Home Network

I think things may be getting out of control. I have way too many devices and too many wires for my home network. At least I recently bought a shelf and moved it all out of a small cabinet, where it was getting too hot and way to cramped to work. Any time I needed to add a new cable for a new device, it was a nightmare trying to figure it all out. So I moved it all out and used velcro bands and twisties to keep the cables as short as possible. It’s still somewhat of a mess wire wise, and it would be good to get several 1′ and 2′ etherent cables.

Here’s a quick picture I took with my new logitech quickcam fusioin that I use for web conferencing/video chat:


And descriptions for each device:

  • Far Left on the floor: Belkin UPS with AVR
  • Top, hanging on wall: Another UPS, this one APC, with a USB into the PC for graceful shutdown.

Top shelf starting on left:

  • 160 GB USB 2.0 / Firewire external driveShared backup storage for various computers around the house. I built this by buying a cheap case and a simple IDE drive.
  • NetGear Wirless access point Used to get wireless signal to the rest of the house.
  • IOGear KVMP I use this to share one keyboard and mouse between the two main computers, my shuttle (see below) and my work thinkpad (not shown, it’s on the desk). I run the video direct from each computer to two monitors, so I’m not sharing the video. I do sometimes add a 3rd PC for short term work, in which cases I will share video on one of the monitors. This device also lets me share 2 USB peripherals.
  • Shuttle PC I built this a while back, runs mostly windows though does have debian on a partition. Had some problems buidling it, with voltage regulaters being replaced by shuttle once, and then having the motherboard completely replaced to fix some weird problems. Runs great now though the firewire ports seem to have a short. :-/

Bottom shelf starting on left:

  • NetGear 8 port Fast Ethernet switchSo that all my ethernet devices can talk to each other and get to the Net.
  • LinkSys Vonage RouterThis gives me a VoIP phone from Vonage, which works great. I do all my long distance and work calls from this phone now, for a low monthly flat fee. It has a WAN port that goes the DSL router and then an Ethernet port runs to the switch.
  • Sprint (Zyxel) DSL routerTo get to the Internet. It’s a bummer, but when I put this into briding mode instead of routing mode, so that my vonage router got the WAN IP, I lost the ability to run mrtg from my Internet server to my home network to monitor bandwidth usage, as the vonage box doesn’t support that. At some point I would like to solve that problem.

At least there’s a little more space. I’d like to add another shuttle type (small form factor) PC to run linux on, and I recently ordered a LinkSys NSLU2, which I will run linux on instead of the standard linksys firmware. Once you put linux on these, affectionaly known as slugs, the skies the limit. I plan to run an itunes music server, and ftp server, ssh, etc. I won’t move my things that need more stability that DSL here, such as my web server, mail server, etc. And then I’ll need at least one more, if not two, USB 2.0 hard drives to connect to the slug. So at that point I pretty much will be out of space.

What needs to happen is all these home devices need to be standardized to fit in a small home sized rack. šŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Home Network

  1. Trash it all man. Get a Notebook, a pencil and a library card. Life was simpler then and I bet you played more basketball. I mean back then did you EVER try to figure out how you were going to do your bandwidth monitoring? Nope. You just threw on your shoes, went outside and had a good time.

    Thats just my two cents.

  2. To be fair, that set up is over 2 years old. I now just have a dsl modem, a wireless/wired router, one 750 GB external HD I use “live,” and one 1GB external HD I use for time machine. The shuttle PC was replaced with an all-in-one machine. I dropped vonage for skype for a while, but finally gave up and got a 2nd PSTN/land line. I live in the woods so cell phones are not an option.

    I do have 3 monitors, though, and I won’t give up that. šŸ™‚

    I am starting to run low on storage so I will be looking to upgrade my 750 to 1 GB.

    Oh and I see a USB co-ax adapter (eyetv) so I can get a tv signal on the mac.

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