n number of computers, visualization plugin, automaton plugin (both plugins require Freenet)
Concept Description Installations Instructions Thesis Software Contact
Instructions for the Physical Space
There are no particular requirements for the space where the
installation of the artwork has to be presented, except that the
monitors displaying the visualization of the software have to be traced
by the viewers to the installation. The minimal requirements for the
installation are three computers, say A, B, and C, so they show
connectivity dynamics within the ensemble: A -> B -> C -> B -> C -> B ->
A, etc. These dynamics may already demonstrate a feature of (social)
self-organization or simply map transferred data chunks within the
virtual environment. It is suggested that the computers installed in the
space are visually different, so the idea of the specificity or
uniqueness of interaction between elements is present.
Technical Requirements for the Computers
There are no specific requirements for the computers, and the software
architecture should run on computers ready to install Freenet software.
The Freenet software is designed to run on Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.
The designed plugins were tested on Windows XP, Linux Ubuntu 10, and Mac
OS X 10.7 with the latest version of the Java Runtime Environment
additionally installed. The processor speed of the tested computers
ranged from 800 MHz to 3GHz, and the RAM ranged from 256MB to 4GB. Slow
computers took time and patience to configure, while faster computers
were quick to configure.
The minimum disk space used for installing and running the software
architecture was 4GB. All the computers were connected to the same local
network either through a LAN cable or wireless connection. The end
performance shown was similar, except that the slower computers crashed
Software Installation and Configuration
The installation of the software is supposed to have a Darknet Freenet
mode. In order to install it, the software has to be installed in
several steps. First, the computers have to be connected to the local
network, ideally with a DHCP mode, so the computers choose their IP
numbers from the given range of IPs. Secondly, all the computers have to
run Freenet software, and thirdly, the two plugins provided - the
Visualization and the Automaton plugins - have to be loaded.
The default configuration of the Freenet will work in Opennet Freenet
mode, thus showing the dynamics of connected nodes at a certain level:
the self-node, depicted as a square, will not change its location. In
order to switch the Freenet nodes to Darknet Freenet mode, the
neighborhood nodes have to be added to every single node. This is done
through the menu option "add friends" (Fig. 1). If there are more than
three computers within the installation, it is not necessary to add all
the neighborhood nodes to each node.
Fig. 1. Freenet interface to add friends. Screen shot.
As soon as the Freenet knows the neighborhood computers, it is necessary
to switch the security mode of the Freenet to "high" (Fig. 2). This
would mean that the Freenet is entering "Darknet" mode. Within this
mode, the visualization should start to demonstrate a jumping square
along the circle.
Fig. 2. Freenet “Darknet” mode configuration. Screen shot.
Loading of the Freenet plugins is done through the same Freenet
interface, following the options "Configuration" and then "Plugins"
(Fig. 3). The Visualization and Automaton plugins can be downloaded
from the project's website.
Fig. 3. Freenet interface to add plugins. Screen shot.