By BoLOBOOLNE payday loans

Greening up the Home Office

MillerIt was pretty late at night at my friend Miller’s birthday party last week.  She had asked everybody to do something good for the world in lieu of birthday presents.  The awake were discussing options as I was dozing off.  I overheard somebody say "If you’ve got an old linux box that you’re using as a firewall drawing 400 watts continuously, consider spending $30 on a dedicated router."  I thought about the headless Pentium 3 box in my office closet which is running the IP Cop Linux firewall distro.  I thought about the four matching ethernet cards I’d put in it and the rainbow of color-coded cat-5 coming off it: red for untrusted outside world, green for safe, orange for servers and blue for wifi.  I thought about all the time I’d spent configuring the thing perfectly and routing cables throughout the house and I thought, yeah it draws a lot of power, but I NEED all that.

When I sobered up the next afternoon it occured to me that I’d pulled my file server off the orange DMZ network for performance and simplicity, and that the other server box had long since been virtualized into the file server.  I moved my local public wifi off the blue network onto the red to make its security brain-dead simple.  So despite all the pretty color-coded cables and corresponding hubs, all I really had was a big loud NAT box with a few key port holes in it.  And since I’ve switched from outlook to Gmail, I never even RAS into my home XP boxes any more.  And since I do all my personal development on EC2 or some other host, I never use my home dev servers any more.  So in fact, I don’t need to tunnel home for anything.  Cloud computing.  For real.  All this stuff I used to need I don’t any more.  I could replace that old linux box with a cheap low-power firewall.

But that got me thinking.  There’s this li’l XP box sitting next to the printer that I have configured never to go to sleep because otherwise I can’t print from my laptops.  Print servers are similarly small and low-power and sometimes come in the same box as the firewall.  Then my eye turned to the terabyte file server in the corner and next thing you know I’ve got an Apple Time Capsule in the mail to replace all three permanently powered-on PCs in my house.

Happy BEarthday, Miller!

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