Digital Library Project

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T Gillett

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Nov 19, 2020, 3:28:20 AM11/19/20
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Hi All

We have been doing some work on a Digital Library Project designed to provide a simple, low cost classroom wifi router with a library of locally stored content to enable students to access the material via a Web Browser without the need for an Internet connection.

Attached is a brief outline of the project.

Downloads are available as follows:



Feedback welcome.

Regards
Terry

Digital-Library-Intro.pdf

Lionel Laské

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Nov 19, 2020, 9:06:20 AM11/19/20
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Hi Terry,

Congrats!

Is there any document where you describe the hardware (WiFi router) you're using?

Regards.

         Lionel.


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Nathan Riddle

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Nov 19, 2020, 3:22:39 PM11/19/20
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Terry,

Thanks for this updated and open expansion of the Rachel Station.
Intend to road test on one of my MT300N-V2 (GL-iNet), which Digital Library supports.

http://download.villagetelco.org/firmware/digital-library/releases/Ver-1.0/

Still looking at such a solution, LibraryBox or IIAB on Pi Zero for student as well as teacher uploading and downloading to a digital library, which might provide a simple solution for resources and homework download/pickup.

My specific interest is in expanding the usefulness of XO-1 laptops still in use.
The XO will be a useful tool in installing this Digital Library.
Also, it can access a large portion of the content you outlined.

Much of the the instructions you provide can be useful to load such content on a large micro SD (with exFat tools installed on XO). Here, the menu from Static Rachel, with item for USB drive, has been used. Also, an XO Activity for providing a simple HTTP server is useful.

Best,
Nathan Riddle
Michigan XO Laptop Community Repair Center
xoa...@xoshare.org
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T Gillett

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Nov 20, 2020, 3:41:43 AM11/20/20
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Hi All

Attached document outlines various Hardware options for the current Digital Library firmware.

Feedback welcome.

Regards
Terry
Digital-Library-Hardware-Draft-01.pdf

Lionel Laské

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Nov 20, 2020, 5:36:27 AM11/20/20
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Very cool. Thanks.
May be something to add in this document: the # of simultaneous connected clients on these devices.
My personal experience on using RPi as a WiFi hotspot shows that it supports about 10 devices max.
Maybe with these devices dedicated to network operations, we could expect more?

Regards.

       Lionel.


T Gillett

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Nov 20, 2020, 8:01:28 AM11/20/20
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We have used these devices in classes of 30 students which they handle quite well.

It is essential that WiFi connections remain stable in a classroom setting. It is obviously a nightmare for teachers when connections drop out as an AP gets overloaded.

There is a configuration setting that determines the maximum number of connections the AP will accept. This prevents a device from becoming overloaded.

Nathan Riddle

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Dec 7, 2020, 11:13:19 PM12/7/20
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Digital Library, GL-inet MT300 and XO-1 trial:

The Digital Library firmware was easily installed on the MT300N-V2 (Mango), which is shipped with OpenWRT firmware.
Connecting via WiFi to its admin page provided a "firmware update" menu item, which loaded Digital Library firmware from a USB drive.

A PC (XO) was used to copy template and selected modules to a USB drive to be used as the DIGITAL_LIBRARY_USB drive.
This drive was inserted into the single USB port on the MT300.

An XO-1 was used for the downloading, formatting the drive (ext2) using gparted (YUM installed) and copying sample content. Content came from the OE2GO modules on an Internet-in-a-Box SD card. The OpenWRT firmware on the MT300 was current.

Accessing any high resolution content (such as CatDogbooks) using an XO-1 was too slow to be useful. Text content was usable, but slower than using a USB drive in the XO-1. For XO-1, Firefox (YUM downloaded) is faster than Browse for PDF files.

All the sample content could be accessed with an obsolete Chromebook.

In summary, XO-1 laptops can access a portion of Digital Library Project content.

The MT300 was obtained for under $20, including shipping, as "distressed packaging", which appears to be old "startup card" that did not match newer installed firmware menu.
Nathan Riddle

T Gillett

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Dec 14, 2020, 2:21:12 AM12/14/20
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Hi All

I have posted a draft User Guide for Assembling Digital Library Content to assist with the process of creating a library.

The document can be downloaded here:

Feedback welcome.

Regards
Terry

T Gillett

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May 10, 2021, 10:25:14 PM5/10/21
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Hi All

We have posted some updated firmware for the Digital Library project.
The Ver 2 firmware provides some upgraded facilities around the web server and networking.

The Ver 2 firmware is only available for devices with 8MB or greater Flash memory, so you will notice a limited range of devices compared to Ver 1.

Firmware is available for download here:

Documentation is available here:

If you have the opportunity to try out the Digital Library firmware please respond to the mail list and let us all know about your initiatives.

Regards
Terry



On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 6:28 PM T Gillett <tgil...@gmail.com> wrote:

T Gillett

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May 31, 2021, 11:11:04 PM5/31/21
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Hi All

We have posted some test firmware for the Digital Library devices to add a Mesh WAN facility here:

The main purpose of the Mesh WAN mode is to wirelessly share an upstream network connection between a number of DL devices.

If you have a number of DL devices you can set them to Mesh WAN mode, or Mesh WAN GW mode (on the Network config page) in order to link the devices together and share an upstream network connection e.g. for Internet access. Select the required mode and click on "Save&Apply" button to activate it.

One device needs to be set to Mesh WAN GW mode as the Gateway. This device is then connected to an upstream router via its Ethernet WAN port to provide the Internet connection.  

This Mesh WAN GW mode device will then share the upstream connection with all the other DL devices set to Mesh WAN mode via a simple 802.11s WiFi mesh - each DL device will be assigned a WAN IP address by the upstream router.

Details of the mesh network operation can be seen on the Network Status page.

If you are interested in this facility, please try it out and let us know how it goes.

Regards
Terry

Sam Rossiter

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Jun 1, 2021, 8:46:39 AM6/1/21
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Talking about mesh I wonder if there is any use to this long-range
LoRa mesh network in an educational setting?

https://meshtastic.org/

The data quantity is tiny, but it could give chat capability across
remote sites? 10km + on solar panels. <$100 per node.

If anyone has a concrete use case I'd be interested in collaborating
on a funding application to test it in an educational/ development
context.

Thanks

Sam
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T Gillett

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Oct 22, 2021, 1:35:48 AM10/22/21
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Hi All

We have posted an updated Digital Library firmware Version 2.3 to this URL:
And updated User Manual here:

This version contains the Mesh WAN addition and also a remote access facility using Remote.it.
This allows you to access the administration web screens  and the command line securely over the Internet so you can look after a device in a remote location.

Enjoy.

Feedback welcome.

Regards
Terry

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