RI-WINS in a Box
Computer Batteries

Image by bjepson
This is the configuration I’m using to set up my project for the RI statewide wireless network. When it’s done, it will just be the computer in the Voom PC case, the XPower 300W power pack, the solar cell, and of course the WiMax card.

For now, it’s going to have to run Windows, because I can’t get the Navini PC Card to work under Linux (ndiswrapper doesn’t seem to know what to do with it). A future configuration will use the external Navinia network adapters, which have an Ethernet port an router built in.

Once the CD-ROM drive, keyboard, mouse, and display are out of the picture, I’m hoping that the solar panel will charge the battery faster than the computer can drain it, but who knows?

Computer Batteries

Image by ENTsForest
Intel introduced the 2nd generation Intel-powered classmate PC platform – an affordable, fully functional, rugged Internet-centric computer platform with different choices for manufacturers to tailor laptop models for a variety of education needs. These PCs have wireless capability, longer battery life, water resistant keyboards and are more shock resistant if dropped.

Didja Try Rebootin?
Computer Batteries

Image by tab2space
Our steed for the trip home. Same as the trip down here.

Boarding proceeded with only the usual stupid hassle of screeners who didn’t know what to look for, what was allowed, and what wasn’t. One guy insisted that I was carrying too many alkaline batteries, confusing them for lithium ion, and demanded I give them up. Uh huh. Still, these guys best the TSA when it comes to initiative.

Later we taxied out onto the runway. Where the pilot proceeded to shut down the engines.

He eventually announced over the intercom that they were having computer trouble, and were in consultation with tech support back in Denver.

Sure enough, about 10 minutes later he was back on the intercom. He wanted to inform us that the plane was going to go completely dark, with even the airflow ceasing for a couple minutes, because tech support suggested they reboot the aircraft.

Um, guys, this is an Airbus. You’re supposed to reboot it back at the gate as a matter of course.

At least now I know it takes about 4 minutes for an Airbus to boot to the state where the engines can be started.

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