I shouldn’t really call it an upgrade per se but I managed to find some time yesterday (vacation day) to rebuild my home desktop personal computer with Windows 7 (64bit) replacing my Windows Vista (64bit) installation.
I backed up all my files to an old server I had setup running Openfiler, it’s amazing how much space all those home movies and pictures take up. I reformatted my primary hard drive and ran through the installation. It took longer than I expected but I later found out that I had left the floppy drive enabled in the BIOS (there was no floppy drive in the desktop) and that may have had something to-do with the longer than customary installation time I experienced.
Now I’m left with re-installing all the different applications that I use from time to time. When I was younger I didn’t mind this task so much because it generally translated into a significant increase in speed and performance of the desktop (at least for a while). These days though I find myself not having the same excitement I once had in the past. I guess I’m getting old and grumpy…
While I’m rambling on let me say that Ubuntu (specifically release 10.1) is really becoming a strong alternative desktop operating system. While it still took some messing, the installation of some basic tools such as the Java Runtime Engine, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash was much improved over previous releases. I was very impressed with the performance as well.
So my question for folks… what if anything are you using at home to store your home movies and pictures? Are you using an old PC running some open source solution? Did you go out and purchase an all-in-one solution?
I just started using an old IBM xSeries 345 with 1GB of RAM and ~ 300 GB of disk space across 6 drives. I’m concerned that my electric bill is going to go threw the roof next month if I run this thing 24×7 as my media storage server. It might be cheaper for me to just purchase a Drobo or something along those lines from an kWh perspective not to mention the space. cooling and noise issues created by running and IBM xSeries 345 in your basement. I had accidentally forgotten to connect both power supplies when I first turned it on. The beast sounded like a jet engine running full blast until I connected the second power supply and the fans slowed down to their normal operating speed.
Bill McDonald says
Im running 4x1TB Drives in a Chenbro NAS case, with a Mini-ITX Intel Motherboard (Atom 330), and Openfiler for the OS.
Thing draws 80w under full load, and i run it 24/7 and have not noticed much increase in my power bills. Along with being fairly silent and have a really small footprint, I like it.
Comparing that to my 46″ LCD tv which draws 206w its a drop in the bucket.
Michael McNamara says
Thanks for the idea Bill…
Hi Mike, Thanks for all the posts over the years. I have found some helpful tips from your posts. Any ways, to your question, I purchased a Netgear WNDR3700 a couple months ago for my home to act as a firewall/wifi hot spot. It has a few cool features, its dual band, has two wifi networks, one secured/one open, and it also allows for a usb connected hard drive to hang off of it. To this port, I have attached a 1TB Western MY Book Essential. This is able to be browsed as if it were a windows share. So, that acts as my local backup, and for remote backup I use Carbonite (http://www.carbonite.com). If you are interested in Carbonite, they have a refer a friend program that will get you an extra month free if you use my link.
Keep up the great blog! Sean
Michael McNamara says
Thanks for the kind words Sean. I’ve been avoiding putting my data out in the cloud if you will. I have a few virtual servers already on the net, however, I still make it a point to encrypt any of the data I leave out there. I’d much rather spend a few dollars than to wonder who has my data and where in the world it is. Thanks for sharing your solution and thoughts!