Note that you may only use this hack for
the forces of Good.
In [Hack #29], we saw how simple it is
to advertise arbitrary services using Rendezvous in any Posix
operating system, Mac OS X, or even Windows. This makes it easy to
provide easy reference links to every user on your wireless network.
Wouldn't it be nice to give those same users a
public service announcement en route to their destination, to let
them know who was kind enough to provide the link? You could even
give them more information about yourself or the network you provide
before they head out to the Internet. This is easily achieved with a
simple application of Apache magic.
In the httpd.conf
on your web
server, create a new VirtualHost entry like
You can, of course, call the server anything you want, and put the
DocumentRoot wherever is convenient. Restart
your Apache for the change to take effect. Just be sure that the
ServerName ends in .local.
Now create as many html files in
DocumentRoot as you like, using this as a
<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="5;http://freenetworks.org" />
<h1>This Rendezvous link brought to you by: me!</h1>
Redirecting you automatically in five seconds...
The URL at the end of the Refresh line will be the
users' final destination, and the number at the
beginning specifies the number of seconds to wait before redirecting.
The body of the HTML can contain whatever message you want the users
to see before the redirect takes effect.
Finally, advertise adserver.local (or whatever
you used in your VirtualHost entry) as a proxy
service using one of the methods described in [Hack #28] or [Hack #29]. In
the text field of the Rendezvous advertisement, specify the HTML file
you just created. For example, I save the above HTML file to
/home/rob/ads/freenetworks.html, and specify
path=/freenetworks.html as the text field.
Now users who share my wireless network see a Rendezvous
advertisement called FreeNetworks, and are
presented with the previous HTML when they browse to the site. Five
seconds later, they are redirected automatically to the
real http://freenetworks.org/, and are left to go
about their merry way. This sort of service is ideal for permanent
services on public access wireless nodes, to give users an idea of
who is providing Internet access.