[CUWiN] Activity?

David Young dyoung at pobox.com
Tue Aug 5 15:33:48 CDT 2008

On Tue, Aug 05, 2008 at 11:19:56AM -0700, Todd Boyle wrote:
> I love your footnotes!
> Re. the CUWIN wireless mesh apparatus, isn't it completely obsoleted 
> by products like Meraki that do the same thing for $50 without 
> requiring technical expertise?   This is just the march of time, the 
> march of history.


I don't follow Meraki too closely.  I believe that CUWiN, regarded
as a mesh system only, still leads Meraki with some of its features
and concepts.

I don't understand what you mean about technical expertise.  It has
always seemed to me that building a basic CUWiN network takes essentially
zero expertise.

A few more things:

The principle complaint that I hear about Meraki is that what promised
to be inexpensive mesh hardware/software product has turned into a
for-pay service.  That doesn't suit all of Meraki's would-be customers,
and it goes against the community wireless ethos, at least the ethos as
I felt it was.

I have always thought that CUWiN was a better investment than Meraki
in terms of social impact (or potential thereof) per dollar spent.
CUWiN developers have created a lot by using meager resources.  I estimate
that the CUWiN's productivity per dollar spent has always been much higher
than Meraki's, as much as 25x.  And I think that the CUWiN developers
have been more creative and forward-thinking, too.  To keep creative,
productive people working on CUWiN is always hard because you have to
pay them.

> It seems to me the Meraki or CUWIN things still have niches in the US 
> suburbs but they're pretty sparse, pretty narrow niches. Such as 
> emergency connectivity, or a rare cirucmstances of gamers or file 
> sharers who happen to live nearby, and happen to have that rare 
> combination of social affinity/trust and technical savvy, etc.   Very rare.

I think that you think of CUWiN as a solution for a small set of
networking problems, especially networking between pals in order to
overcome problems with asymmetric bandwidth or latency, then it is
definitely a niche product.

Instead, if you think of CUWiN as a single embodiment of a big idea
about what networks can and should be, then I think that there is broad
latent demand.


David Young             OJC Technologies
dyoung at ojctech.com      Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933 ext 24

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