Best solution - mobile wifi hotspot

Jim Stapleton stapleton.41 at
Fri May 30 13:08:30 UTC 2008

My dad makes instruments and goes to a lot of festivals. They are
typically in the middle of nowhere, without internet. Many vendors
still bring notebooks as they provide quick & easy access to many
things, but there is no internet. For credit cards, many use their
cell phones to make the transaction. My dad wants to get a satellite
connection (pure sattelite, no phone), and set up something to offer a
wireless hotspot.
- Some shows will just pay a flat fee, and have the hotspot open.
- Some shows won't pay a fee, and so he'll want to charge to recover
some of the cost.

For the open hotspots, a simple wireless router will do. For the
charge hotspots, we'd want something a little more flexible. My first
thought was 'FreeBSD can do that!'. The trick is that we will be using
battery power most of the time. Low power is the key. I'm thinknig
sub-20W max power drain worst case, SUB 10-15W is ideal.

With that background info, my questions are:
1) Is building a low power computer based on FreeBSD the right way to
go? Or would you all recommend something else? What?
2) Does anyone have experience with the GeodeNX or VIA C7 boards
available on NewEgg? Heads ups and pointers?
3) Does anyone have experiences with these and a given wireless
adaptor, How good/bad is/was it?

-Jim Stapleton

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