Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nortel Technical Conference, Day 1

One of the many opportunities that working with Nortel LearniT has given me has been an invitation to the Nortel Technical Conference in Orlando,Florida. I attended discussions ranging from Nortel's business plans to ideas to enhance the Vancouver Olympic Games.
Some of the sessions I attended focused on mesh technology which is of great interest to our readers so I will elaborate a bit on those.

On Monday, I gave a demo of the mesh technology on the XO, which generally worked out successfully. First, 4 XO's were set out sharing the Chat application, all connected using a Schoolserver. Then I had volunteers try out Record and Distance sharing the former of which worked quite well, the latter not so much. I suspect that Distance is rather sensitive to version differences, so I will have to look into that. After that I showed off some of the schoolserver technology such as the DNS configuration that allows for the Schoolserver to push out a domain of the teacher's choice for the students to connect to. Incidentally all XO's connected through the school server correctly utilized web caching , the first time I've gotten it to work flawlessly.

The session before mine also focused on an implementation of mesh networking. Bob Withrow, the Director of Networking Research at Nortel, gave a demonstration of open 802.11s technology (seen at http://www.open80211s.org/) used to route calls locally rather then through a carrier. For his demo, he used 4 XO's hooked up with special antennae combined with several neo1973 phones running the openmoko software.The XO's were supposed to be used to measure mesh activity and to show how the link reconfigured as the phones moved , but the heavy wireless traffic at the conference prevented this demonstration from working correctly.I did learn quite a bit out how mesh could be implemented into consumer products and the challenges involved.I wonder if Google has looked at this for its Android platform.

More coming soon!

Matt Gallagher

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