Fantastic guide and video showing how to break apart a TP-Link MR3020 and rewire it to be able to fit, battery and all, into a Moleskine style book from the gang over at NODE. Really neat hack, I haven’t done it yet but it’s totally on my list now.
The original v1.0 of LibraryBox used a book as its case, but that was a large hardback with the MR3020 still in its own case and everything. This is much more elegant. I particularly like the use of a MicroSD adapter as a USB source for the install. Clever!
The LibraryBox project is slowly getting noticed around the ‘net! In the last month or so, there has been two really great writeups of the project.
Hack Education (thanks to Audrey Watters!)
Griffey says the LibraryBox will “take the ‘pirate’ out of PirateBox.” That doesn’t mean exorcising the spirit of the larger PirateBox project, which its creator Darts says was “inspired by the free culture and pirate radio movements” and serves as a “playful remixing of the title of the world’s most resilient bittorrent site, The Pirate Bay.” Rather, replacing “pirate” with “library” makes it more apparent, in Griffey’s case, that this is about open access to information and to books. As he describes some of the inquiries he’s received about the LibraryBox, it’s clear that this device could have enormous potential for boosting literacy and education and for opening access to digital educational materials.
Open Book Lab (thanks to John Miedema!)
PirateBox alone is a great idea. LibraryBox, says Griffey, is customized to be friendly to library needs. At first I raised an eyebrow at that. What library needs merit a fork? Then I thought of several:
- A primary mission of libraries is to increase access to information. LibraryBox could provide access to information resources in conditions where political oppression is preventing it.
- Sometimes technology is used to block access to information, either through aggressive monitoring, IP blocking, or filtering. LibraryBox is technology that reverses this blocking.
- One of my current interests is the aggregation of distributed data fragments into a whole, especially as the web grows bigger and more complex. Like libraries, LibraryBox is designed to deliver data in highly localized contexts. It is an instant intranet, a domain of knowledge. Lots to think about here.
Go read both stories, and comment if you’re interested in the project.
In other LibraryBox news, I started a Google Groups listserv for the project, in hopes of getting people who are interested talking to one another about it, and generating ideas about use, as well as sharing implementation issues and challenges. Come help define where the project heads next!