Saw a very nice hack demo’d last night at LUV; Jason King (who did the remastering Knoppix talk back in August) had created (with help from a couple of other folks) a (mostly) working, bootable Knoppix DVD that had a fully functional Wikipedia installed. It comes up running Apache, MySQL, KDE and you can then browse Wikipedia from the DVD.
I say mostly working because it had none of the submitted images, but given that the downloadable database dump of the current pages in English is 900MB gzip’d, it’s not suprising! Of course it’s not particularly fast (around 60 seconds to do a search), but it could be extremely useful as a free information source in places where there is no (or very limited) Internet access.
It’s still a work in progress, but there was quite a bit of interest in helping Jason out with the project, and one of the LUV members who works for MySQL reckoned that with some tweaking of the indexes, etc, it could be sped up too..