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From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 2:35 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Re: we have a link
short mail from thame
Everything is perfect except for the voice.
the weather is really cold and cloudy here.
It is 3PM here in thame and I shall be leaving for Namche.
Reply from 184.108.40.206: bytes=32 time=7ms
Reply from 220.127.116.11: bytes=32 time=6ms
Reply from 18.104.22.168: bytes=32 time=6ms
First test by Tsering Sherpa of wireless and net connectivity above
from 12,000 foot Namche, Nepal, 4.5km and over intervening hills to
14,000 foot very poor Thame sherpa village and its small, unendowed
school, where the Headmaster Lakhman is launching tomorrow morning
with people from 4 other villages looking on, one of the worlds most
remote formal 'Distance Learning' programs.
You can't IMAGINE how bizarre a route the Internet packets have to
travel to get there to and from Mingma, a native Sherpa in Pittsburgh
PA who grew up in Namche and who has been in the US for 9 years,
speaks/writes English well, is a computer programmer, and who will be
teaching the kids in Thame via the net, in Nepalese and English.
Great credit has to go to Tsering, and his Nepalese geek employee
Santosh Adhikari for this singular achievement late yesterday. After
only a week's tutorial by me up in Namche last October.
Believe it or not, the Internet packets from the rest of the world
have to travel to a Satellite service in Hawaii, from whence it goes
up and down to the Satellite equipped service of Worldlink in
Kathmandu, Nepal (adding 600 milliseconds delay to the signal) and
then up from Worldlink's dish antennas in KM via ANOTHER satellite
jump down to Tserings Satellite base station in the middle of Namche,
adding ANOTHER 600 millisecond - or the bits travel 88,000 miles
through space at the speed of light but taking 1.2 seconds delay to
get there which can play havoc with conversations by VOIP phones - and
THEN from the server and router in little 4 computer work station
'Cyber Café' even BEFORE it gets wireless!
Then, to reach Thame, unbelievably, and worked out and reinstalled and
installed entirely by Tsering and Santosh this last month after I was
there to help engineer it and they had to change school locations.
Tsering and Santosh, took down and rearranged the 802.11b 2.4ghz
wireless architecture from (1)the Cyber Café building Bridge radio(2)
the Access Point I had installed on the Buddhist Stupa to cover the
town, and (3) the Relay radio on a Lodge high up on the side of the
Namche 'bowl' and replaced it with (1) the Cyber Café Bridge radio
pointed up to the high Lodge (2) installed the Access Point on that
high lodge which then could 'see' (3) a Relay Radio up on the plateau
where the National Park HQ is (giving them service), which can see over
a plateau at the National Park HQ to a relay point near Thame there, but
with a 2.4gh 'splitter' going to 2 flat plate 14b antennas, one of which
has to aim downhill at the Access Point radio in the deep bowl of Namche,
and also the over the higher hills toward Thame and THEN (4) to ANOTHER
relay radio 4+KM west over Namche to the very poor 350 year old Gompa
Buddhist Monastery at 15,000 feet whose monks have 220v of electricity
from the small Hydroelectric plant Austrians donated 15 years ago to the
'region'(that Monastery is so poor but generous they can't keep monks
year round there) and FINALLY (5) down to Thame School building itself!
The complete wireless link to Thame requires FIVE radios, with THREE
intervening Relays, and as the ping results above last night show,
getting a speed with only SIX milliseconds of delay between the base
of the Cyber Café Satellite link to Thame School!
What a Sherpa Technical Tour de Force! All I can do is applaud them!
Virtual Yetis par excellence.
The only thing not working well enough yet is the VoIP to from the
students. This which has turned out to be a challenge because of the
latencies, NATs, firewalls and router mysteries in between including the
The speaker phone VOIP connection is very important for the future if
Mingma is going to teach those kiddies oral English, and then use
voice to talk them through, real time, what buttons to push on their
new XP computers (which are hardly plug and play themselves). I don't
care whether it is Cisco hardware VOIP, or Freeworlddialup Software
Phones, but it MUST be made to function. For this is a model for any
remote, other language village in the world - for while billions are
reading/writing illiterate ALL can speak and understand their own
language by voice. VOIP via Wireless the last ???? miles will be the
sina qua non of entry level Distance Learning for the remote masses of
This is a RED letter day. While the media celebrated the getting of a
Cyber Café up to Everest Base Camp at 18,000 feet last May, and others
reported on my going there at 75 and getting Namche Bazar itself
wirelessly connected last November, THIS difficult linking of Thame school,
at a real dollar cost for the radios of less than $2,000 is of MUCH greater
significance, for it is a model for educating the remote EVERYWHERE in
The 'We Have A Link' message from remote, very poor Thame this morning,
is as significant as the multi billion dollar 'The Eagle has Landed'
message decades ago. Twenty years of my trying to extend full and
broadband connectivity to any spot on earth and ESPECIALLY to the
children of the future upon whose modern education the fate of the world
will depend has just come true. It will be a great 76th Birthday
present in May.
Dave "Happy Yak Cursor Cowboy" Hughes