The Living Thing / Notebooks : Sneaker nets, mesh nets, intermittent connectivity and surviving without broadband entirely

A.K.A. the Honda protocol.

A.K.A.“the internet as if the entire world did not live in Seoul and Silicon Valley”.

If you are experience generally bad connectivity because you live in an are with bad wireless internet, or you occasionally go inside buildings or experience topography in your landscape, you need to think about this. OSX is particularly horrible.

Also, realistically, you should have the internet cached for offline use because Nation states are playing at war games to destroy the internet, and us little people will suffer when that happens.

Ideally I’d like to find robust ways of participating in the internet bidirectionally, in non-real-time, without assuming the internet is plugged in and working. This is a tricky problem in general, and specific, partial solutions abound. Especially unidirectional solutions. For example, you can get read-only versions of wikipedia for offline use in your remote mountain village; but there is no easy way to contribute your updates back to the version on the main internet.

Without diminishing the hardness of the general problem, I feel we underinvest in specific special cases of this. Anyway, let’s wee what we have.

Offline offline automatic filesync

one option is git-annex, which also does file sync.

Roll your own alternative protocols

TODO: mention the Indonesian IP piracy sneakernets’ approach to this.

Distributed version control can fix this sort of problem; but remote mountain villages rarely have distributed version control experts.

Technical stuff with intermittent connectivity

The command line might need some upgrading

function wget_non_california () { until wget -c --timeout=10 $*; do sleep 10; done }

Backed by a major player: mars, the network stack of Wechat.

Offline wikipedia

AFAICT there is no way to contribute upstream. But a reasonably simple and well-curated option is to use the Kiwix offline wikipedia, which can give you everything, everything minus pictures, or only “medical” articles, or only “school” articles and so on.

Offline manuals is an excellent offline cache of API docs that works from your browser.

Even more comprehensive are the specialised apps dash (OSX, USD25) and zeal (Linux, Windows, open source).

The whole internet offline

Amber case argues for IPFS, which at a glance sounds great for reading content although I don’t understand how it generalises to writing content.

Build your own occasionally-consistent distributed infrastructure

or never-consistent.