Banjul Presentation - Mesh Networks and the E2 Mini Computer


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This is a presentation I gave as Managing Director of Aleutia Limited to an audience in Banjul, capital of the Gambia.

We're working on a project there to use mesh networking equipment from to take a leased line and distribute it wirelessly throughout much of the city, offering less expensive and more reliable internet service.

Crucially, our service will also be available on a prepaid basis, and certain websites (such as Wikipedia will be free for everyone, forever).

I also explain the advantages of our E2 Mini Computer, which uses just 8 Watts of power and is the size of two decks of cards.

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Banjul Presentation - Mesh Networks and the E2 Mini Computer

  1. 1. ALEUTIA <ul><li>CREATIVE NETWORKING </li></ul>March 10th, 2008
  2. 2. Who is Aleutia Limited? <ul><li>Based in Central London, founded by Mike Rosenberg in October, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Launched the E1 Mini Computer in October, 2007 and its successor E2 Computer on March 3rd. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Adding value by providing an entire solution - Computers, Solar Power, Wireless Internet Access - for remote areas. </li></ul>What is our focus? <ul><li>Providing affordable low power computers. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Where do we operate? <ul><li>Our computers are in use in 19 countries: </li></ul><ul><li>US </li></ul><ul><li>Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Haiti </li></ul><ul><li>Ecuador </li></ul><ul><li>UK </li></ul><ul><li>France </li></ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul><ul><li>Norway </li></ul><ul><li>South Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Mongolia </li></ul>Including 8 African countries: The Gambia Ghana Nigeria (Abuja, soon Yola) Cameroon Zambia South Africa Mozambique Egypt
  5. 5. Current Challenges in the Gambia <ul><li>High speed Internet connections are expensive and customers face a long wait for their line to be set up. </li></ul><ul><li>Broadband is not available in most cities outside Banjul </li></ul><ul><li>Post-paid contracts remain the only option, in sharp contrast to the mobile phone business. </li></ul><ul><li>Computers are expensive, and require lots of power. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The answer lies in: Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs)
  7. 7. Access Point Up Close <ul><li>Weighs about 2 kg. </li></ul><ul><li>Completely waterproof, weatherproof. </li></ul><ul><li>Just needs power </li></ul><ul><li>Only uses 3 Watts, can be set up for solar operation. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Mesh Networks, Explained in 3 minutes! <ul><li>Start with a fast and reliable Internet Connection. </li></ul><ul><li>Connect it to the weatherproof Access Point on top of a building, or mobile phone mast </li></ul>
  9. 9. Distribute that Connection Wirelessly <ul><li>That router distributes the Internet connection wirelessly, with a radius of 2 km, serving as an Access Point </li></ul>
  10. 10. That Access Point Can Connect to Other Access Points...
  11. 11. 2 km Forming a Chain 4 APs thus extend the Internet 8 km 2 km 2 km
  12. 12. Or, more often, a Mesh
  13. 13. Advantages of mesh <ul><li>Major resiliency - automatically routes around a failed Access Point </li></ul><ul><li>Covers enormous amounts of area - just add new AP and you can bring new neighborhood online! </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure is easy to install and once in place, users can join network on the same day! </li></ul>
  14. 14. We can use Mesh Networks to provide access within cities and then use directional antennas to connect up other cities with Point to Point links. 30 km
  15. 15. 30 km We just need a clear Line of Sight Connection... ...and we can form 30 km Wireless “Bridges” from Banjul to other towns, countries. 30 km 30 km
  16. 16. Banjul Mesh Sanyang Connection, received from Banjul and then distributed wirelessly over 2 km radius 30 km PTP Bridge A Point to Point (PTP) Connection Example
  17. 17. The Gambia is ideal for such long range Wireless Connections, since the topology is generally flat. Of course, it can go beyond the Gambia to communities in neighboring countries.
  18. 18. Already in Operation in Bissau, Maseru Guinea Bissau: 9 Access Points Sharing Internet Connection from Port Authority across city. Lesotho: 6 Access Points Sharing Internet Connection across airport, conference centre, hotels.
  19. 19. Maseru
  20. 20. What you need to connect? <ul><li>To access the Mesh Network, user needs one of following: </li></ul><ul><li>Laptop, mobile phone, PDA, desktop with Wi-Fi capability </li></ul><ul><li>Aleutia E2 Desktop </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless Router </li></ul>
  21. 21. Have lots of desktops? Or LAN? If your company already has a Local Area Network in place, then we can install a wireless router by the window or mount it on the roof. We set it to client mode, it “grabs” the wireless connection, and then distributes by Ethernet cable throughout the office.
  22. 22. Select Aleutia Mesh
  23. 23. Login Screen
  24. 24. Your Ad Here?
  25. 25. Signing Up
  26. 26. Enter Coupon Code
  27. 27. All pre-paid options are customizable: <ul><li>Users can buy prepaid coupons for various amounts of time. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, customer could purchase: </li></ul><ul><li>24 hour pass for D200 </li></ul><ul><li>10 Days for D1000: 10 x 24 hour coupons that can be used anytime for 3 months </li></ul><ul><li>12 Months </li></ul>
  28. 28. Pre-paid Business Model for Internet Cafes Internet Cafe can buy coupons from us, then enter them when a customer comes in - using, for instance, a 1 hour coupon. That means the Internet Cafe only pays when a customer comes in!
  29. 29. Infrequent customer can buy 10MB for D200, can use whenever they want for 3 Months. Not just measured by time - can charge by bandwidth:
  30. 30. A user can check their Yahoo! Mail account about 25 times or look through the BBC website about 50 times. This can be increased greatly by viewing websites in Text-Only mode, or using a Text Browser that removes pictures and ads. What does 10MB Get You?
  31. 31. Almost unlimited emailing for just D200! Using an email program like Outlook or Thunderbird (pre-installed on Aleutia E2) means you can write or read messages for free, you just pay to send a receive. Average message is about 10 KB so 10MB buys a user 1000 messages!
  32. 32. And certain sites will always be free, with unlimited access, for everyone
  33. 33. Or you can make your website free...
  34. 34. Post Paid - More reliable, Less Expensive than the Competition Businesses do not want to be constrained by 10MB or 24 hour coupons. Switch to our network and you’ll be working from a more reliable leased line connection, at a lower cost. And you can join instantly!
  35. 35. Post paid advantages over existing broadband services: <ul><li>Access the same reliable connection at multiple offices - less troubleshooting, downtime. </li></ul><ul><li>Less expensive than the competition. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility: access in different parts of town (ideal for meetings) </li></ul>
  36. 36. No More Waiting for 12 Weeks! Competing wireless services require installation of a roof-mounted Access Point at the client’s site - a process that leads to delays. We host our Wireless Equipment and ensure that its signal reaches your office - no site surveys! That means you can join instantly, and add additional offices with ease.
  37. 37. To see all this happen, we need you to: Subscribe Today!
  38. 38. ALEUTIA <ul><li>Low Power Computing </li></ul>Part II
  39. 39. Introducing the ALEUTIA E2 Computer
  40. 40. Who is the Aleutia E2 ideal for? <ul><li>Anywhere where Durability, Low-Power Consumption, Price, Ease of Use, Support and Speed are important. </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses, Schools, Internet Cafes, Clinics, ICT Centres, Factory Floor Operations, and in the home </li></ul>
  41. 41. Basically anyone who doesn’t need to play advanced 3D games or edit videos!
  42. 42. The E2: Consumes Just 8 Watts of Power! 97.7% Less Power! 78% Less Power! 94% Less Power! HP dc7800 Acer Power F6 365 Watts 130 Watts Apple Mac Mini 35 Watts
  43. 43. For example, This HP dc7800 “Mini Tower” <ul><li>Heavy: 11.9 kgs </li></ul><ul><li>Bulky: 45cm height, 45cm depth </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive: $1000+ </li></ul><ul><li>Unreliable: Lots of moving parts (hard drive, optical drive, fan) all more prone to failure </li></ul>Traditional desktops are heavy, bulky, expensive and unreliable
  44. 44. In contrast, the Aleutia E2 is: <ul><li>Lightweight: 505g </li></ul><ul><li>Tiny: 11.5cm depth and width, 3.4cm height </li></ul><ul><li>Ultra reliable: No moving parts; everything compressed on one motherboard; rugged, aluminum chassis. </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive: D 8900. </li></ul>
  45. 45. The E2 really is small: with Blackberry Phone
  46. 46. Use the E2 as a secure All-in-One PC: The E2 can be mounted on the back of any standard LCD, such as this 19” Benq model.
  47. 47. Simply position over 100mm x 100mm VESA Mounting Bracket on back of display
  48. 48. Takes about 45 seconds to attach
  49. 49. And you have complete, all-in-one PC
  50. 50. <ul><li>Reduced Footprint </li></ul><ul><li>Better Security </li></ul>
  51. 51. The Aleutia E2 for Bank Branch Operations <ul><li>A fast, reliable Computer that PAYS FOR ITSELF in Reduced Power Consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Opens Excel in 2 seconds, Word in 3 seconds! </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect as web browsing device - Firefox browser opens in seconds! </li></ul>
  52. 52. Ideal as a Secure Web Kiosk for eBanking or eGovernment initiatives The E2 can serve as secured kiosk with a custom Operating System that can be “locked” down. User just has to turn computer on, it boots up and goes straight to a selected website.
  53. 53. User can’t go to any other website or access another program. Website can be changed at any time remotely. We are doing this in the UK for Homeserve Ltd. which will be installing 250 E2 computers at retail stores throughout the UK that will let shop owners access a secure portal and request repairs. Locked Down Web Browsing
  54. 54. Aleutia E2 + LCD uses 30W per hour. 8 hours/day, 5 days/week, 1 Year = 60kWh (60,000 Watt Hours) HP Desktop with LCD uses 180W per hour. 8 hours/day, 5 days/week, 1 Year = 360kWh (360,000 Watt Hours) Pays for Itself in Reduced Power Consumption
  55. 55. Spreadsheets for Small Businesses, Retail <ul><li>Small, reliable, and low power and very, very fast processing spreadsheets! </li></ul><ul><li>OpenOffice Calc opens in 3 seconds, completely compatible with Excel. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogue inventory, record sales, project revenue targets. </li></ul>
  56. 56. Have a UPS? Work for 3 hours, not 30 minutes in a Power Out! A UPS that will keep a Dell or HP desktop and monitor (180W Power) running for 30 minutes in a power out will keep an E2 and monitor running for 3 hours - 6 times as long - and enough to work through the power out!
  57. 57. Use the E2 as a Thin Client <ul><li>A group of E2’s can be connected into a network in your school, clinic or IT Centre, operating as a ‘thin-client’ solution: </li></ul><ul><li>Low power: the computers can run off solar power and batteries </li></ul><ul><li>Rugged </li></ul><ul><li>VESA-Mountable so low foot-print </li></ul><ul><li>Reliable with three years local warranty and support </li></ul><ul><li>Fast </li></ul><ul><li>Connects to Edubuntu server, operates with Linux Terminal Server Project </li></ul><ul><li>Fully compatible with Citrix, Tarantella, Windows Terminal Service </li></ul><ul><li>Free Server! For orders over 30 units, we will include a free Edubuntu server (with 8GB of memory to ensure rapid performance). That saves you not only money, but also time spent configuring, selecting, and procuring a server. And we guarantee it will be low power! </li></ul>
  58. 58. How does it work as a Thin Client? <ul><li>We configure a server with appropriate software (such as Edubuntu). All data resides on the server, which is powered by a UPS, that can in turn be connected to a solar grid. </li></ul><ul><li>Each E2 then serves essentially as a Keyboard, Video, Mouse device. It’s so small that it can be built into the trunking that the Ethernet cables pass through (as shown above). </li></ul>
  59. 59. What are advantages of E2 over HP or Wyse Thin Client? <ul><li>Low power consumption and price of E2 is only slightly less than Wyse S50. </li></ul><ul><li>However, the E2 boasts 512MB RAM onboard RAM, compared to 128MB on a Wyse S50. It also features a powerful graphics chipset. </li></ul><ul><li>That means, it can display and stream Video Content, making for a superior multimedia experience, especially important with education. </li></ul><ul><li>It also has a 3 Year Warranty, versus a 1 Year Warranty for most thin clients (including Wyse). </li></ul>
  60. 60. FAQ
  61. 61. Why not buy a laptop? <ul><li>Smaller screen </li></ul><ul><li>Less reliable (moving parts, limited warranty) </li></ul><ul><li>If display fails - Big Problem. With desktop, you can just swap in a new display. </li></ul>
  62. 62. What are the technical specs? <ul><li>Memory: 512MB DDR2 RAM. </li></ul><ul><li>CPU: VIA EDEN 500 MHz CPU. </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics: VIA UniChrome Pro II for 2D & 3D graphics with MPEG2 & MPEG4 decoding accelerator; up to 128 MB shared memory; can play HD Video. </li></ul><ul><li>VGA Port: Supports resolutions of up to 1920x1440. </li></ul><ul><li>Audio: VIA Vinyl VT 1708 chip (handles HD Audio). </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion: 3 x USB 2.0 Ports; 10/100 Mbps Ethernet Port. </li></ul>
  63. 63. Is 500MHz fast enough as a CPU? Puppy Linux runs entirely in RAM . Programs move from the CF Card to RAM. In a traditional computer, programs are accessed through a hard drive and the hard drive’s speed (for instance, 7200 rotations per minute, or RPM) and the CPU’s speed are the bottlenecks to faster performance. With Puppy running entirely in RAM, performance is extremely fast.
  64. 64. Processor speed is not the “be all and end all” factor that Chipmakers Intel and AMD would have you believe. Smarter software means you can use less expensive and less power-hungry components and still enjoy great performance.
  65. 65. OpenOffice (Fully Compatible with MS Office) Opens in 2 seconds Firefox (Web Browser) Opens in 3 seconds Audacity (Sound Editing Tool) Opens in 4 seconds Benchmark Speeds of Pre-Installed Programs
  66. 66. What Does That Mean? <ul><li>On a standard PC (such as an HP dc7800, Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Internet Explorer still take a while to open. </li></ul><ul><li>On the Aleutia E2 running Puppy Linux, OpenOffice or Firefox take only a few seconds to open. And OpenOffice is fully compatible with MS Office. </li></ul>
  67. 67. What kind of software is included? <ul><li>Productivity: OpenOffice (fully compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel) </li></ul><ul><li>Browsing: Firefox, SeaMonkey, Dillo (fast browser ideal for slow connections) </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia: Audacity (sound-editing) </li></ul><ul><li>Email: Thunderbird, similar to Microsoft Outlook </li></ul><ul><li>Communication: Skype, GAIM (instant messaging) </li></ul><ul><li>Games: SimCity, Tetris, Risk </li></ul>
  68. 68. What about viruses? <ul><li>Windows REQUIRES anti-virus software that’s kept up to date. </li></ul><ul><li>Windows has an interdependent architecture - all the programs are connected, making it vulnerable to viruses. This is why you have to reinstall all your programs when you install Windows. </li></ul>
  69. 69. <ul><li>Linux is virus-proof. </li></ul>A Linux Advantage <ul><li>With Linux, the OS is stored on a “kernel” that is completely independent of the programs, making it immune to viruses. So when you update or reinstall it all the programs and settings are just as they were. </li></ul>
  70. 70. What about Internet Connectivity? <ul><li>The Aleutia E2 can connect through: </li></ul><ul><li>the 10/100Mbps Ethernet port to a LAN </li></ul><ul><li>through an optional USB WiFi modem. </li></ul><ul><li>via a 3G/GPRS USB Modem (pictured). Drivers are included for “plug-and-play” access) </li></ul>
  71. 71. Why Buy from Aleutia? <ul><li>Warranty </li></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantee </li></ul><ul><li>TQM </li></ul>
  72. 72. Warranty Advantage Because the Aleutia E2 has no moving parts and all components have been selected for their reliability and compressed on one board, we are able to easily offer Local Warranty for 3 Years . In a traditional computer, all sorts of components can fail. For instance, hard drives have a 3% annual failure rate. When a computer fails, each component (hard drive, graphics card, memory, etc.) has to be fault-tested and diagnosed by an engineer. With the E2, by contrast, a local reseller is provided with spare units which can be instantly swapped for the failed unit. The reliability of the system enables us to shoulder the cost of a 3 Year Warranty.
  73. 73. Support Advantage: 3 Years, Unlimited Aleutia and its partners pride ourselves on providing immediate support on any software or hardware related queries. Every E2 includes 3 Years of Unlimited Email Support at no additional charge. Moreover, for large projects, we are able to offer unlimited telephone support over 3 Years free of charge.
  74. 74. 90 Day Guarantee We offer a 90 Day Money-Back Guarantee on our computers. If you don’t completely love the E2, you have 90 days to return to us for a FULL REFUND.
  75. 75. Total Quality Management (TQM) Aleutia maintains a cutting-edge online database that logs all serial numbers of its products. Every computer’s sale is recorded and logged - enabling faster turnaround of warranty fulfillment and optimal tech support.
  76. 76. ALEUTIA Thank You! March 10th, 2008