Month: April 2008

Green Certification for

At the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor’s meeting this last Tuesday, received certification under the Sonoma Green Business Program.

Of course,’s business processes and facilities utilize best common practices. This means recycling, minimized use of paper, low flow fixtures, etc.

But, our big green effort is a massive update to our data center cooling plant.

We have replaced our traditional Liebert data center AC units with a huge new system from Bell Products of Napa. Bell’s been working on this project for over a year for us, and it’s a massive update. The new system adds a huge amount of capacity, and reduces power usage by a shocking amount.

It’s wonderful to receive recognition for our investment and practices from the Business Environmental Alliance and the County Board of Supervisors.

Best of the North Bay Award

We have been very happy to be repeatedly recognized as Sonoma’s “Best ISP” by The Bohemian. We were described as “Sympathetic and serene”. The BoHo wrote “They’re my ISP too, and I must confess to a deep and rigorous love.” Great to hear! They went on to say we impress them by consistently “…by making everything right. In minutes. As if by magic. Or by fairies.”

Thanks folks for voting for us, we’ve consistently won this award, and it really validates the hard work we and the fairies do here.

Other uses for wireless equipment: Bee swarm capture

I’ve got a few hobbies which are not related to the Internet business. One of them is beekeeping, and I had a lot of fun taking care of my two hives last year. The bees are so dedicated and interesting to watch, and the honey is great.

Like many beekeepers, I suffered losses and only one of my hives survived the winter. As a result, I’m on the lookout for bees.

It’s swarming season for the bees right now. This is the time when a healthy but overcrowded hive will split, and a group of about 10,000 bees join the outgoing queen and depart the hive. They cluster somewhere while scout bees seek out a new home. Then, once a bee quorum is archived, they all move to their new home. Generally this takes a day or so, during which time beekeepers can box up the whole group and put them in a cozy new hive.

I got a call this afternoon about a swarm that was very high upin a redwood tree. My coworker Kelsey and I had captured a swarm last week from a bush – shoulder height, just off a trail, it was really quite easy. But, the height at which this swarm had settled in the redwood tree made it sound like a real challenge.

Thankfully, our bucket truck hasn’t got much to do these days. Normally it’s used to install Wi-Fi, but I put it to another use. At the full extension of the boom, we had to put a rope over the branch to draw it down. Thanks to Katia at BeeKind in Sebastopol for the idea.

Tomorrow evening, the bees will be moved into the home I am giving them, a nice cozy new hive box located next to my other two in Forestville.

If you find a bee swarm, don’t panic. Swarming season is when bees are generally best behaved. Don’t disturb them, and they are not likely to sting you. Consult your local beekeeping association for a list of people who may be able to pick up a swarm. Locally, that would be the Sonoma County Beekeeping Association. moves into fast lane

Nathan PatrickPhoto: Scott Manchester / PD

There’s an article in the Press Democrat today about’s expansion as a telecommunications and access provider.

This is a project we’ve been working on for over two years now, and Santa Rosa is just the first of many areas where service will be available. Businesses near downtown Santa Rosa can get on board now, with residential service to follow.

Read the full article now at

Wi-Fi posts growth, and helps you dodge a ticket

Embedded serial to WiFi moduleWi-Fi embedded moduleThe Wi-Fi Alliance has published 2007’s Wi-Fi chipset shipment numbers. The total for 2007 is 300,000,000 Wi-Fi chips. That’s a lot of gear. But, the stunning part is the growth: 41% over 2006.

Meanwhile, there are new uses for Wi-Fi. Skyhook is now offering location services, using a database of known Wi-Fi access point locations. Basically, every Wi-Fi access point (AP) has a unique address. Skyhook has built a database of locations where Wi-Fi access points are actually located, so that a device can say “I see AP’s W, X, Y and Z, where am I?”

This means that your Apple iPhone can now determine where it is, even without an expensive GPS chip, or a view of the sky to receive a GPS signal. If there is E-911 tie-in of that data, this could be critical in the case of an emergency, so first responders can find out where you are.

I always wondered if there would be a use for wardriving. And, now you can avoid a ticket while wardriving by using Skyhook’s technology along with Trapster.

Who would have thought? Keep your eyes on the road!