Part III – Untethered and Mobile
The MEM box system (computer + stand-alone router), a portable autonomous WordPress Pressbooks server, was a proof of concept. The following information is a record of the experience and method based on the work by Lawrence Poon and Steve Swettenham.
There is no need to presume that everything must be connected to the Internet to function with computing devices. There are many areas of the world and contexts where a stand-alone Wireless Local Area Network could work with existing smartphones, independent from the Internet. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Bulletin Boards Systems operated as autonomous digital communications centers for computers connected via modems. The main differences with modern systems is hardware and software that takes advantage of wireless communications. Hence, the end-user modem has now become a built in wireless hardware for smartphones, tablets, or larger computers.
The Raspberry PI3 Model B (PI3) with a Linux operating system provided the opportunity for an ultra low cost and compact Pressbooks server to be deployed as an autonomous system anywhere in the world.
The process required experience with installing hardware, operating systems, software, and configuring a specialized router capable of stand-alone WiFi.
A brief overview of the process involves installing Ubuntu on the PI3 with PHP and MySQL, then installing WordPress Multisite. Afterwards, a backup of the original site was restored to the new WordPress Multisite. The router was configured as a stand-alone operation (i.e., disconnected from the Internet), and the IP of the PI3 was changed to work with the router settings. Testing of the router wire and wireless connections confirmed correct operation.