Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

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Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:27 pm

I've been doing a bit of research for a story I'm writing but I need a little help from someone who knows their networking.

As the title suggests the story takes place during a zombie apocalypse. Most of the world has been overrun by zombie hoardes. A few cities reacted fast enough to keep the undead out, and they are now safe havens for survivors. These cities are pretty isolated, some fully encircled by high steel walls / fences. Since the cities are overpopulated as is, plenty of survivors are denied citizenship and left to fend for themselves in the wasteland that is America. Between the cities are nomadic groups of survivors and facilities called outposts.

The outposts are re-purposed buildings (malls, skyscrapers, etc etc) that are protected by one of several private security firms. They serve as hubs for communication and trading between the cities so they're often strategically placed at important locations (such as at central routing hubs on the internet's backbone). The main character of the story is hired by an outpost to get it's routing node operational again so all the safe cities in the country will be able to communicate with each other via the internet. He's one of the few survivors in America with the knowledge and experience to get it done, sadly I have no idea how he would go about that or what obstacles might be in his way.

The main character doesn't finish this project until near the end of the story so I need 1) ideas of what sort of problems one might have getting a portion of an abandoned internet infrastructure operational again, and 2)ideas on how he might solve those problems.

Much thanks to anyone who takes the time out to humor this.

BTW: If you feel this is just a bad idea, you can let me know. I can take it.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:32 am

DreamlandDenizen wrote:Much thanks to anyone who takes the time out to humor this.

BTW: If you feel this is just a bad idea, you can let me know. I can take it.

This sounds so so close to that of season 3 of The Walking Dead... (TV series) or in the Walking Dead comic book world (#93 forward).

If you're writing a story for-profit, I would check into how similar your story is to theirs and compare notes. The only real difference you have to far is "the internet" and that's just another means of communication.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:02 am

In a post-apocalyptic scenario you would need to go with wireless for the backbone. How would you maintain the copper or fiber between the outposts? It'll get wrecked or stolen faster than you can repair or replace it.

Personally, I think I'd go with makeshift directional antennas connected to scavenged (and possibly modded to boost signal strength) WiFi hardware to create point-to-point links for the backbone... with enough of them you could set up a fault-tolerant wireless mesh network.

Make sure your hero has managed to pull down a full mirror of a major Linux distro's repository before the 'net goes dark, so that he (or she!) plausibly has access to all of the software tools and source code that might be required to re-purpose hardware to run the backbone. (Hey, can't do it with Windows if Microsoft's activation servers are inaccessible or destroyed by zombies! :lol:)

Yes, maybe I've spent too much time thinking about stuff like this. :lol:

Oh, and It's "hordes" not "hoardes". :wink:
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:26 am

just brew it! wrote:Make sure your hero has managed to pull down a full mirror of a major Linux distro's repository before the 'net goes dark, so that he (or she!) plausibly has access to all of the software tools and source code that might be required to re-purpose hardware to run the backbone. (Hey, can't do it with Windows if Microsoft's activation servers are inaccessible or destroyed by zombies! :lol:)


Slightly off-topic but this is the first time I have heard an argument for Linux that has made me (a long time Windows user) ponder the transition... :D Hmm... how badly do I think a zombie apocalypse might happen...

Back on topic: How long has your zombie apocalypse been going on for? I think it would take a few years for the internet to "go down"... though this is me purely expecting nodes to have half decent ups systems... but I haven't seen one myself.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:57 am


Back on topic: How long has your zombie apocalypse been going on for? I think it would take a few years for the internet to "go down"... though this is me purely expecting nodes to have half decent ups systems... but I haven't seen one myself.


It would last days. Week or two tops. Power and infrastructure (in general) are the issues. While automation is pretty good, systems would not stay up without human intervention. A small handful of minor incidents or a load imbalance would trip a power station or two, then without intervention the whole system comes down like a house of cards. Once the main feeds are gone your back up is down to the diesel in the generator tanks. I've never seen anyone outside a military installation that had more than a few days worth of fuel on hand. In my opinion, getting and maintaining power to your infrastructure is one of the major issues in your scenario.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:40 am

mnecaise wrote:I've never seen anyone outside a military installation that had more than a few days worth of fuel on hand.
And that includes the power plants themselves. The coal-fired plants rely on trainloads of coal arriving on a regular basis; if that is disrupted, then the plant shuts down and there goes your house of cards. Diesel and gas likewise. And if something happens to the folks manning the nuclear plants -- whether they're taken out directly or simply leave to take care of their families and don't come back -- then it's Fukushima but worse, one after another (unless they had a chance to put the plant into orderly shutdown). At least the glow will help you see the zombies coming. Even hydro plants need watching to keep water levels within acceptable limits and to make sure everything continues to run. We've seen large parts of the modern grid can go down with just a single point disruption; in a widespread "apocalypse" it is going away and not coming back. With that goes all your long-distance communication. You'll be able to scrounge batteries for walkie-talkies for a while, and the ham operators can do point-to-point digital communication if there are at least two of them still alive with power and functioning equipment (and, if there are more than two, maybe store-and-forward). But the "net" is gone and it won't be back until civilization is -- it's a result, not a precursor.

It's quite possible to envisage an apocalypse without requiring the zombies. I realize it's less fun because the ravenous hordes you'll be blowing away with your hoarded firearms will belong to hungry real people not fantastical undead, but that just makes it more important to think about (if only to encourage whatever steps necessary to avoid it).
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:11 am

Read some of the 1632 Series by Eric Flint (and many other authors). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1632_series

The only hope would be to down tech fast, setup a ham network, drop back to old style 56k modems on very restricted lines for the main trunk lines (since they need to be powered). You have to assume that the zombies aren't smart and hence aren't randomly destroying buildings and infrastructure. Also people way overestimate essential communication. Think WW2 communications not 2010 facebook.

That aside protected cities don't really work, you can't have good enough defence and provide food and equipment for the people. One slip, a sewer tunnel, an infected scavenger and it all comes undone. Do your zombies have a time out? Also why is this always USA focused? What about China, Russia or somewhere else with the balls to shutdown access i.e. level ports and airports with conventional weapons and nuke them selves a 200km dead zone border around the country.

The Jeremiah TV series did the human outpost scenario better and with a plague killing everyone over 13, showing society afterwards better explains the tribal towns, cities, etc. this allows for a more realistic plot and better explains why high tech factions would still be around. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_%28TV_series%29
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:16 am

First thanks to everyone who answered. All of the discussion really helps.

thegleek wrote:This sounds so so close to that of season 3 of The Walking Dead... (TV series) or in the Walking Dead comic book world (#93 forward).

If you're writing a story for-profit, I would check into how similar your story is to theirs and compare notes. The only real difference you have to far is "the internet" and that's just another means of communication.


I haven't seen the Walking Dead (though I'm planning to start on it soon) but I don't think my story will be too similar. Restoring the communications will be just a sub-plot. The real story is him re-uniting with his estranged wife. It's a small world now and she happens to be employed at the outpost too. The two of them are at odds over the fact that he killed their son (who had been turned into a zombie). I hope nothing like that is on the Walking Dead? At any rate plenty stories sound exactly the same when you boil them down to the bare basics, it's the execution that makes all the difference.

mnecaise wrote:It would last days. Week or two tops. Power and infrastructure (in general) are the issues. While automation is pretty good, systems would not stay up without human intervention.


The apocalypse would be going on for at least 2 years now, maybe longer. Even if all the ISPs and what not went away, the internet would continue to be fully operational by itself as long as it had power? That's interesting. Someone mentioned using a wireless network because fiberoptics could be stolen, but they're not laying new lines, the idea is to use some of the trunk lines already in place. Those would be underground and pretty secure correct? How much power would it take to run just enough of the internet backbone to cater to three or four cities across america? Could one power plant swing that?

just brew it! wrote:Make sure your hero has managed to pull down a full mirror of a major Linux distro's repository before the 'net goes dark, so that he (or she!) plausibly has access to all of the software tools and source code that might be required to re-purpose hardware to run the backbone. (Hey, can't do it with Windows if Microsoft's activation servers are inaccessible or destroyed by zombies! )


Thats a really awesome tip. I'm definitely going to work the opensource-software-saves-us-from-zombies angle into the story.

dragmor wrote:Think WW2 communications not 2010 facebook.

That aside protected cities don't really work, you can't have good enough defence and provide food and equipment for the people. One slip, a sewer tunnel, an infected scavenger and it all comes undone. Do your zombies have a time out? Also why is this always USA focused? What about China, Russia or somewhere else with the balls to shutdown access i.e. level ports and airports with conventional weapons and nuke them selves a 200km dead zone border around the country.


I don't think I'm quite well traveled enough to write a convincing story in another culture. Besides, maybe America is the perfect setting for what I have in mind. Since they don't have the balls to nuke a deadzone maybe walled cities would actually be the next viable option? They are a big part of my story. Obviously security won't be 100% reliable, there'll be a breach every now and then, but walled cities have existed before on a smaller scale so I think with modern day resources they could definitely exist again. Maybe the cities would have had to preempt the apocalypse a bit to get the walls up in time, but i figure with modern technology and full resources devoted to it, a city could be walled pretty quickly especially if it borders a natural barrier like an ocean.

Food is a big issue. The one city I've envisioned is on the coast and does a lot of fishing. I'm thinking crops and livestock will need to be imported from elsewhere. Maybe there are other continents / areas that weren't as hard hit that can provide these things? There's a lot to consider there.

The people in these walled cities are trying to get back the quality of life they had before the apocalypse at all costs, so I am thinking they're aiming at least for 2010 facebook. The cities are reasonably safe so they're thinking past immediate survival towards more long term goals. The outposts are run and funded by the corporations / governments that operate in the cities so they're well off, secure, and with modern tech. Their main purpose is to cater to the cities and keep up their standard of living. The groups of people trying to live between the cities will be at a more bare bones level of technology (the cities are already overpopulated so they can't let everyone in).

Maybe I'm misrepresenting my idea by calling it an 'apocalypse'. It's not the end of the world by any stretch. The idea is that a lot of people have found a way to live past this and are trying to get their lives back to normal.

So anyway assuming only a small portion of the internet's backbone can be powered, the main character would need to change the routing information at the nodes right? To make sure the routers don't send data to a dead portion of the internet?
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:13 am

Just thinking about what I would do and what obstacles that might present. I think the wireless idea is very good to start with rudimentary communications and to coordinate efforts to rebuild the network. If you're in a major city, I suspect you'd be raiding a local or regional isp, or if you're lucky enough to live in a city near a google, microsoft, or other data center, that would be the source for servers and probably even the first workstations.

It would probably work a lot like the first time the internet was born; first for governmental use and later for the populace. The kind of computing power and the connection to the backbone itself would require specialized equipment and heavy duty server-grade hardware, with a good power source. Even though it goes against the original design of the internet, I would imagine at first you'd set up one city as the datacenter where all packets were processed, rather than having a bunch of nodes.

Your datacenter could be in a cooler region, where air conditioning is not required, and the surplus heat could be used for things like heating water or some common areas of the city (depending on how large the datacenter will be). That city would also need a means of generating a large amount of electricity. It might come from a variety of sources, such as solar power, wind power (on high building roofs). I don't think those sources would be enough on their own, but perhaps even a wood-burning electrical generator could provide a lot of power with the added benefit of deforesting the area surrounding the city and creating a dmz.

Your "internet" would almost certainly have to scale somewhat autonomously given the fluctuations in available power. Just think about if your city's power went out and was never coming back on. Even if you could get a cable modem working, you'd need to know-how to authenticate the modem and/or authorize it for access. Presumably that information would be stored somewhere, but where?

An option might be a "dry line" which is essentially an unpowered telephone line. Properly configured, you can put a dsl modem on each end and create a point-to-point network, though I don't think that works if you go through a long-distance exchange. It might work if you modified the phone system to be a series of point-to-point connections of pure copper, but that might be a massive undertaking. It would certainly work as a measure to get the first people connected from "home" to the isp though.

Here's a quick example of how that would work; I saw a more detailed article by someone who actually did this to connect two locations that were something like 8 miles apart. At the time, dsl was rare and very expensive, but a dry copper pair was $15 a month or so, because they were basically used to provide security companies with a direct connection to each customer's security system so that alarms went out without disrupting phone service, or having to go through the telco's switching equipment. That way, it could not be tripped by an enterprising phreaker: http://www.fiveanddime.net/dsl-rollyerown.htm
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:12 am

DreamlandDenizen wrote:I don't think I'm quite well traveled enough to write a convincing story in another culture. Besides, maybe America is the perfect setting for what I have in mind. Since they don't have the balls to nuke a deadzone maybe walled cities would actually be the next viable option? They are a big part of my story. Obviously security won't be 100% reliable, there'll be a breach every now and then, but walled cities have existed before on a smaller scale so I think with modern day resources they could definitely exist again. Maybe the cities would have had to preempt the apocalypse a bit to get the walls up in time, but i figure with modern technology and full resources devoted to it, a city could be walled pretty quickly especially if it borders a natural barrier like an ocean.

1. If Russia or China surived, there would be no other countries left. They would destroy every thing not in their safe zones, probably several times over for several years. Have you seen 42 days later? Scary fast zombies (actually a scary movie). The rest of the world would not let it get to 42 days later. It would take 5 days before all countries agree to cut out the cancer i.e. destroy everything that is infected with large margins of error for saftey. All world trade would stop, countries would have to be self sufficient, etc (Maybe there is more of a story in that).

2. Why do people think water is safe with zombies. Sure they probably can't swim, but they don't need to breath. They just walk on the ocean floor, creating zombie fish and zombie sharks.

DreamlandDenizen wrote:ISo anyway assuming only a small portion of the internet's backbone can be powered, the main character would need to change the routing information at the nodes right? To make sure the routers don't send data to a dead portion of the internet?

There is no point powering an internet back bone line if there is nothing to talk to. Something to talk to = servers, even a small website like TR probably has 5 odds servers to keep the main website and database going. I know its hard to believe but all that would be required is email, telnet or FTP. The modern web doesn't provide any advantage in your scenario, there is barely an advantage now.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:40 am

Jason181 wrote:Even though it goes against the original design of the internet, I would imagine at first you'd set up one city as the datacenter where all packets were processed, rather than having a bunch of nodes.

I disagree. The infrastructure to connect other cities to the datacenter probably wouldn't exist yet.

I think the network would rebuild starting with local pockets, which eventually reconnect and merge with each other as the backbone servers and links are restored/replaced.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:11 pm

DreamlandDenizen wrote:The people in these walled cities are trying to get back the quality of life they had before the apocalypse at all costs, so I am thinking they're aiming at least for 2010 facebook.


Wouldn't things like taking back the rest of the country trump getting Facebook back? It's hard to imagine a small number of walled, cut off cities being well off enough to try to get that level of functionality back before far more basic needs, like farmland. Cities only survive because of the goods that ship in from the rest of the country. Granted I don't know the whole story, but that's my impression of it.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:35 pm

I am in a bit of a rush so I can't go to in-depth, but you might want to look into this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Wi-Fi

Basically it is wifi that uses lower frequencies and can consequently travel farther and penetrate walls etc better. Since few frequencies ranges would really be utilized during this apocalypse, it seems like some modding could be done to get something like this to work, and consequently send out long range wifi from a few devices, rather than having to manage a lot of small devices.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:57 pm

just brew it! wrote:I disagree. The infrastructure to connect other cities to the datacenter probably wouldn't exist yet.

I think the network would rebuild starting with local pockets, which eventually reconnect and merge with each other as the backbone servers and links are restored/replaced.


Entirely possible. The real reason I'm replying is to point out that you just passed a milestone of posts: 2^15 (32,768 if you're not a total binary geek).
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:32 pm

DreamlandDenizen wrote:The real story is him re-uniting with his estranged wife. It's a small world now and she happens to be employed at the outpost too. The two of them are at odds over the fact that he killed their son (who had been turned into a zombie). I hope nothing like that is on the Walking Dead? At any rate plenty stories sound exactly the same when you boil them down to the bare basics, it's the execution that makes all the difference.

Even what you said there is pretty much how The Walking Dead starts off! Here's a snippet from the Wikipedia entry on Season 1:

Season 1 (2010) wrote:Season one follows sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes as he attempts to find his family and lead them to safety. The series begins with Rick waking up from a coma. He awakes to a post-apocalyptic world overrun with the walking dead ("walkers"). Leaving the hospital Rick discovers his wife and son are missing. Acting on a rumour from a fellow survivor he arms himself and begins a perilous journey to Atlanta, Georgia, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is said to have set up a quarantined "safe-zone" in the city, reasoning that his family may be there. During his journey, Rick sees the devastation to both society and infrastructure left by the disaster. Upon reaching Atlanta, he soon discovers that the city is overrun by the undead and is no longer a safe zone.

A few miles outside the city Rick's wife Lori and son Carl have been hiding from the walkers with Shane Walsh, Rick's former colleague and best friend. They have established a camp with a small group of survivors. After being rescued from Atlanta by the group and reunited with Lori and Carl, Rick assumes command of the group with Shane. Part of the group goes back into Atlanta to recover weapons, where they come into conflict with other survivors but Rick soon eases the tensions. On their return to their camp, they find it has been nearly overrun by walkers. Hoping to find medical treatment for an injured member, the remainder of the group decide to return to Atlanta and seek aid from the CDC.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:37 am

BloodSoul wrote:I am in a bit of a rush so I can't go to in-depth, but you might want to look into this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Wi-Fi
Basically it is wifi that uses lower frequencies and can consequently travel farther and penetrate walls etc better.

I doubt that it will reach between cities though. I think what you initially use is something like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_radio where you do Internet over Ham radio. If you do have a Central Office then it will have a big set of batteries and a generator. If you can get the generator started then you can start powering on the equipment and find out how much of it died. You've then got to gain "root" which is usually not a problem with physical access but the Central Office can get really hot and nasty to work in, take a look at some of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Eq ... ing_System standards. I believe intake air temperature can be as high as 50C and I've been labs full of Cisco core routers (CRS-1 / CRS-3) and the noise and heat and blasting air are really not nice to work in. Once you've got "root" then you have to know the different configuration commands for different manufacturers equipment and you can start reconfiguring it for what links you've got, maybe replacing fibre links between cities with radio links. One neat thing I have heard from some guys that ran a Network Operations Centre was that if you got a fire in a tunnel with links in it then you'd see the links drop out 1 by 1 as the fire consumed them.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:40 am

With suitable directional antennas, even unboosted WiFi gear can have a range of many miles. The main issue is that WiFi signals are limited to line-of-sight, so you either need some really tall towers, or repeaters every couple dozen miles or so.

Solar powered UAVs hovering between cities could be used as repeaters, at least during the daytime...

Lower frequencies (as used in Super Wi-Fi) can provide much better range and immunity to bad weather, but this is at the expense of bandwidth since the information carrying capacity of a radio signal is roughly proportional to its frequency. For really long range you would want to co-opt an even lower frequency section of the spectrum, like the AM radio band... signals at those frequencies follow the curve of the earth, so there's no line-of-sight restriction. But your speed would probably be limited to a few tens of kilobits at best. (Dial-up modems could easily be hacked to transmit and receive data using re-purposed AM radio equipment.)

At the end of the day, I think a side effect would be some significant advances in distributed database technology. When your backbone links are slow, you figure out a way to cache more stuff locally (i.e. at the city level in this scenario) and coordinate distributed updates, rather than relying on high speed links into a single central datacenter.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:44 am

On the plus side, you could feed the bandwidth-hogging pirates, spammers and Netflix creators to the zombie hordes to keep the backbone traffic to a manageable level.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:54 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:On the plus side, you could feed the bandwidth-hogging pirates, spammers and Netflix creators to the zombie hordes to keep the backbone traffic to a manageable level.

I suspect it would take quite a few years before backbone bandwidth would recover to the point of making such things practical again. Piracy as currently defined would cease to exist anyway, since the entertainment industry would not survive in anything resembling its present form.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:49 pm

dragmor wrote:1. If Russia or China surived, there would be no other countries left. They would destroy every thing not in their safe zones, probably several times over for several years. Have you seen 42 days later? Scary fast zombies (actually a scary movie). The rest of the world would not let it get to 42 days later. It would take 5 days before all countries agree to cut out the cancer i.e. destroy everything that is infected with large margins of error for saftey. All world trade would stop, countries would have to be self sufficient, etc (Maybe there is more of a story in that).

2. Why do people think water is safe with zombies. Sure they probably can't swim, but they don't need to breath. They just walk on the ocean floor, creating zombie fish and zombie sharks.


As for point #2 zombies can't walk across oceans or even deep lakes. The pressures involved would be far too much. Zombie fish would be a problem unless the infection was limited to humans (and I am leaning that way). I don't think Russia or China would be quite *that* trigger happy, but you do have some valid points. I'd probably be better off having the whole world affected about the same now that I think about it.

spitfire650 wrote:Wouldn't things like taking back the rest of the country trump getting Facebook back? It's hard to imagine a small number of walled, cut off cities being well off enough to try to get that level of functionality back before far more basic needs, like farmland. Cities only survive because of the goods that ship in from the rest of the country. Granted I don't know the whole story, but that's my impression of it.


Good point, but it takes more than a little logical plot hole to stop me.

Of course if taking back the country was plausible that would be what many would want to do. Traditional Zombies are already very difficult to kill, but maybe mine will be even more so. Also I have a few ideas of why the people who run the cities might not be all that eager to get the country back to the way it was.

Where the safe-city people would get food from is a really pressing issue. I've given it a lot of thought and this is what I came up with: there will need to be farmlands, there's absolutely no getting around that. I figure zombies would be highest concentrated in the run-down wasteland cities; the further out you are the fewer you'll encounter. In that case a well armed family could probably maintain a farm long term. Safe-cities could get crops and livestock from families scratching out a living in between. Compensation is a bit of a problem since any family living between the cities wouldn't be interested in money because there wouldn't be much of an economy out there. Maybe the city they're sending their yield to promises the family permanent citizenship after a couple years of farming. It seems like that scenario could work. The cities would also provide some equipment and energy for the people farming for them.

I figure one of the cities could specialize in producing power (having protected a major plant) and it sends its surplus to the others. This story happens a slight bit into the future since a zombie apocalypse has yet to happen, so maybe a nuclear fusion plant won't be far fetched. Some experts expect to see the technology become more feasible by the end of the year http://optics.org/news/3/1/37 . Every city and outpost will have its own power sources (windmills, solar panels, dams, wood based generators, etc) to minimize how much it needs to import.

I'm sure there's other types of supplies that will be needed but I'll figure those out as well.

On to the network.

Seems like everyone is in agreement that they would use wifi or radio instead of the fiberoptic cables. Thats actually good because I think I can understand and research wifi better. I think it is a good idea to have city area networks that are highspeed and slower networks between the cities used for business, government, and basic communication for the citizens. So for that scenario you could probably just have a few high end PCs that you re-purposed as routers at each node right? Or would you still need a whole building's worth?

I'll definately look into Solar powered UAVs for repeaters. Those seem interesting.

I suspect this is a dumb question because they haven't been mentioned yet but what about satellites?
Last edited by DreamlandDenizen on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:05 pm

Another problem (non-network related) is how is the infection spread? Is it spread by water/air-borne or by bite only? If water/air-borne, China and Russia will probably have it as well.

Also, in *some* zombie circles, even if you're not bit, if you die (by natural causes), you come back as a zombie. Something to think of.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:39 pm

just brew it! wrote:Solar powered UAVs hovering between cities could be used as repeaters, at least during the daytime...

I think I've seen companies proposing that in the real world with sufficient onboard battery to get them through the night.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:24 am

Seems like everyone is in agreement that they would use wifi or radio instead of the fiberoptic cables. Thats actually good because I think I can understand and research wifi better.


As long as you're sold on the radio links, why not try Wimax http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX it's got a longer range, hence fewer towers to maintain the link.

Its used pretty extensively between remote locations where the cost of extending a fiber link is too high, just my 2 cents. :wink:
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:22 am

Left_SHifted wrote:As long as you're sold on the radio links, why not try Wimax http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX it's got a longer range, hence fewer towers to maintain the link.

Its used pretty extensively between remote locations where the cost of extending a fiber link is too high, just my 2 cents. :wink:

The tradeoff is that in a post-apocalypse environment, WiFi equipment would be easier to find, and probably easier to re-purpose as well since it is a commodity.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:41 am

I always thought it would be cool/gross is that when some zombies are killed in the wrong way, they "pop" and spread spore goo all over the place, much like the fungus that can infect flies and bees. In the initial onslaught of the infected, killing them at close range spreads the disease even faster. In the case of flies, they fly around all normal-like then suddenly stop/land high with their abdomens in the air, and explode airborne spores all over. You probably have seen the remains on windows where there is a dead fly clinging and a spore circle around it. Steal from Nature, it makes things believable and then you have sound science to back it up. Another parasite will force it's seemingly healthy host to back to water once mature and ready to spread, where the host critter dies and the baby parasites have a place to infest. I wish I knew what it was, but this fascinated me that a parasite could make its host do things like feel intense thirst on command. Instead of water, it could be drug houses and other zones of poor living. Insidious infections in parts of society normally swept under the carpet and why it isn't noticed until it is too late.

A new honeybee parasite (perhaps existing) that is causing beekeepers problems is from zombie flies. Perhaps part of the complex problem of Colony Collapse Disorder. Something else to take a peek at.

As far as technology goes, you would like try and start with ham packet radio since farms and remote sites could all be connected and have repeaters to provide this service and is easily powered by solar and/or car batteries (already networks in-place). Since a lot of this structure already exists, is easy to understand, and would provide the initial backbone that makes a lot of sense. That could be some of why the city reciprocates to the farms in supporting and powering these repeater radio towers. Bandwidth is narrow, but E-mail and weather/location information (ARPS) is still sent this way. An almost impossible to defeat network due to the multiple bands and diverse equipment that can be used. Also see http://www.findu.com/ which may provide some links to true experts in the field of redundant any radio-based data networks.

It could be found that this character is tasked to go to these farms and bring up a link to a city that has some sort of obstacle in the way of communications, such as a large radioactive region from nuke plants gone awry or a failed attempt at stopping the disease.

Ok, I am no zombie expert since the last Zombie movie I saw was in the 80s, Night of the Living Dead or something.
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:25 am

UberGerbil wrote:And if something happens to the folks manning the nuclear plants -- whether they're taken out directly or simply leave to take care of their families and don't come back -- then it's Fukushima but worse, one after another (unless they had a chance to put the plant into orderly shutdown). At least the glow will help you see the zombies coming.

It's quite possible to envisage an apocalypse without requiring the zombies. I realize it's less fun because the ravenous hordes you'll be blowing away with your hoarded firearms will belong to hungry real people not fantastical undead, but that just makes it more important to think about (if only to encourage whatever steps necessary to avoid it).


Actually, every nuclear power plant I've ever visited has had what amounts to a dead man's switch. If no one interacts with the system for 24-48 hours or so, the systems at the plant begin automatically dropping output and damping the pile. I believe current code requires them to drop below criticality after 2-3 days of unattended.

So, umm, no. Real World does not work that way.

I'm perfectly fine with my shambling hordes being breathing, as long as I'm the guy with the bunker, the guns, and the canned food. In fact, for long term, you want to be using bladed weapons and perhaps archery, as most firearm setups are not sustainable with just a few people to feed it. Going to make your own smokeless powder?
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:26 am

Ignoring the fact that zombies are the worst predator in the history of imagination (seriously, going to have your #1 predator, your #1 food supply, and your only means of reproduction be the same animal? lol) I always thought that cities would be a terrible idea in a zombie apocalypse.

The best thing to do would be to spread out over a large area in the country side. Then one tiny bite doesn’t mean instant death for a large group of people, you can see them coming from a mile away (zombies move slow, right? You can see for miles in the country. A good pair of binoculars would give you an entire days warning, at least.), and you have nearly infinite directions in which to escape if all goes to hell. If a zombie apocalypse did happen, I would move to my uncle’s lake house in the middle of Nowheresville, North Carolina.

Also, this article is seriously worth a read. http://www.cracked.com/article_18683_7- ... ickly.html
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Re: Restoring internet access during a zombie apocalypse?

Postposted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:24 pm

quick reply, haven't read the whole post. Before venturing out to get all this done, remember to wear a full-body suit plated with lead. just to keep out those Ultra-Low-Frequency-Waves the cell towers will be emitting. :wink:
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