This Is our Village

Monday, October 14, 2013


Hi all,
In a marathon session of the Finance Committee, Officers Committee and Executive Board, a draft budget for 2014 has been passed. The Officers Committee vote was tie, but nonetheless the draft budget now rolls forward to the Delegate Assembly for approval.
According to our Attorney, Rod Tennyson, these combined actions meet the burden of "presenting a budget in October"; and the Delegate Assembly has until December to approve the budget.
One Resident promised that if the Wi-Fi line was not removed from the budget, the budget would be rejected! neither the Finance Committee nor the Executive Board was intimidated. Additionally, if the budget is not passed by the final Delegate meeting in December; then we simply continue with the last Delegate Assembly approved budget, namely the 2013 budget.
These opinions alleviate the crisis atmosphere and the need for non-scheduled Delegate Assembly meetings and the possibility of lack-of-quorum that such a meeting might bring.
I feel that the later this vote is taken, the presence of more Seasonal Residents will improve the probability of success of this budget and Wi-Fi.
So, we will present this budget to the regularly scheduled meeting of the Delegate Assembly on 1 November 2013.
See you all then!
Dave Israel


  1. This makes sense, that we're not locked into NO budget if the 2014 budget isn't voted up or down by the delegate assembly in October.

  2. Since the lowest acceptable bid was $3/month, what happens now - are we going to look at better, faster, and cheaper technology?

    Every unit has both Comcast and wire line head ends. If each unit installed an appropriate modem ($60/month for excellent speed) and a router/antenna $250 or so one time), we could bring the system in for far less money - but it would take more cooperation, so maybe we need a system that doesn't require cooperation???

  3. Hi CaptStu,
    October 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM,

    Comcast would be most happy to sign a bulk HSI (MODEM) contract with CV at $20 - $25 per month/unit. (ditto, AT&T or Hotwire) How is that better than $2 - $3/month/unit.

    This model is not Campus wide Wi-Fi, to make it so, all of these MODEMS would then have to communicate with an antenna (Wired or wireless), and all of these antennae would have to be networked by a Network Operations Center, where high speed switches will manage traffic, all at more cost.

    Of course, Comcast offers no such product, as they and AT&T would rather sell us HSI at costs far greater that our Wi-Fi system will come in.

    Wireless Mesh networks, are deployed globally and they work just fine.

    Dave Israel

  4. Dave,

    I'm not the enemy - but let me propose a thought experiment:

    Suppose via the miracle of cooperation, everyone who currently has DSL or Cable internet and a router agreed to remove the password from their router in exchange for $30 to the first three people in each building who agreed.

    Now imagine driving around CV with your wi-fi detector. Mine is a smart phone, but there are more sophisticated detectors. You will quickly find that everyplace (or at least nearly) has "coverage" with no additional equipment.

    You don't need industrial wi-fi to provide excellent coverage - just lots of ordinary home routers that are fairly standard - if fact, I see about 10 routers from my condo and this is typical.

    Now, you say, this is only a thought experiment - in fact, you probably couldn't convince 1000 people to turn off their passwords.

    But, once the thought experiment convinces you, you could convince a provider to install at list price regular DSL or Cable internet link in one wiring rooms of each building for about $40/month each if we don't ask for a discount for the bulk purchase. Once the modems are in place, it would be easy (on a scale of resolving the Government shutdown) to install a router/antenna in each building with the name , i.e. 1WellingtonD and NO PASSWORD - thus no administration beyond someone to call if an access point goes out.

    Yes, there would be some mooching since anyone within reach could use the wifi at no extra charge - but there is also no administration cost, so we would have the budget to either speed up selected links or just add link (think 2WellingtonD or even 2WellingtonDEast) until service was acceptable.

    There would be no service level agreement, no central administration, no password administration and for nearly no cost, not much budget bitching. Call it an experiment initially.

    Using standard internet, banking, stock transactions and, most important, porn are already security protected. People should be warned that the e/mail with their grandson's photos might be seen by others.

    Now, be assured, a centrally administrated enterprise quality, password protected, robust wifi deployment such as you have conceived and managed (well, I believe), is "better" - but we are a frugal community and "cheap but good enough" might be good enough.

    By the way, with little effort each building could deploy this type of architecture independent of all other buildings, but this, like the administration of cell phones for access control, is (technical term here) nuts.

  5. CaptnStu please take your ideas to the WiFi committee they have been working on these issues for a year and a half. Blogging is not the place for reams of info.
    I was glad to see you suggest "little effort for each building" - Does the President (moi) have to fix wireless dead zones and add repeaters in my cement and metal building. The DSL Express proposal already has built-in experienced service for this.

  6. Hi CaptStu,
    October 15, 2013 at 6:51,

    The idea of no passwords is not acceptable, our Wi-Fi will employ WPA2-PSK Enterprise grade encryption, this will indeed allow banking, CC purchase and like sensitive business.

    Also, your Ad-hoc networking will not prevent bandwidth hogs, nor will it accommodate the wide variety of devices that are employed by our residents.

    Our plan is designed to operate both indoors and out on Campus, in a uniform and equitable fashion, 4Mbit downstream and 1 Mbit upstream.

    Nothing could be worse than a unreliable ad-hoc system.

    Dave Israel

  7. Dave, You might, at some point, ask if the password scheme you suggest is worth $100,000/month to the folks on a fixed income at CV?

    Bandwidth hogs and device accommodation are not complete correct assumptions. Wi-Fi is the same on all devices. If your phone works on the proposed scheme, it will work on any similar scheme that conforms with the wifi standard.

    Bandwidth hogs, if they exist in CV, are easily accommodated by just adding another access point. The additional $40/month is less than the administrative cost of finding and restricting such hogs on a more robust scheme.

    If individual residents of CV are convinced your scheme will preserve the photos of their grandchildren any better than a simpler, less expensive open scheme, they can always buy service from Comcast. They probably already have it and will continue to pay the $40 or so for the confidence in the wired service.

    I have no dog in the race relative to the Wi-Fi committee - they did, I believe, an excellent job on acquiring the high priced spread - but we are a frugal community and if the budget approved doesn't allow the high priced version, maybe we could re-think the problem and use a lower priced, less secure, less robust solution that might be good enough for our frugal community.

    As I've said before, I'm a "Johnny come lately" resident of CV and it isn't fair to take shots at the hard work the wifi folks have done. I believed before and believe now the Wifi committee has done an excellent job and we should proceed with the centralized robust system if funds are available.

    If the budget precludes such a system, I'll help any way I can with the frugal system.

    I am, however, confused on one issue. If this blog isn't for this type of discussion, where is the blog I should post on? There is no attempt to undermine the administration (you are doing a great job), just to inject a technical viewpoint that might help if the budget is restricted.

    Should I pose elsewhere? Not post?

  8. Hi CaptStu,
    October 16, 2013 at 9:59 AM,

    Of course you should post here, why not,

    Your Ad-Hoc network would simply not work, especially in mobile mode, the user would experience dropouts and would be lucky to achieve Dial-up speeds. There would endless "handshaking" and "ARQs due to error rates that would crash connections.

    As noted before, Wireless Mesh Networks are deployed globally and are robust and functional; not a bad deal for $2 -$3/month/unit.

    As for security, it is indeed important, and it is included in the $2 - $3/month/unit.

    Dave Israel

  9. I have wifi in my condo. I have a password. I would NOT use any system that anyone can hack into. By the way this community was built as a middle class community and I would hope that we can keep it that way even with food stamp people living here. My understanding is that you need a certain income to move in here. If associations don't care about our village then we have a big problem. Not everyone is in a food stamp mode of living here, CaptStu. To keep our village forward thinking I want to see wifi throughout the village not only in my condo. Associations need to follow their bi laws to keep this village up and not let it degrade!

  10. Grace, Please ask Dave: He can tell you that anyone with some time, no honor, and some easily available tools can hack into any wireless system. The NSA isn't alone in these capabilities.

    I'm not in any way suggesting this is a food stamp community - only that it is the nature of people who are living on a fixed income 25 years after they retire to become somewhat frugal.

    I believe the WI FI committee has done an excellent job with the task they were given - but I also believe that wireless security and central administration are costly items in a community network.

    Philadelphia, among many cities, has deployed a less expensive open network and while some may choose not to use an unsecured network we may be forced into a less secure or no wifi network by the budget process.

    $3/month is a great deal - but so is $1 or less for most of us who are less concerned with foreign spies seeing our grand-kids at their birthday parties.

    Either system is subject to some problems from network hogs. Once it becomes generally known that most premium TV is available at a lower cost on the internet, we may see a rise of unintentional network hogging from the viewers of premium golf, football, and sewing channels.

    So what. If areas of the community become slower, we can add access points as necessary. When the number of access points grows beyond our budget, we can recognize that wifi, like flowing drinking water, has become a resource in demand and either raise the price (suppose 90% of CV is using it), or introduce network throttling, a foolish technique to stop hogs, but this may be years away.

    We should keep going exactly as the wi fi committee has planned, make the proposal that is winning available on line, and ignore everything I've posted unless the budget is rejected.

    If it is rejected, we should choose a few volunteer buildings and begin deploying a frugal, open, un-managed network, evaluating the success (or failure) and coming up with a frugal campus wide plan, including telling everyone about the potential security shortcomings.

    If that happens, I'll be happy to help.

  11. Hi CaptnStu, yes you should post here, I think it was me that (sounded unfriendly) sorry, I was too tired to tackle all your suggestions. I will leave it to Dave who has rapid and accurate grasp of all things WiFi and computers. I am not even on WiFi committee and they have done a very thorough job - and continue to do so.

  12. Hi All,

    A word or two on Security of "electronic systems"

    One of the first Hackers worthy of the title, was one Kevin Mitnick; his mighty "accomplishment" which sent waves of fear throughout TELCO land and the Government establishment, spun off the conversion of TELCO analog switches,to computerized digital switches. (A transformational event for the Intelligence Community)!

    I commend to all who are interested in such things, to research and read about Kevin's "Hacking the PAC-Bell switch" circa 1981.

    Also read about how Kevin was tracked and caught.

    All this leads to the simple fact, that NO electronic system, especially one that has RF or Internet exposure, is totally safe from hacking.

    There are additional safeguards beyond those in Wi-Fi that will secure your sensitive Internet transactions.

    Everyone concerned must do your research, look up SSL encryption and related items like the Secure Hash Algorithm, Triple DES, ....Etc. I could give classes on these things which would bore you to death.

    Please do not let a few Malcontents scare us all out of an incredible Value Added amenity like Wi-Fi.

    Politics and technical issues do not mix well.

    Dave Israel

  13. Captn Stu, you cannot live in fear that someone will hack your computer or you will have to stay under your bed cowering in fear. Everyone who is retired and living in the village is on a fixed income and I, coming for a foreign country, pay an exchange rate on top of it. I would much rather pay the $3.00 per month than what I am paying Comcast now. As I stated before this was built as a middle class village and I would want it to stay that way.


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