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Outside/In: How to build a solar-powered website

Low-Tech Magazine's solar-powered website setup
Kris De Decker
Low-Tech Magazine's solar-powered website setup

Like most modern publications, Low-tech Magazine has a website. But when you scroll through theirs, you’ll notice an icon in the corner: the weather forecast in Barcelona.

That’s because Kris Decker, the creator of Low-tech Magazine, powers the site off a solar panel on his balcony. When the weather gets bad, the website just … goes offline.

In a way, the solar-powered website is an experiment: an attempt to peel back the curtain and to reveal the infrastructure behind it, and to raise questions about our relationship with technology. Should everything on the internet be accessible, all the time? Could progress mean choosing to live with less?

Featuring Kris De Decker.

A screenshot of Low-Tech Magazine's solar-powered website
A screenshot of Low-Tech Magazine's solar-powered website
A screenshot of Low-Tech Magazine's (not-solar-powered) website
Taylor Quimby
A screenshot of Low-Tech Magazine's (not-solar-powered) website

Related Links:

Low-tech Magazine has published instructions on how to build a low tech and/or solar-powered site.

Solar Protocol, a solar-powered platform designed with the idea that “it’s always sunny somewhere!”

HTTP Archive tracks the history of web performance.

Re: that time it rained inside the data center.

This website lets you measure the emissions of any website.

Photographer Trevor Paglen’s images of undersea Internet cables (reportedly wiretapped by the NSA), and a video of sharks nipping at them.

Another example of the natural world interfering with computers, from the cutting room floor: the world’s first computer bug was a literal bug.

When Senator Ted Stevens described the internet as a “series of tubes,” many have opined that he actually wasn’t wrong.

Outside/In is a show where curiosity and the natural world collide. Click here for podcast episodes and more.
Justine Paradis is a producer and reporter for NHPR's Creative Production Unit, most oftenOutside/In. Before NHPR, she produced Millennial podcast from Radiotopia, contributed to podcasts including Love + Radio, and reported for WCAI & WGBH from her hometown of Nantucket island.
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