Time for a Remodel

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Serialpimp, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Serialpimp

    Serialpimp New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Likes Received:
    So, its time for a remodel of my network/system/setup,
    $5 Via Paypal will be sent to the person who provides the best, most complete answer to all questions. ( As of 2/13/10 ).

    I want to address the following:

    ISSUE: I have various personal, work, and other files spread out all over the place, between multiple flash drives, portable hard drives, WD Passports, External Hard Drive, Two Notebook Computers, Computer at Work, and Desktop Computer at home. This has resulted in multiple duplicates of files and folders, several versions of various files everywhere.
    DESIRE: I would like to have all my files organized in one single place. I would like to be able to access that place from all of the previously mentioned locations, and from other places such as via my notebook computer while at Panera or Starbucks, or from a friends house on either my notebook computer or possibly their computer, and from a Netbook I will probably later this year.
    I want one place for my files, where I can keep them orgranized and not have versioning issues and duplicates. I also want to be able to share them with people, by pulling them up while I am out or at a friend or family members house. My wife and I want to be able to keep all our photos together in one place. We are probably talking about 60-80GB of stuff in Total. Documents, Photos, Music, few videos. Mostly EXcel Documents and Photos.

    I want this place to be easy to access and secure, open and close stuff quickly, I don't want to be downloading and uploading all the time. Just open, work on, save, done, as if it were on my local desktop.

    I currently have ATT U-Verse for my home internet, and I believe the IP changes regularly, but am not totally sure.
    I run Vista on the two notebooks, XP on the home desktop and at work, and I would be okay with going to Windows 7 on everything.

    Please advise/discuss,
    VPN via Router, setup on home computer?
    Hosted Solution?
    Virtual Server?
    Open a Port to my computer?
    Other Options?

    Doing away with Physical Media?
    If this is possible?
    I would like to be able to access all my media/files, pictures, videos, etc. as well as the internet to watch/share videos from my notebook computer as well as my Televisions throughout my house. How to go about getting this setup? I am tired of passing around a notebook computer, to share stuff with people sitting in the same room with me and the TV. I want to be able to use my remote control to show family pictures, etc. Not connect a cable from notebook computer to TV, and once again hope that I have what I need on that computer or on a flash drive, when it might be or also is on the desktop computer in the other room.

    Is anyone excited about the D-Link Boxee stuff?

    I obiously want everything seemlessly integrated.

    Computer has been dog ass slow, I currently have a RAID 1 Array on my desktop, it has been acting up for several months and telling me "Degraded Drive, Suggest Rebuild Drive in OS" or something like that. I am assuming one of the drives failed. How do I indentify which one? When I go into my RAID Setup it does not tell me, Please advise course of action. ( I have already purchased another of the same drives, sitting in box here )
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Jan 27, 2005
    Likes Received:
    The easiest way to achieve what you want is to have a computer at every access point in your house, and another computer in the basement that serves as a file server. Use hardwired network cables -- wireless is good enough for surfing the web, but it will shit itself if you try to stream large files like movies from the file server to the home-theater PC, for example. You can still use wireless for the laptops, but you can't use wireless for the file server as well, if you want to have any kind of reasonable performance.

    If you have a newer TV, it most likely has a VGA, DVI, or HDMI input. Build a home-theater PC, or repurpose an older one, and leave it permanently connected to the TV via one of the inputs I mentioned. That will serve as your movie-watching, photo-viewing, and maybe game-playing box. It can also tune TV too, if you get a TV tuner card. ATi's All-In-Wonder and TV-Wonder cards are the only reliable choice, at least in my experience. You can get wireless remote controls too; ATi sells those alongside their tuner cards.

    Regarding the RAID issue, there should be a readout in the same setup screen that you used to configure the RAID array. That will tell you if one of your drives is borked. Keep in mind, in future machines, that RAID arrays generally require special drives that will report back to the controller within a set amount of time regardless of whether or not they've been able to retrieve the requested data, so the controller at least knows the drives are still functioning. Using cheap hard drives that don't report back until they've found the requested data is probably responsible for 90% of home-RAID-array "failures".

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