on ask Slashdot

It’s been pretty cool to run a fairly large network at home as described in slashdot, so I thought I’d find out what other geeks like me like doing in their own home.

My expectation was that I would get some derision, some laughter, some “my penis is larger than your penis” comments (both good and bad), and also some insight into some people running larger, more sophisticated networks. Well, if you read through the article, you can see that there was a ton of all of that. However, I was surprise to find that most people, even the ones that I would nominally call my peeps, just don’t understand. There was a few that had comparable or even larger setups, and I think they get it. It’s not about the amount of crap I can put together, or “I can piss farther than you can,” but more about the “I can do this, so I will,” and the “wouldn’t it be cool if…”. It’s more like the car guys that want to figure out, can I make this thing go twice as fast by adding all these whatsits, or by injecting perclorofloroanalmoverzine. It’s not about saving the environment, but about just doing it.

Some of the responders also pointed out that the same kind of stuff could be done with much less. Very true. I just checked across the DCF and saw that I’m on average running a load of .0something. If you think about it, that’s very much to be expected. My home setup has more computing resources, by far, than the combined resources of my first admin job at Georgia Tech. Yes, my little, fun toy setup is much more capable and has more bandwidth, storage, cpu, and memory capacity than all of the systems at Tech did 20 years ago. By a large margin. That alone brings me some pleasure.

But, the biggest part of this all is that it’s also cool for me to stay sharp at doing system stuff, specially since my job’s technical requirements is now essentially limited to email, excel, visio, and powerpoint. Not that I mind that as my job, I just enjoy the sysadmin stuff. My mind thinks that way, so I like to exercise it.

So – this is not an apology for what I have, it’s not even an explanation or justification for the things that I do. Like the thing itself – it just is.

Here’s some pictures of the DCF:

02-22-06 175902-22-06 1800
Home built rack system. You can see: main server, ups, netapp, drive shelves, printer, KVM, main switch, wireless switch 1&2, backup server, and print server. You can not see, monitor, laptop, gig-e switch.

You can also see some of the boxes for my Amiga 2000, Amiga 1000, TRS-80 Model 1, and TI-99/4a. That’s part of another story.

The rest of the crap is scattered around the house.

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