Animal Farm

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Animal Farm Official Webpage at Wireless Beehive

About Animal Farm

AnimalFarm is a Motorola Canopy users group. It is not affiliated with Motorola in any official manner. AnimalFarm is for users of Motorola Canopy™ equipment to meet and discuss topics of common interest. This is a user driven event, not a vendor driven event. It is also a place were contributors of to meet face to face. There is no charge to attend AnimalFarm.

Presenters at AnimalFarm are Motorola Canopy™ users. AnimalFarm is also centric. Official news and announcements as well as discussions forming the content will be found only on AnimalFarm and Wireless Beehive are sponsors of and encourage all Canopy™ operators to join, sponsor and participate in this forum. AnimalFarm is also a place where participants of can meet each other in the flesh.

In the case of presenters from Wireless Beehive, (the host of Animal Farm), Last Mile Gear and Packet Flux Technologies, (major sponsors of AnimalFarm) the presentations are not sales pitches but technical information about the Canopy specific ancillary products offered by these companies. These three companies are also WISPs using Canopy™ and were early adopters as well as beta testers for many of the Canopy™ products.

AnimalFarm does not cover any type of ground up beginner training for the Canopy™ product line at all. This event is not intended for entry level WISP employees. For that you should contact Motorola or Charles Cranford with CTCA for specialized ground up training.

AnimalFarm originally was extremely a Canopy only event but it is ever expanding to topics of interest to Canopy based WISPs.

Why is it called AnimalFarm (or Animal Farm)?

December 12, 2006 an ad hoc, grassroots bunch of folks on Part-15 started discussing a meeting where all of the regulars could actually meet and discuss Canopy specific issues.

Chuck McCown of Wireless Beehive had suggested a similar meeting earlier that fall during the Canopy Channel Roundup held in Tucson (an annual Motorola dealer/distributor only meeting). It gained some traction at that meeting with the movers and shakers of Motorola as well as some of their key distributors and vendors of accessories like the Last Mile Gear Cyclone and the Wireless Beehive Stinger. For a period of a few weeks, it looked as if there might actually be a pseudo-factory sponsored Canopy Users Forum held in Schaumburg with the possibility of a lab tour. Charles Cranford’s CTCA was the taking the lead in being the official facilitator. But somehow between Tucson and December 2006 (the event was tentatively scheduled for January 2007) things got bogged down and postponed and then placed into some form of corporate limbo.

So, out of a bit of frustration, on Monday, December 11, 2006 Chuck McCown posted a suggestion on to hold an unofficial canopy users meeting.

Michael, do not read this . . . ;-)

For some time now, there have been a group of guys like me that have been pushing to organize a canopy only event. A canopy user's group if you will. Small venue. Small group. Experts on various topics like VLAN implementation, SNMP control and monitoring, QOS for VOIP, third party enhancements, synchronization methods and products, tricks of the trade. We have enough experts on this list that filling a day or two of sessions would not be a problem. Personally I would like to have Tim come and show us how to crack canopy security in real time. Who knows, maybe even other "interesting" things. Tim could be in charge of all "interesting" things


In any event, it was on and off and on and off again several times. I wanted to have the event across the street from Mot HQ in the hopes that they could contribute some engineering talent to come over and do a meet and greet as well as answer questions. The idea had some traction with some folks at Mot. I figured if it was there, there would be little or no cost for technical types to attend, they might get cut loose by the boss for a few hours.

The date was originally aimed at mid January, but then someone at Mot thought that might interfere with Wispcon etc etc. Now it appears the original incarnation of this idea has died. I hear that Mot might be doing something similar on their own but I really wanted it to be a grass roots deal so that those of us that sell products (both hardware and software) that potentially compete with Motorola could feel we are on neutral territory. For example, Forrest, FDDI and LMG all have sync products. If Mot does do something like this, will they allow Forrest to put on a session about the sync pipe?

So, I am willing to do the leg work. Not to take anything away from Part-15, I just want a narrow focus get together. ALL of the vendors I have spoken to are willing to come. Actually, everyone I have spoken to have thought this was a good idea. I have not contacted MicroTik but hoped that we could have a MT session and display.

So the questions are:

Do we even need this or are wispcon and other shows filling the need? Is it important to keep the organization of the event neutral or best to wait to see what Mot might come up with? If we did this where would be a good place and time? Airfare to major cities would probably be the lowest. (Personally I would go to PR and see Gino but that is probably a minority opinion.) Salt Lake has good skiing. Vegas is Vegas. Chicago has Mot but they may not be willing to help out if we do this as a grass roots thing. Any place with barbecue is always good with me...

Personally, my goal would to make the event pay for itself and not turn any kind of profit. Make it low cost so the small time operators can afford to come. Make it a one day deal or two at the very most. Vendors can cough up some dough to help rent the venue and a modest registration fee should be able to cover the rest.

Like I really need something more/new to do . . .

(end of original email)

The idea was popular and the event quickly and spontaneously took root and exploded into existence. A few days later, Chuck McCown posted some obtuse comments that made reference to George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. The metaphor being that the ad hoc Canopy Users Group had taken over the official Motorola effort; similar to the animals revolting against the farmer and taking over the farm in the Orwell classic. It soon became more developed with parallels drawn between the Farmer and Motorola HQ people. Pigs being the original three sponsors of the show (Wireless Beehive, Last Mile Gear, and Forrest’s Packet Flux). Pigs later evolved into being the “Cognescenti of Canopy” or session presenters and sheep being newbes. Thus the motto, “Turning sheep into pigs since 2007”.

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