Ubiquiti-LocostationPrior to the remodelling of Denmark Street this year,  YT stepped across the rooftops with Daniel of Peerpoint to set up and distribute access options to the 1gb capacity fibre service available at the ESOL school there.

It’s now distributed over high speed wireless links between buildings and for local business needs in the surrounding areas of Soho, Bloomsbury and St Giles.

denmarkstreet2014-2kIf you can see your place in this panorama and are seeking a top quality broadband connection for your space then get in contact soon for more information on how to link up easily, quickly and economically.


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Fibonacci Bluesky

YT stood on this roof for about an hour yesterday and shot images whilst scanning for RedRaw Internet radios in case we could forge a link up to serve the tenants of Fibi House. In an area so well endowed with ‘world class’ architecture and positioned there in the heart of the City on London you may be surprised to hear how poorly it is serviced with ADSL broadband. No FTTC available? Well, not really shocked but it is curious how much of the UK has yet to be equipped with last century service let alone ready meet current expectations.


Wireless infrastructure ? Well, your well laid plan for rooftop spanning will come to nothing when that new 21 story building completely blocks the light and line of sight to your preferred connectivity vendor. (see conspicuous red crane in this shot!)

Fibre of course would be the preferred choice but with spaces on short leases and with little patience for the continuity issues of managed broadband, many landlords cut the umbilical of any existing service at the end of term and assume each new tenant will plumb their own new (minimum) 3 year fibre contract on moving in or struggle with legacy copper connections. They don’t treat the water and electrical supply in this way so they simply don’t understand the issues. It’s a huge business opportunity so expect we will hear more and more about it before long. Meanwhile many customers are left with little alternative to the clusterfuck of bonding 2, 5, 8 and even 13 ADSL lines to meet the capacity needs of their voice and date networks, with diminishing returns.

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Mazi Mondays

Panayotis Antoniadis co-founder of Nethood has gathered a group of thinkers and network activists around the MAZI project. As part of this initiative, SPC have proposed to revisit the Creekside network in Deptford and help compose a Mazi toolkit. With this, we hope to further the operation of local offline network services over the free information infrastructures such as the long lived OWN. Here he is talking at a recent floss4p2p event in London.

panos“What I had in mind is that the research would focus on an area covered by a local network either permanently or at least during the duration of the project. This network would host locally crafted educational material and floss applications that would showcase emerging tools and technologies. This could be as simple as a single web hosting device offering short-range access or a community mesh network with broader objectives. “

madcapupstreamOur area of focus coincides with existing OWN access point locations, where social housing, marine, artisan, hedonist, business communities and incoming population must co-exist. The whole area is being “developed” with rising blocks on every quarter provoking questions about public space and mixed emotions !

SPC has capacity in it’s high speed network to accommodate Mazi, it’s mesh solutions are great for mobile network nodes and offer resilience in an unstable environment. Primed with a set of great locations and willing collaborators aplenty, a point to point model will ensure backbone stability and higher speeds for community connections.

mazibirdsThere is a swell of cultural and creative interest along Creekside in Deptford where OWN has enjoyed success to date. We hope to rekindle enthusiasm and engagement during the Mazi workshop program, promoting locally owned and run infrastructure alternatives to commercial web hegemony.

riverravensbourneThe Ravensbourne snakes from Bromley through Lewisham and opens out after Elverson Road DLR into naturalised riverside alongside Brookmill Park. It retreats again into a concrete slot under the A2 at Deptford Bridge DLR and emerges as Deptford Creek up behind LeSoCo (Lewisham College) canyoned by new flats and hotels on the Greenwich side, developments that are set to run the length of Norman Road.brookmillreach

Just as the Creek broadens a little and gets really muddy there is a branch mooring a dozen barges and smaller boats. hapennyhatchOn land there are a similar array of trailers and vans where people live and work. At the top of Creekside on the corner of Deptford Church Street is the Birdsnest live music pub and local flux point. APTgalleryOther adjacent properties are in progress of reactivation in the sweep of enthusiasm for SE8. APT (artists in perpetuity trust) purchased the old factory building in 1995 and their community of traditional crafts practitioners are at the core of Deptford artist reputation.

creeksidediscoveryCreekside Education Centre  has the only direct access to the creek. Boundless broadband coop was first implanted here in 2004, and is still operating an OWN node today. Over the road is the Crossfields council housing estate, repopulated  by young families,  artists and musicians in 1970’s. minsweeperfromhatchThereafter it’s a pick n mix run of light industrial yards, Scaffolders, Machinists, Work Units, Art Studios, Cockpit Arts, Laben Dance and bonanza of real estate prospectors with plans to block out the light.

minsweeperlabenA 2nd world war Minesweeper is moored alongside one of few remaining light industrial estates off Norman Road. It has a mixed crew of arty anarchos who screen print t-shirts and lead on refurbishment of the aged hull, host great parties and a flotilla of smaller boats.creekbridgecementworks Madcap Coalition have just moved to one of the remaining warehouses adjacent to the cement works by the Creek Road lifting bridge. Finally at the mouth a new pedestrian swing bridge links between swanky new condo’s before the creek tips into the Thames.

More, much more info about the area and it’s many great features, ideas and activities are reported in a clutch of local blogs, projects and innovations to numerous to detail here.

creekreachHere is the MAZI project outline;
Do-It-Yourself networking refers to a conceptual approach to the use of low-cost hardware and wireless technologies in deploying local communication networks that can operate independently from the public Internet, owned and controlled by local actors.
MAZI means “together” in Greek and the MAZI project invests in this paradigm of technology-supported networking, as a means to bring closer together those living in physical proximity. Through an experienced interdisciplinary consortium, MAZI delivers a DIY networking toolkit that offers tools and guidelines for the easy deployment and customization of local networks and services.
The MAZI toolkit is designed to take advantage of particular characteristics of DIY networking: the de facto physical proximity between those connected; the increased privacy and autonomy; and the inclusive access. Such characteristics are used to promote information exchanges that can develop the location-based collective awareness, as a basis for fostering social cohesion, conviviality, knowledge sharing, and sustainable living.
To achieve this objective, MAZI brings together partners from different disciplines: computer networks, urban planning and interdisciplinary studies, human-computer interaction, community informatics, and design research. These academic partners will collaborate closely with four community partners to ensure that the MAZI toolkit benefits from the grounded experience of citizen engagement.
CAPS_PosterMAZI draws from the diverse mix of competencies of its consortium to develop a transdisciplinary research framework, which will guide a series of long-term pilot studies in a range of environments, and enhanced by various cross-fertilization events. The main goal of this process, and its measure of success, is establishing DIY networking as a mainstream technology for enabling the development of collective awareness between those in physical proximity, and the development of surrounding research and theorizing of this approach.
Participants; University of Thessaly, NetHood, Edinburgh Napier University, Berlin University of the Arts, Open University, INURA Zurich Institute, SPC, Prinzessinnengarten, and unMonastery.
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Re ale state

thamesfootbridgeThis was the first of Ben Wilsons minitures on the Millenium Bridge that I noticed whilst crossing from Bankside to visit Maydayrooms on Fleet Street winter 2014.

31102014benwilsonCaptivated, I inched along snapping other chewing gum paintings and blocking pedestrians till almost tripping over him, working just a few meters along.

His playful response to the available canvas reminded me of Tim Cooks beautifully crafted, sculptures, collages and paintings, often re-purposing everyday objects and images.

Some eventually adorned Backspace, which Tim helped us build in 1996. These are the few we have at Deckspace.

chatlineoperator01 chalineoperator02devilscoachhorse

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IMG_20150409_135632TB spent a couple of hours visiting Vinyl Cafe in Deptford to deliver and fit a couple of IP cameras so that events can be streamed and general view of the place is visible when required. The cafe camera just posts an updated jpg to an ftp server so it can be displayed here.

A second camera is fitted in the basement where live music and DJ performances are a regular occurrence. A new video clip is recorded each time motion is detected then copied up to the web host for review and future use.

if the re is no image then it’s dark out there!

Both camera1 and camera2 offer live streaming using rtsp which browsers can’t easily display but which can be viewed with VLC or similar media players. vinylcafeWe just activated their wordpress blog to enble more regular updates and news to be communicated.

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DIWO Virtual Studio

FF-gallerySPC currently helping Furtherfield optimise network interlinking between Furtherfield Commons in Finbury Park, Drake Music and musician John Kelly.

This in preparation for a DIWO season of Virtual Studio experiments and performances starting in May 2015.

TB visited FF-Commons hosting the primary studio, to replace the lousy BT ADSL router with a more sturdy model,  just 8mb/s down and less than 1mb/s up is best possible telco service available there. We checked the line of sight between FF-Gallery (capable of high speed FTTC) and FF-Commons.. looks good, so recommended install of a 5ghz wireless ‘bridge’ for up to 300mb/s link up asap!

viewfromcommonsProject partners Drake Music will host a studio at their Old Nichol Street space. We helped resolve their long term network access issues with introduction of a powerline startup kit (ethernet over power) which links the studio without need for cable installation. a new gigabit switch and bag of ethernet cables to link their PC’s instead of wireless will liberate their day to day workflow!

Artistically the project will be led by John Kelly, who will work with 3 other musicians, including Roger Mills. John works from his SW London homestudio which already has fast FTTC service in place so is ready to make a start in early May.

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Mad reCapped

Kevinand RankineTB popped into the new Madcap warehouse off Norman Road in Greenwich to have a poke about and size up the work needed to prepare the place for use.  There is more than enough space to hold anything Rankine can pull together in the few months of reliable tenure offered. This site, as most other on the Creek is now under huge pressure of redevelopment and can’t outlast the year.

PANO_madcaplabThe lovely big space is currently very dusty following years as an exhibition wood workshop and still hosts the huge flatbed and jig saws as well as fork lift truck! Much of the huge collection of theatrical and event tents and carnival props has already made it over but a sizable portion remains at the old Pepys Estate store, though before bringing that over the dust must go! See you down there over the next week, take a mask.


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Off-world call

nxlLewisham council dropped all but one of it’s borough libraries in 2011.  Most have been picked up and operated independently since then, not least the New Cross Learning centre bang opposite Deptford Town Hall in New Cross High Road.

SPC have recently taken on support and development role to improve of the scope of network services available and help prepare for the “party in the park 2015” scheduled for late summer.

S8twTdTMeanwhile we have been keeping up with Marcell Mars during his residency at MaydayRooms this month where he will complete development of [let’s share books] the Calibre plug-in which integrates with open reading library Memory Of the World. His assignment at Maydayrooms is to refine publishing processes and assist in the building of their growing archive catalogue and to promote awareness of the hosted collections.

So far during February we have been continuing network development in recently refurbished Spacestudios @ Deborah House whilst nurturing progress of a new studio building, Brickfields, where 100mb/s fibre service is being installed and which goes live at the opening early in April. This brings the number of spacestudios now equipped with broadband connectivity to nine with the tenth due soon.

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Midnight Train Massage

tm2015-wrapupJust returned from a week away at Transmediale in Berlin, ‘Capture All’ where reSync co-habited with a set of social forum and offline network workgroups to explore respective exhaustion with social media, find fresh approaches to localised practice, celebrate a sense of disconnectedness as well as reunite old friends and baptise new. The Off-Networks reviewSo, in a noisy and overloaded foyer environment we bumbled through a few hours of strained explanations and half understood activities until the 16 or so attendees clicked to our reGroove and sparked up some add-hock badge pressing and kitten synchronisation.

To be honest we have performed better than this but despite all, some delight and pleasure was expressed by many involved! Our ‘reSync All‘ workshop could have well been called ‘reCapture Transmediale’ in acknowledgement of the sense shared by many on our self surveillance and semi consciousness of the issues exhibited. tm2015-arrivalElsewhere, more earnestly expressed anxiety and abstractions were deliberated over until the jitter cut of one session over another bewildered and perplexed YT.

Out in the bar, on the terrace and about town the conversations flowed more realistically from where we eventually dragged our soles through to each new day reset and rarified for another go. There were no midnight trains (too early) but trawls through the 90’s ‘scape of tobacco overload and tinnitus trials. No massage but a shrinking scrape with urban imagination and cultural preposterousness.

Just before leaving we popped over to Tactical Tech for lunch and final farewell to hosts Oliver and X Londoner Adam.. yes we ran all the way to the airport.. Cheers All !

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Subs, Hosts and Rays

SPC host a range of subscriber websites and projects from servers in Deckspace or at RedRaw Internet hosting locations elsewhere in the UK.

120Years | Dataunion | DeptfordTVExplodingcinema | Global Elite | Hivenetworks | Kiben |Lisa-Bennett | Outerbongolia | Resourceforge | Vacuum | Yoha | WilliamDDrake | WirelessFM All have been through the hedge and back again in recent months.. but it’s better now thanks Garry!

A new year review of hosted data confirms the following subdomains are active.

bak | beast | bit | blink | consume | cured | dek | diy | dmz | fuller | gif | hay |
home | icecast |  nat | netpsych | omv | own | rad | rip | shift | storysacks |
stream | sub | switch | triangle

If you have a project to host or are in development of new ideas and are seeking support or a place to work please get in touch and subscribe for these services and more in 2015!


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