Ok... I think this might come in handy for new / prospective members....
So you have somehow discovered the existance of Jawug! Probably by reading about us on the MyADSL or Jawug Websites, or from a friend perhaps? Maybe you have picked up some of our equipment during a wireless scan?
So now you want to know what its all about, and how to go about getting connected right?
Well, here it is in brief: ;-)
Jawug was formed back in 2001 or so, when Daffy, who was on the Megawan Network, wanted to help out his friend Lemon, and give him access to his internet. They managed to link their two houses together, wirelessly, and the rest is history!
At the moment, we are somewhere between 30 and 40 active users on the network, which has coverage in the following areas:
to mention a few!
Back in mid 2006, the two largest segments of this segmented network, wanted to connect, and join (The Weltevreden Park area in Roodepoort - home to the "Wild West Mesh" and the Guys in the Bedfordview / Edenvale area.
We searched high and high for a suitable spot in the middle, and were finally able to get some kit installed on Northcliff Ridge which had LOS (Line of Sight) to both Weltevreden Park, and Bedfordview.
A team was assembled, and we managed to get everything linked successfully!
Much celebration followed, and many downloads commenced!
We have an IRC Server, were the majority of us spend our days talking about the network, new installations, new members, and future plans (plus a lot of time spent joking, talking nonsense and generally having a lekker time)
Jawug is a community, and as such, is run, managed, maintained and financed by its members. There is a core team, who are responsible for allocating IP ranges, installing sites if necessary, and keeping things operational and in order.
Each new member who arrives in the IRC channel is welcomed, and advised as to how to go about getting connected. Here are the things you need to do:
Come into our IRC Channel (irc.jawug.za.net #wnet 6667) and introduce yourself to the guys. We are all friendly, helpful people, and are there to assist. Next step is to get yourself registered on our website - http://www.wug.za.net/. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with your registration details.
The wug.za.net site also contains some information related to the various equipment which we utilise, as well as a Discussion Forum, HowTo's and an excellent Gallery which contains photos from most of our members installations, including the various WUG's around the country.
This website was created for Jawug's use - but it is also a central location where we would like to get all of the WUG's (Wireless User Groups) to have their information located.
We currently have CapeTown (CTWug), Durban, (DWC), Potchefstroom (PCN), Pretoria (PWP) to name a few. The Wugplotter tool works in each of these areas and many of the members from these different WUG's have already registered on the site, and are using it daily.
Something which we request of new prospective members, is (if possible) to get onto your roof, and take photos of the 360 degree panoroma from your property. This allows is to see exactly what you are able to see, and also to allow new members to recognise familiar locations etc.
One of the tools on this site (which incidently has been developed by Xarion in-house, after many many hours of hard work) is called the Wugplotter. This tool allows you to input your GPS co-ordinates (find your house by using Google Earth, and add a placemark. The placemark will contain your co-ordinates) Copy these co-ordinates into the Wugplotter, and you sorted!
You will then be able to download a .KML file, which, when opened with Google Earth will show you every node on the network, be it active or in planning. You will be able to see just how big Jawug really is.
Once we have determined if you are within the footprint of a node, or highsite, is to advise you as to what hardware would be best for the job. We can advise on equipment from basic wireless routers, to Mikrotik Routerboards, and even custom built PC based routers. We have access to a lot of expertise, and also have good relationships with some of the wireless equipment suppliers, which gives us access to good pricing!
Part of the fun of joining Jawug, is to get your equipment installed all by yourself. This helps the members learn, and also be in a position to offer their advice to newcomers. If you are not feeling up to the job, we will be happy to get together and assist with the installation!
Once your equipment is connected, we will advise, step by step, on how to configure your ip address allocations, routes etc and you will be part of Jawug in no time! We can also connect directly into your equipment and sort all of these settings out for you!
C'mon, keep reading! I'm almost done...
What can you do on this network? You will be able to do basically anything you can do on a LAN (Local Area Network) You can share files with other members, you can play network games against each other, you can access specific resources like streaming audio, security cameras, websites, etc etc... The list just goes on and on... You can host your own services - Think of it as a mini internet. If you perhaps wanted to host your own game server - feel free. If you want to setup a VOiP server, If you want to offer a video feed of your goldfish, then go for it! The more things we have running on this network, the better!
All that we ask, is that you contribute to Jawug - we do not mean financially - there are no costs in joining, besides the cost of your own hardware, which you buy, and which remains your property.
When we refer to contributing, we mean being a part of the community - advising new members, offering services on the network, spreading the word, and chatting with us in IRC!
We will always welcome financial contributions, but it is by no means a condition of you joining.. Jawug is financed by the members (out of their own pockets) - and when a new highsite is required to link different areas together, this does cost money - Some members spend as much money as they can, some members contribute R100 here, or R50 there - but every cent helps.
We try and have a social event at least once a month, where we get together at a suitable venue, and have a braai, and a drink or two - and get to meet new members, discuss future plans, swap hardware etc.
I have been on Jawug for a couple of years now, and I do not know how I lived without it. It has become part of my life, and I will stick with it, and improve it as best as I can!
One of these days, we will link the entire country together! watch this space!
This has been my little contribution for the day!
Ryder, June 13th 2007
See my sig for links to our websites...