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[Freedombox-discuss] [ask] booting and configuring


>Suppose I want to make a bulk purchase of a whopping
>500 of of these, load 'em up with freedombox
>pre-installs and sell 'em -- in my town among friends
>and family and such, for now.
>And I want all this to go down 11 months from today.
>So I don't care for that short a time frame about
>booting in the most hostile environments because I'm
>pretty sure I can't ship any of the hardware to
>such environments nevermind support the software there
>just yet.  I want to ship to less hostile environments
>first to kind of get the juices flowing... to get
>to a point where honest to gosh users (however unexciting
>they are compared to active revolutionaries) are spending
>money on freedombox technology, and that money is feeding
>back into development.
>Real, real simple.   I want to give one to my cousin-in-law
>to use for their blogging of their kids progress as she
>enters first grade....  that kind of thing.

I completely agree.  We will get the freedom box into the hands of
active revolutionaries in time.  But for our ambitions of quick
release, if at any point we find that it will be quicker to get it
ready for unexciting normal boring users in normal times, let's go
that direction for now.  It will aid in protecting freedom in their
hands too, and will as you say "get the juices flowing".


>On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 07:03:23PM -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
>> Opinions and speculations requested, please.
>> What is our group vision about this:
>> I mail off a headless freedombox to some non-hacker
>> friend (who, let's assume, has a computer
>> and Internet connection at home already, but
>> who isn't a sysadmin or anything close).
>> He opens it up.  Plugs it in / turns it
>> on.   The package, I hope, has one page of
>> instructions about how to configure the
>> freedombox and start using it.
>> What does the process look like?
>> Does my friend have to have wifi?
>> Or a spare ethernet cable and a router
>> with a spare slot?   What if his wifi
>> is password protected?   Does he
>> telnet to the box?  Use a web browser?
>> Or does it include a (possibly tiny, minimal)
>> display and my friend is supposed to plug
>> in a keyboard?
>> What is a realistic and desirable "vision"
>> for the "first 10 minutes" experience?
>I imagine something like this:
> * Initiate personalization mode in one of these ways:
>   a) Plug a USB keyboard into the box while turned off.
>      Turn box on, and when light changes to slowly blinking
>      (approx. 1 minut) type in a temporary passphrase (yes,
>      blindly, there is no screen) and unplug the keyboard.
>   b) Hold down reset button for 5 seconds while turned off.
>      Turn box on while keeping down reset button, and when
>      light changes to slowly blinking (approx. 1 minut)
>      release the reset button.
> * Notice how light blinks double now, indicating pairing mode.
>   If not then repeat above step.
> * connect the box and your own computer one of these ways:
>   a) connect directly with an ethernet cable
>   b) connect directly with a USB cable - showing as a usb-net at
>      your computer
>   c) connect your own computer to wifi network "freedomnet"
>      offered by the box.
> * connect to web address http://freedombox.local/ or connect    to DLNA device "freedombox".
> * Enter your passphrase (if using reset button, enter 1234).
> * Select the Freedoms you want enabled, and select "OK".
> * If your selection included personal freedoms then enter your
>   nickname (you can add more later), and save the WebID you
>   are then being given.
>   NB! Very important that you keep this WebID and keep it
>   private - it is your key to personal data on FreedomBox!

I imagine something more like this:

1. First you install the freedom box interface software for the
personal computer which you already have.  It's packaged for your
GNU/Linux distribution, or you can download it from the web for your
Windows or Macintosh computer, or either way it came with the freedom
box you bought on a CD or USB drive.  Installing it from the web for
Windows should be even easier than installing Mozilla Firefox from the
web for Windows.

2. Now you connect the freedom box directly to your computer with either:
  a) an ethernet cable
  b) a USB cable
One of these two cables came with the freedom box when you bought it.
Later in normal use you'll be able to interact with the freedom box
over an encrypted wireless link.

3. You click the icon for the freedom box interface which the
installation process has conveniently automatically placed on your
desk top (the same icon that you're going to click for the interface
that you're going to use to interact with your freedom box in normal

4. It walks you step by step through anything you might need to do,
which is as little as possible.  As Jonas has written, all services
have sensible defaults and are ready to go, and any tuning is optional
and can be done later (like, in an accessible and easy to use settings
menu).  The process should be as easy or easier than setting up a
Facebook account.

This might be ambitious, but it's what we need to get people to use
the thing.  Normal users do not tolerate hassle of any kind.  Even all
that stuff with the blinking lights and the reset button and so on
will be viewed by users as an unacceptable pain in the neck.

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