Growth of GRASE Hotspot over last few months

Thank you to everyone who is using or assisting with the GRASE Hotspot!

I thought I’d give you a bit of a heads up as to what has been happening over the last few months.

Firstly, a large number of new features have been added this year, including new report graphs, dynamic groups, and internationalisation. So far we have a French translation done, and an Italian and Portuguese translation are in progress. We have also had some members of the community discuss assisting with development which will speed new feature requests up!

For those who don’t know the history of the GRASE Hotspot, it started development almost 4 years ago, and has been in active use for the last 2 years in a single location. Last year a major change in it’s development occurred which was the ability to deploy it quickly and easily using debian packages. This was a major break through and removed a lot of the extra “installation” code that was being maintained just to keep it up to date. We also moved from a SVN repository to using BZR to maintain our source code repository. The big step was at the end of last year (2010) we finally released the project into the community on sourceforge, finally allowing the community to use it.

Since that release things have moved very fast with more development happening faster than before. Feature requests have been filled sometimes in less than a week since it was requested. The large community has also enabled us to find bugs better and squash them with more devices to test on. In particular this is helping fix the iOS bug that was preventing iPhone and iPad users from logging in. (Anyone still experiencing this bug, please contact us).

As you can see in this image, the traffic to the website has been on the increase which shows that we are getting more and more exposure! (The drop at the end is because it’s the start of a new week when I saved this graph).

To assist with the growth of the community, I’ve now setup a mailing list for users and developers to all participate in. This will enable any email support that is occurring to benefit the entire community, especially when the same problem is experienced by a few people. I’d ask that support requests are directed to the mailing list now instead of directly to me.

For those who are wondering what is happening with the hotspot currently, here is what I am working on. Recurring limits, for example allowing a user to have 1hr per day. We are also hoping to have recurring data limits like 200Mb per day, however due to limitations in other software we rely on, it is not possible to guarantee exact limits, so the implementation will be to loosely enforce the data limits. I’m also going to start working on customisation of the login pages so that each location can display a more unique login page.

As I am a University student with a family to support, development will slow down over the next few weeks as I have Exams. (I have mostly finished the recurring time limit code, so that might be released during the exam period).

Lastly, I’d like to remind you that if this project has assisted you, to please consider donating ether some of your time or money to assist it’s development. Even if you aren’t a coder, working on better documentation, or doing translations are all ways you can assist. If you are a developer then working on new features. If you are just someone who benefits from it and don’t want to give time, your financial donations are always welcome as they allow me to develop while at University.

Thank you for being part of the GRASE Hotspot Community.


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  1. Can you put a Time Based plan for voucher also? what i mean is i generate the voucher first, then when user login… it will automatically put the expire date, let say 1 month after first login. Oh yes, also for the max download, and upload (bandwidth management), website allow/disallow and also setting that can enabled how many thread of connection user can have.

    thank for your hard work. This is one of the easier to install hotspot software

  2. Setting expiry based on when the user logs in is possible, but more difficult. I do know of cases where it can be useful, but I have to ask if the added complexity is worth it. Ether you need to setup a system so they “activate” their voucher before logging in, or you setup a system to go through all sessions and set an expiry based on when they first logged in. With the first, the first time they use a voucher, there is an added step. With the second, the first time they login they won’t be able to see their expiry as it won’t have been set. I will look at implementing this some time in the future if I can work out the best way to do it.

    Limiting users to X connections is actually fairly easy I believe, so that shouldn’t be difficult to implement. Also bandwidth management is something I’m looking at fairly soon. As for website allow/block, this is something that needs to be ether part of Squid or Dansguardian. I’ve not yet worked out how I’m doing that as I used to use Dansguardian but it’s difficult to configure for the variety of different locations it could be used in.

    Please consider joining the mailing list so you can participate in the discussion of these features.


  3. I also think it will be nice if you can create tickets in advance and the time them first starts when the first login happens, this way i can create 100 24 hour tickets and cut them out and have them prepared to hand out to guests that visit our site. That would be a nice feature addition.

    Thanks for an otherwise great program.


    • This is harder to do.
      I am planning however to have an “activate” ticket section, so the tickets are created but not active, and then on activation the ticket settings are applied then.

  4. Hi Tim

    Is it not possible to start a timer the first time the user logs in, and then just let it count for 24 hours and after that delete the ticket ?

    On a side note i forgot the admin password, is there any way i can reset it ?


    • Hi Bjarke
      The issue is that the logins are handled by Coova Chilli. I have 2 options for “activating” tickets on first login. I can run a script every so often (hourly) that finds all accounts that have logged in and don’t have an expiry set, then set the expiry based on their group. It’s more complicated than just that obviously. Or, the easier way is create them as a special account that isn’t in the database that CoovaChilli uses (or is in the database but in a way that coovachilli can’t use it yet) and have a link for activating the tickets. This link would probably ask for the username, the password, and for a new password (so think of the initial password as an activation token), after verifying the details, it would change the password, set the expiry and allow the user to login through the normal login form. This is most likely the way I’d do it.

      Regarding the admin password, you can use mysql tools, use the radmin database and edit the auth table. From memory the password hashes are salted sha1 hashes, with a salt length of 9. Otherwise you can contact me using the contact link and we can organise remote support.


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