Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Meet the orc (Oct 17/18)

We'll be at IPEXPO 2012, Earl's Court 2, on October 17th/18th on the FireBrick stand, and if you come along you can meet the orc! Register FREE

Thrall Horde is training room supervisor here at A&A, but for the show he is doing stand security :-)

If you don't have an orc to protect your network, you might like to consider a FireBrick.

But seriously, if you are interested in anything network, IPEXPO looks like a useful show. We're happy to talk to anyone on the stand, and we will be taking pictures of the orc with visitors and giving out 6x4 prints for you to take home (and a link so you can download). There will be other goodies on the stand too.

The show is the first marketing we have done for a long time for either FireBrick or A&A, and it is all a bit new for us. We have an excellent team on the case, including Alex Bloor (our new Business Development Manager) and Michael Barrett who is assisting him with marketing. Once the IPEXPO is out of the way, Alex will be concentrating on how A&A can expand, but I really want to retain all of the good things about being a small ISP no matter how big we get.

See you there... It's free if you register a ticket in advance.

P.S. That blog post is far to salesy for me - so here is something more technical.

The pictures of the orc have in fact led to a lot of throught. We are taking pictures with a wide angle lens so we don't have to stand in the aisle or have people walking in front of us. We are then printing them. We finally decided to print direct from the camera (on to a Canon Selphy printer) via USB. This works well but takes around a minute - which is no problem as it gives us an excuse to tell people about the FireBricks we are trying to sell :-)

We did consider wifi to a laptop, which would be neater as no leads connecting to the camera. Several snags with that, including the fact that this Selphy does not appear to have drivers for Mountain Lion, D'Oh. There is also an issue with the local wifi police (exhibition company) who are banning us bringing our own access point on to the stand and connecting to the stand internet. Well, we are happy that we would be using the camera wifi as a device not an AP, in ad-hoc mode not as infrastructure to a laptop (so no AP at all) and not connected to the stand internet, but we're not sure we would win that argument with some stroppy security person with a wifi scanner on the day. Using the show wifi (at a cost for exhibitors) would not work as there is a captive portal and the camera has no browser to work it!

So, printing is sorted, but we figure people will want the picture digitally too. I am sure people will want it emailed. So to make life easy we are printing up stickers in advance, with the image number on it, and a unique code. The camera can upload on Ethernet (so a second wire cable tied to the USB cable). This means that visitors can either have a print with a URL stuck on the back, or just have a business card with a URL stuck on the back if they don't want a print. We are even including a 2D barcode so they can scan rather than type the URL. The idea is people will be able to get the full resolution image on the spot and post to facebook or the like, if they want. The unique code means people cannot just browse all the pictures from the show, only get their own.

The camera does ftp, so quite easy for the server to run a script on each uploaded file and put it on the right URL automatically. The camera actually starts the ftp and logs in when we focus, and then transfers the image immediately when taken, which is pretty cool.

We are also going to ask people if they want to be in the gallery, but have yet to work out how to automate that choice and run the gallery live on the web site - I am sure we'll work out how to do that.

5 comments:

  1. IP Expo always has a lot of AP vendors - I don't recall seeing any live demos, but there might be mileage in seeing if you can show off the all-new captive portal WiFi features of the FireBrick that allow MAC addresses of cameras to bypass the landing page?

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  2. Regarding WiFi police and extortionate costs at exhibition halls..someone needs to take on this evil.

    It's an unlicensed public band and I can't see how it would be legal to prevent people running their own APs, forcing a monopoly on connectivity.

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  3. Hi Phil,

    The "policing" is not there (I do it as this show ;-) to be a hindrance - it is there to help mitigate interference and ensure a better QoS. You are correct though, the Wi-Fi spectrum is unlicensed and for sure cannot be legally "controlled" but controlling rogue / mis-configured AP's on a 3rd party fixed network certainly can (otherwise we would have no WIPS).

    Happy to discuss further off-line (or on!) if you want!

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  4. and i'm not stroppy as suggested ;-)

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