Monday, February 23

Moving my network around

Today I moved my network around, so just a quick article about why, or what was the point.

It’s funny the little noises that irritate you. For me, there are a few, high pitches whines, buzzing sounds that are constant, when my wife clicks her nails together, and computer fans.

In my office, I have a PowerMac (Dual Core, with Dual Fans), a Linux box that I do a lot of Snort Testing on, and a 1U server that is older than my daughter.

The 1U was moved to the basement a long time ago, simply because the fans on the thing were so incredibly loud, you couldn’t sit in the same room as the machine. It was crazy. I can’t imagine a server room full of these things. The fan ran constantly too. Not when the processors got hot, but all the time. So very irritating! I moved this server to the basement by drilling a hole in the floor in my office and running a Cat 6 cable down there. Simple enough.

That was about a year ago.

As I’ve stated before on the blog, and on twitter, and go knows where else -- I’ve moved totally to using laptops as my primary machines now. I keep everything “in the cloud” except for things like Pictures, (in iPhoto), Music, (in iTunes), and random misc software.

I use my iDisk for my Document and File Storage, and am starting to use Google Docs for collaboration on documents. I use Evernote for jotting taking notes and keep everything in one place. I use Google mail for my email (eliminating the need for a local client), and I use Google Calendar for my Calendaring. (As opposed to iCal.)

So my needs for everyday computing are rather lightweight. Last week my company replaced my aging PowerBook G4 with a brand new MacBook Pro. I started to do the “laptop dance”, you know the one, where you transfer years and years of data that you have kept for God knows why over to your new computer. After about an hour of doing this, I decided that this was inefficient and stupid and stopped. Moved everything to things like iDisk and Evernote, and eliminated the need to have everything locally. (Technically I do have everything locally, it’s just synced for me.)

I brought my new MBP into the office here at the house and stared at my PowerMac for awhile.

My Powermac has served me well for years. It’s a Dual 2.0 PowerMac G5, liquid cooled, and has 4 Gigs of RAM in it. This thing is still pretty fast, and I bought it in 2004/5 ish timeframe. But what did I use it for?

It’s sitting here connected to my 20in Apple Cinema Display -- which by the way, Apple stopped making recently -- keyboard and mouse connected to it. But how often do I use this thing? How about, almost never! I’d rather use my laptops, because then I can wander all over the house, go to Starbucks, Panera, whatever.

So I thought for a while. I already have a Cat 6 cable running to the basement, what if I relocated all my computers, switches, and everything to the basement, and only keep my wireless access points (with their associated Ethernet cables plugged in) upstairs?

So I moved everything. Powermac, Linux servers, switches, hubs (for testing), downstairs. I even moved my FiOS connection end point downstairs, (which required re-running the cable, etc.).

All I have in my office now is my MBP, with the 20in Monitor attached to it, and I have my personal older model MBP sitting next to it. (It’s my “grab my computer and go to the bathroom for reading material” computer.)

You can hear a pin drop in my office now, and it is much less distracting.

I recommend, if you can relegate your computing devices out of your office, into another room, closet, floor, attic, or whatever, do it. It’s awesome.

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