Man ! What a busy week, or must I say : what a busy week-end. Parties, shopping, social events, work .. it all piled up nicely and maxed out our weekend to the extreme. Barely enough time to sit down, let alone "blog" or do something else productive. But what the hey .. here I am again. With the big "move" coming up to our "smaller crib" we are getting things in order for the whole thing to go smoothly.
One of those things is : Looking at what are we going to put in what room and how are we going to arrange our furniture. Accept from living room, bedroom, bathroom etc .. there is one room in the house (the attic) that is huge and that will be our shared "Hang out" room where we have a couch and a TV and where both my wife and I have have our "hobby stuff" setup. For her : a big table with sowing gear and stuff, for me : The "office". Right now my office occupies one of the largest rooms in our house, after the move i’m going to share some space with my wife so .. I have to take a look at "scaling down" the size of my desk etc. Not that that is a problem. Four years ago when we moved in here I had bought that desk to carry a small computer lab. Several computers, screens, keyboards etc.. You could do a little episode of the matrix on that desk. The rest of the office was also capable of sporting some extra workstations .. In fairness : If you pumped it full of gear it would look like freakin’ Nasa. But today progress has taken its toll and the office is kinda … empty. One Powerbook, 2 screens and a a Mac mini. Thats all that is left. I have not scaled down .. but with the rise of virtualisation and cheaper TFT screens.. I just don’t need more computers. My Imac has a virtual version of Vista, Xp and a few version of linux standing by. My macbook is just as powerful, my old powerbook (a G4) is perfect for podcast recording, and my gigantic mixer has been replaced by this tiny mixed because I do all of my post production on the mac. What is left is what I call " The holy trinity " This consists of my Imac in the middle, sporting OSX, on the left I have a 19" tft hooked up to my Imac as a second screen. On that I run XP or Vista as a virtual machine. On the right I have a second 19" tft hooked up to my Linux machine. In this case i’ve chosen my old G4 Mac Mini and have installed Ubuntu linux on it (Server edition) and added the Gnome interface. All I need next is to hook up a small "laptop like" keyboard and a mouse and i’m done. A super powerful and ultra compact setup. Total width of the operation ? 150cm. How about that for a sliders desktop that sports all the major OS’es in the world.
The Mac mini was a spare unit I had lying around ( I used it to stream video to our tv upstairs) but since Eyetv can do this using a web interface .. I don’t need it anymore. I went for the latest supported version of Ubuntu (6.06) and installed it as a Lamp server. If you listened to the Knightcast episode 01 you’ll hear about the ‘power station’ setup where you install a server edition of Ubuntu and add a graphical desktop on top. This is kind of the same. The mini is silent fast and compact and very low on power consumption. If I need a desktop I can just sit behind it and work away, but the great thing is the server power is right under the bonnet. Running a torrentflux client, Installing an edition of Joomla, configuring everything remotely with Webmin.. It"s all possible with the little box. I love it.
If you want more information about how to build your own Linux server/workstation: you might want to check out THIS guide.