One of the important tasks of our home server setup is about media. The server hosts our large and old collections of DVD rips, music and photos that lived on our desktop boxes before. The collections are accessible across the home network with Samba/NFS shares and it works great for devices which can understand it: I mean the computers.
The story would end here if we didn’t want to access the media collections also from TV. This brought me to learn about DLNA technology and to get a DLNA-compliant media player, as well as to install and configure special media server software.
I have to say I am quite serious about losing any bit of my data. It was a time when I backed up everything, including the web-browser history: actually I have dropped this practice only when I realized that every of my tar.gz files overgrew the standard DVD size and that a half of the data I stored didn’t worth it at all.
There is however, a lot of important stuff I’m backing up regularly: projects, documents, Basket notes, emails and so on. A long ago, I have developed a custom automated backup procedure that has been greatly improved with the help of a dedicated server in my home network. The solution is simple, based on standard Linux tools and works perfectly for me.
A dedicated server machine is what I definitely needed for my home IT infrastructure which has grown with years. Two desktops, a laptop and a home theatre system: they all needed to be connected to each other and to Internet. For long, it was my desktop box playing a role of the server in the home LAN, and it caused a lot of annoyances, of course.
The last year, an opportunity to bring myself to do it right is appeared, thanks to two things: First, I got new Core-i7 box as my developer workstation, so my old good Pentium-4 came out of work. Second, a large roll door closet has been built in the hallway where I reserved a room for the server stuff.
If ClassLoader Delegation, though esoteric and counterintuitive, is an example of some design, there are some things in Java that are confusing and just poorly designed at once.
My house is in the area where the best internet is wireless. My main channel is a satellite broadband, it’s fast enough (up to 4 Mbps) and cheap. In general, I like it. The only problem is that it is one-way downlink – it needs an outgoing channel for requests tunneling and uploads.
So far, it was GPRS. Very slow, very expensive and unstable. It’s not a secret that GPRS internet traffic has lowest priority in GSM networks. So, sometimes it shuts down because of voice traffic overload. I was annoyed and was looking for an alternative.