Wardening/Ubuntu VHF Idea

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Welcome Flat Ubuntu VHF Idea

Wardening at one of the more remote huts in New Zealand, it has become increasingly obvious that having access to the internet via a VHF radio would be desirable.

Reasons for Internet Access

  • As a health and safety issue it would be beneficial to have unrestricted access to weather forecasts including satellite imagery
  • Emailing photos of problems to staff at base will help with troubleshooting and getting issues resolved more quickly
  • Accessing the Department Of Conservation intranet from Welcome Flat would enable:
  1. The Volunteer Coordinator to utilise their time more efficiently
  2. Not have to return to the office from Welcome Flat to a backlog of emails to address
  • Accessing the Internet will help with researching solutions to problems and questions that arise while at Welcome Flat

Technical Details

  • The present electrical system allows for limited amounts of use from a solar powered battery
  • There are no traditional plugs available but light fittings are handy (bayonet)
  • A small portable computer that could be run from 12v battery
  • A spare battery that could be carried to and from base for extra charging - if needed (winter)?

Why Use Ubuntu

  • No licensing issues such as cost or agreements over the use of the computer software
  • It is simple and robust to use
  • Setting up of a single computer can then be easily replicated for other remote computer users
  • Software editing can be done to meet the needs of the user
It would be reasonable to presume that the agreement with the Department of Conservation and Microsoft over licences would be equal to building new huts or employing extra staff around the country. 
Money could be saved by DOC if they stopped using proprietary software

There would be a significant amount of prestige in being able to establish Internet access in this remote hut for both the user and the company that sets it up