Monday, December 03, 2007

So This Is How It Is

I’ve changed my mind again. Can you believe it? I know, it’s a shocker.

Anyway, I’ve decided to put off the ClarkConnect server for now. I will be doing it, but I’ll wait until I’m further along in the process. I think I can do most of what I want with the HP Media Vault (See earlier post). As I’ve come to learn, the Media Vault falls in to a category of products referred to as NAS, or Network Attached Storage.

They are basically mini-file servers that are tuned to just serving files on a network. They can be plugged in to a router (This could be a DSL or cable modem/router) and serve media files to any other PC on the router. At least this is my understanding. We’ll see if I understand this correctly sometime next week when I get it.

If I’m wrong, and I really do need the server to use the media vault, well, I was planning to do that anyway, and the media vault is only $214.00 with shipping and taxes. That is a pretty amazing price, if you ask me.

So, lets say I have a PC in the parlor hooked up to the TV, and some external speakers. I can stream video to the TV and music to the speakers off the media vault. I should then also be able to surf the web from the same PC. In theory this should work. I could be wrong about this, and we’ll just need to wait and see.

The server would give me additional benefits, such as act as a web and email server. You can set up user accounts, and just manage the whole system better. The dream is to one day stop paying money each month to another company to host my web site. With a server running ClarkConnect, I could do that myself.

The draw back to this is that if I have other PCs in the house I could use them all for email but I would need to make sure one PC is dedicated to downloading mail to an inbox on the PC. If I have three PCs all downloading mail, it would get confusing. This is where the server would come in handy. What I will need to do is set other PCs to leave a copy of the mail on the server and have one download the mail and delete the mail from the server.

I realize, that to the non-tech person reading this, it all may seem a bit much, and frankly, I agree. This gets back to my very first post on this subject. It is just all too complicated. Once it is set up and running, it needs little maintenance. The issue is setting it all up and trouble shooting it in the event that something goes wrong.

Someday, someone is going to come up with a box that you have on a wall in the garage. You plug in a phone line and a cable TV line and then you run a single cable to any number of smart devices in the house. You turn them on and identify yourself by either a thumb print or voice recognition and then you have access to TV/video/music/internet/phone and what ever else comes along. It someday needs to get to that point, because this is no way to live. One hundred years from now someone is going to stumble on to these series of blog entries and think, “Wow! What savages!”

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