Update 6 & Stretch Goals!
So sorry this has taken so long to get to you, but my initial stretch goals that I had prepared prior to launch were for $4000 and $4500. Those seem quaint and backwards at this point in the campaign.
Before I list the stretch goals, one huge piece of news for backers, just so you know where your money is going: I’ve reached an agreement with Matthias Strubel, the lead developer of the PirateBox project (which LibraryBox is a fork of) to do the development for LibraryBox 2.0. Matthias is absolutely the right person for this, and I’m thrilled to be working with him.
In my original development goals for the project, I listed:
- Much easier installation.
- More control over user interface and general look and feel.
- Instructions and builds for alternative hardware, including the Raspberry Pi, that will allow the project to be more flexibly implemented.
Those are definitely going to be included, and are no longer “goals” but instead are active development targets with known deadlines and delivery dates that confirm my ability to deliver LibraryBox 2.0 as promised. The “easier installation” is going to be two-step, but with flexibility for those who still want to tinker....it’s going to be much better than I had initially described, thanks to a few clever changes by Matthias. The process will be: download files, unzip to USB, flash firmware. Done. We’re leapfrogging the PirateBox project on this, and I’m very excited about the potential for this moving forward.
More exciting for some will be that in addition to moving the web directory to the USB stick (which means that you can develop using your traditional HTML tools directly on your laptop rather than via SSH and vi) we will also be including PHP in the 2.0 release, which means that you will be able to do much more interactive things than ever before with LibraryBox. We will also be enabling configuration options (such as custom SSID) by simply editing files on the USB, which is another new feature. Most of this functionality was originally in the stretch goals, but they are now being rolled into the development of the project thanks to the overwhelming support.
As far as hardware goes, we will also be able to provide single-step installation for an increasing number of routers beyond the MR3020. We will be supporting the MR3040 and the WR703N as well, with the same feature set. We will also be adding a non-portable option, the WR842ND, for areas where a more permanent installation might be warranted.
The Raspberry Pi is more difficult, but again because of the incredible support we are going to be able to provide a LibraryBox 2.0 image for the RPi that will involve nothing more than downloading and copying to an SD card. I had expected to have this be a manual process of installation, and automating it also kicks one of my initial stretch goals into the dirt.
With so many of my original stretch goals now already rolled into the project, it took some work and discussion to find others that made sense and were grounded in what the hardware and software can actually support. I think we’ve found two that will excite people and show what can be done. With that, here are the new Stretch Goals!
New stretch goals!
$25,000 - FTP updating access
If we hit $25,000, we’ll include the ability to use FTP to update the contents of the downloads folder without having to physically remove the USB or touch the LibraryBox at all. You’ll be able to connect to the wifi signal with your laptop or tablet and FTP new items to the LibraryBox, or remove old items from the LibraryBox. This will make managing Boxen in the wild much, much easier.
$30,000 - Mesh networking
If we make it all the way to $30K, we will add mesh networking to LibraryBox 2.0. What is mesh networking? In short, it would allow LibraryBoxen to connect, peer-to-peer, and automatically compare and cross-load content from one box to the other. You could have a series of Boxen in a city, all within wifi-range of each other, and when you updated one LibraryBox, it would automatically reach out and send the new content to the other Boxen in range.