A mobile electronic survey unit – A.K.A. A Cunning Use for Netbooks

Hi, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, mainly because I’ve been incredibly busy with Uni and work and haven’t had time for hacking on anything interesting at home. However, I’m going to tell you about a really interesting and quite novel use for netbooks that I’ve been setting up at work, hopefully someone else will find it useful and use it in a similar way…

A while ago my boss came to me with an idea. He wanted to purchase a number of netbooks and install LimeSurvey on each of them to be used as a mobile survey unit, that could be taken to schools, colleges, workplaces, etc. and used to collect data for research projects. I pointed out that if we were to install LimeSurvey on all the netbooks each would need an individual webserver and MySQL server, which apart from being a lot of effort would fragment the dataset and make it much more difficult to collect the data together.

Hence, I suggested that we setup one of the machines as the server and set it’s built-in Wifi to work as an access point for the others so they could access the server. This means that no external network access is required, you carry the server with you! Continue reading

A quick update


Haven’t been posting in a while, mainly because I’ve been busy doing other things:

I’ve developed and successfully launched a new website for my Tramping Club, using Drupal – which I’ve now found is really awesome for community type sites like that btw.

I’ve switched to Crunchbang (Cruncheee) on my EeePC, which I really like. I intend to review it at some point, but I’m not sure when I’ll get round to it.

Also, this week has been the first week of uni, so I’m going to be busier from now on. I’ll still try and post as much as I can, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to write any long articles.

That’s about it. I should probably mention a bit of site news too:

I was just listending to Linux Outlaws 80 and they mentioned this whole drop IE6 thing, which I’m really in favour of! This site has now officially dropped IE6 thanks to the Shockingly Big IE6 Warning plugin for wordpress.

Also LO mentioned the email I sent them re Wikia search (yay!!!). Thanks Dan and Fab (if you ever read this!).