioning, though we are not there yet! Adoption of ultra low power ARM based pc’s like Raspberry Pi for a multitude of tasks is on a rocket. On the flipside, a mountain of small format, legacy laptop and powerful low cost / free desktop i386 hardware is in great abundance, a glut even, these are perfect hosts for Sandstorm.