Peter Rukavina alerted me to the existence of Pirate Boxes, as he has been blogging his experiences participating in a workshop in Berlin, and then building his own, and doing his own workshop as ‘hacker in residence’ at the University of PEI.

These boxes are a wifi enabled file server that allows you to create a local exchange hub (to share files, chat etc.), without needing to have an internet connection present. Mobile devices connect to it through wifi directly.

You can build them using a cheap wireless router, or ap Raspberry Pi computer for instance, which makes it an affordable thing to do. I have one of those Raspberry Pi’s at home, and until now did not know what to really do with it. So building a Pirate Box out of it might just be the thing.

Especially as a French group has created a slightly different version dubbed the ‘Coworking box‘ that contains a few tools to facilitate collaborative work.

So I see two possible experiments with Raspberry Pi. One is opening a Pirate Box up in our home street and see if any of the neighbors (or their teen kids) start using it. The other is following the French co-working example and see if I can use it in a group session or during a workshop.

Seems like a nice little experiment to get up and running, probably when I get back home to NL. (Although I have seen Raspberry Pi’s in local stores here)