This is another contribution from Radio Bridge Overseas in Harare / Zimbabwe. It is meant to focus on ongoing practical work and people who simply try to use what is available. We got permission to publish this example of networking through Internet. It is an effort to use the net for voices which, otherwise, would not have a chance to communicate their messages. It is about the struggle of micro-radio activists in the U.S.A. for their right to broadcast. Additional information can be accessed through links mentioned in this
From: Self <Single-user mode>
Subject: Re: RADIO PROJECT REPORT: Our own server! and more...
Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 11:39:43
This is Klaus Juergen Schmidt, Managing Editor of Radio Bridge
Overseas in Harare / Zimbabwe.
There is a global debate going on about "Cultural Exchange via
Internet - Opportunities and Strategies", based at the Berlin "House
of World Cultures". The tendency of submissions seems to be rather
theoretical so far, with only a few examples of practical work. I
would like to seek your permission to forward your strategy paper to
that forum in order to get people more involved into realities of
Internet-use with all its potentials and necessary small steps, hoping
that some may be prepared to follow.
KJS / RBO
From: "Lyn Gerry" <email@example.com>
Date sent: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 07:12:31 -0800
Subject: Re: RADIO PROJECT REPORT: Our own server! and
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are welcome to forward my message, although it was written
as an internal memo to people already familiar with the project, as
opposed to a more general audience. I guess I would have though that
people not involved with us might not understand my abbreviated
references, but you must be the judge of that.
From: "Lyn Gerry" <email@example.com>
Date sent: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 14:16:53 -0800
Subject: RADIO PROJECT REPORT: Our own server! and more...
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A long overdue report, but i have been waiting for some good news and substantial issues. And we have it!
Some of you may recall that we applied for the NPT project grant back
in June with a request for 25K (the grant maximum) for new hardware
and funds for training. Though we stayed in the running for a while,
we ultimately were rejected. They don't give a reason why, but I
suspect our non-establishment organizational structure counted against
us in so large a field of applicants. Oh well.
But, courtesy of Alex Carlin and the Carlin Foundation in San
Francisco, CA we have been granted the funds (sum of $2000 US)
for the purpose of building our own database server, probably the most
critical need we have at the moment. And I now have the check in my
hands (minus 100 dollars for our fiscal sponsor) and will begin
ordering the parts right away. Before I get into the details of that,
I'd like to say a bit more about how this grant came to us, because
Alex came to usm asopposed to the other way around.
The Carlin Foundation is a family Foundation which was
established by Alex's grandfather (or was it great-grandfather) to
contribute to worthwhile causes. For some years now, the Carlin
Foundation has contributed $2000 to KPFA, the Pacifica station in
Berkeley. Because of the changes at Pacifica, which have resulted in a
loss of voice for Bay Area communities, expenditures of subscriber
donations on union-busting consulting firms and a marked increase in
mainstream - NPRlike programs -- and the repeated lies, gag rules,
spin doctors and other less than candid means whereby the above has
taken place has led Alex, as the Foundation's director to decide to
disburse his funds elsewhere. He was referred to us by a mtual friend
active in the Pacifica Radio Struggle in the SF Bay Area. Alex said he
really wanted to spend Carlin funds on projects where the money would
make a real difference, instead of being a drop in the bucket.
We have assured Alex (who doesn't know any of us) that we will
keep the box in the SF Bay Area, which works great anyway as
David J has offered us his bandwidth, space in his shop and to
watch over the machine on a daily basis. So far, we are doing OK with
the bandwidth we have, but the furure may bring many new people to
this project, as I will explain later.
We habe also reserved the domain radio4all.net for the project and
David J is donating an IP number. We will be able with this
arrangement, to actually add other servers to the network, no matter
where they are physically located. Even if those servers are on other
domains, they can be linked as subdomains of radio4all.net. This has a
number of uses, especially noteworthy being the ability of people out
of the US to put up servers more locally, which would give large sound
files less distance to travel and hopefully speed download time.
Apparently, whileone doesn't notice physical distance when dealing
with a tiny e-mail message, it adds up on a 10 MEG audio file.
Technical details and needs
The planned box, which Shawn and I will build then take up north, is
to be a 200 MEG pentium with 68 MEGS RAM running under Linux and
I will now risk a few complaints from NT lovers here, who will
wonder why Linux?
Here are the reasons:
1) David J who will do daily admin duties on site refuses to deal with
an NT box 2) Linux is free, we have the needed softaware or can get it
3) Linux is in the public domain and its development in the world of
software is analogous to our efforts of access and free information
exchange here on the Radio Project.
Shawn has volunteered to write a database which will have the
sane features as our present database (and will be expanded to
add more) using PHP. Anyone familiar with PHP is very much
welcome to work on this.
One difficulty yet to be overcome is the transfer of material in the
current MS Access database to the SQL database. Shawn thinks there may
be a Perl Script package that does this. Does anyone know of one, or
is anyone interested in writing one?
Should all this be for some reason impossible, Sun Microsystems
is now making their Solaris UNIX free to non-profit orgs and
Coldfusion now has a version which runs on Solaris. The question is
whether we could get a free copy of that Coldfusion version. I know we
have a great many coldfusion programmers on this list now, and since
the project started Shawn has also learned it.
For those of you on the project who are aware that there has been a
coup and ongoing conflict at Pacifica Radio, you may already be aware
that groups like the GNN were formed as a by product of those events.
And continuing events re: Pacifica will be relevant to us here.
Pacifica has just announced its hiring of Lynn Chadwick at its new
CEO. Chadwick was formerly at the NFCB (National federation of
Community Broadcasters) where she was responsible for a program called
the "Healthy Station Project" whose aim was to make community radio
stations less democratic and grassroots and more under the controll of
career professionals and paid consultants. In response to this
orientation of the NFCB, which is supposed to be the representative
and lobbying organization for US licensed communty stations, a number
of stations split off and formed a new organization, the GRC
(Grassroots Radio Coalition) which had its 3rd annual conference over
the summer. The GRC is committed to volunteer-based communty run
radio. And, the GRC has been reaching out to the micropower community
radio movement. Stephen Dunifer of Free Radio Berkely was a presenter
at the last GRC conference and will be very involved in planning the
one for next summer, which will be hosted by WERU in Blue Hill, Maine.
The GRC, many of whom are subscriber stations to Pacifica
programming, are really unhappy about being saddled with
Chadwick - whose policies they know, and fought off after bitter
struggles at many of their own stations. They are really seriously
thinking about ways to create their own news cooperatively and to
divest from Pacifica when their contracts are up. Pacifica News is
really not all that great anyway, it is just one of the few available
alternatives to All Things Considered that is produced on a daily
There will be some sort of forum at the next GRC discussing the
whys and wherefore's of making this a reality. Shawn and I did a demo
on the Radio Project there this last time, and they are aware that the
infrastructure for what they want to do is partly in place.
There will be a mail list established to plan the presentation to the
GRC - the problems are familiar - many stations aren't up to spped
with their computer gear, don't have it, don't have much money, don't
know how to use it and so on.
One of the things that will be helpful is a compilation of grants, and
other resources for getting free/cheap equipment, discussion of
training and tech support, ways to interface with a satellite
alternative and so on.
These stations have a year and a half left on their Pacifica
contracts, and in that time need to develop alternatives. Some of the
stations will not have much work to do on technical infrastructure,
some a whole lot.
When the list is set up, I'll let everyone know.
The FCC, in the face of relentless civil disobedience and popular
will, has told lawyers from the Committee For Democratic
Communications (Free Radio Berkeley legal Team) that they will indeed
be publishing a proposal for legalization.
This will put many new community stations on the air, as well as allow
the existing ones to concentrate on doing radio instead of protecting
their stations and gear against raids and confiscation.
Folks in community Radio need to really work together at this
point, because there is a strong lobby which wants micro-power
legal so they can commercialize that too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
People who want to be more involved with the movement at this
critical juncture can subscrine to the MRN list, where strategies for
preserving micro-radio as a grassroots and public service medium are
being, and will be discussed, Sub to:
I will keep everyone apprised of the progress on the server.
Public PGP Block: http://www.radio4all.org/pgp/