PirateBox: an "artistic provocation" in lunchbox form

    Date31 Jan 2011
    CategoryPrivacy
    2635
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    When NYU art professor David Darts shows people his lunchbox, "a smile just starts creeping up on their face." Painted black with a white skull-and-crossbones, the metal box doesn't hold a pastrami on rye; instead, it's stuffed with networking equipment and batteries, and it hosts a Debian Linux install running a barebones Python-powered Web server. The goal of this "PirateBox": to create an open file-sharing network in any public space, and to do with total privacy.

    Inside the PirateBox sits a Free Agent Dockstar, an Asus WL330GE wireless router, and a SanDisk 16GB flash drive. The software, including Debian Linux and the DD-WRT open-source router firmware, is all free. The total build cost is under $100, not counting the lunchbox enclosure and the optional battery pack (the PirateBox can alternately run on AC power).

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