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Paul Mobbs &
Mobbs' Environmental Investigations –

Work Archive –
Research Reports:

Technology & Engineering

I've worked primarily with community groups for many years – mostly in the UK, but also in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The materials produced from that work have relevance not just to the people who commissioned them, but many other communities too. For that reason I maintain an on-line archive of my work.

For details of the licensing restrictions on using these resources, see the Copyright and Sharing page.

Work Archive:
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Ramblinactivist

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Writing, Articles and Books

Engineering is one of my natural talents – be that electrical, mechanical, or 'logical' (computer) systems. My first jobs was in the engineering industry, before I left to become a freelance consultant in 1991, and 'tinkering' with physical or logical machines is still something I enjoy.

Of course the benefits of being good with machines is that it makes it so much easier to work in the technical side of social issues – be that the regulation of an industrial site, protecting people's privacy on-line, or even teaching people how to camp outdoors using minimal equipment. That practical side to my nature has always added an incredibly interesting dimension to my work.

This section contains reports associated with technology and engineering – primarily around my promotion and education of free and open source computer systems, and their use by social movements.


inc image The Free Range Do-It-Yourself 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate

14/06/2017

Cooking outdoors is a fun skill to learn to expand your ecological awareness and personal resilience. Cook well outdoors from fresh or foraged food, and you can cook well anywhere. Problem is, where do you find the 'ecologically sound'/fossil-fuel free kit? The Free Range Stick-Fire Cooking Grate is a small, light-weight, trestle-style cooking grate designed to burn small sticks which, with a few tools and components, you can easily build yourself.

file icon design/construction handout
3.3 megabytes

file icon A3 summary poster
1.2 megabytes



inc image A Practical Guide to Sustainable ICT

August 2012

I spent much of the late Spring and Summer 2012 writing a book on sustainable computing for the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). Funded with support from the International Development Research Centre, it forms part of APCs work on ICTs environmental sustainability, and represents many years of my own experimentation and research in to the low-tech/low-cost/sustainable use of information technology.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
1.8 megabytes



inc image Global Information Society Watch 2010

November 2010

A significant commission in 2010 was writing the thematic introduction for the Association for Progressive Communications and Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation's annual report, 'Global Information Society Watch'. The theme of the report was, "Focus on ICTs and environmental sustainability" – and as part of my general research touch upon the ecological impacts of electronics and technology the editors welcomed my input. As a result I wrote the introduction to the report, as well as the UK country report.

file icon The complete 'GISW 2010' report
5.3 megabytes

file icon GISW 2010: 'Introduction'
47.6 kilobytes

file icon GISW 2010: 'UK Country Report'
275.7 kilobytes



inc image Outline for an uninterruptible/renewable power system

02/10/2006

An outline for a uninterruptible/renewable power system for a community radio station in rural Guyana (where regular power cuts played havoc with the broadcast schedule!). The general idea was that I'd make the parts out of automotive components so that it could be maintained/repaired locally. In the end I think they got hold of a wholly commercial system based around my specs.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
90.8 kilobytes



inc image Salvage Server Project 'Junk Ideas' 5: 'ELV Dummy Load for Power Supply Testing'

January 2005

You build a mains or renewable energy power supply for a laptop or other sensitive device, plug it in, turn it on and BANG – smoke comes from the power supply, laptop, or both! Here's a junk idea to avoid making such an expensive mistake. Originally developed as part of a workshop on 'trash electronics', this sheet explains the theory behind the pulse width modulation of power supplies, and can be adapted to serve a variety of uses.

file icon ELV Dummy Load for Power Supply Testing
1.1 megabytes



inc image Technological Standards, Digital Rights Management and Free Software

December 2004

An essay I wrote for a course at Göteborg University that a friend asked me to take part in and give feedback. The essay looks at whether it is possible to encompass digital rights management systems within free software – a contentious if archaic issue within the FOSS movement – whilst retaining the fundamental 'openness' principles of free software.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
221.2 kilobytes



inc image ICT Policy: A Beginner's Handbook

2003

Produced the the Association for Progressive Communications, this is a guide to global information and communications technology (ICT) policy, and the benefits and threats to the development of civil society groups as ICT developed globally. I was one of the contributing writers of the report on the sections related to surveillance, data retention, cybercrime, terrorism, freedom of expression and cybercrime.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
6.2 megabytes



inc image The CLTC on tour at Tech 2

August 2002

'Tech 2' is a touring event. It brings together technical experts, media activists and artists to develop projects over a number of days. This year, Tech 2 has been primarily based at the Folly Gallery in Lancaster. But for its last week it moved to Grizedale Forest in the Lake District to experiment with wireless networks and Linux systems.

file icon Tech2 project index
135.4 kilobytes

file icon Erecting the wind turbine at Tech2
183.6 kilobytes

file icon CLTC briefing sheet
102.2 kilobytes

file icon Tech2 Variable Voltage Regulator
839.6 kilobytes



inc image GREENBASE Public Display Computer System

01/04/1991

Recently there has been a large growth in the number of interactive public computer systems, ranging from those in libraries run by local councils, to an expanding number in shop windows run by the English Tourist Board or the AA. These systems show the potential of how computer based systems can help in communicating to the public. It would be great if the environment movement could take hold of information technology and use it to promote 'green' ideas, but such systems are very expensive – but there are alternatives!

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
1.8 megabytes