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+ - Ask Slashdot: Home IT Rack 1

Submitted by
jawtheshark
jawtheshark writes "I'm building a house, and obviously I want a modest network built-in. Nothing fancy, two RJ-45 per room, four in the living room, and that's basically it. I already got myself a rack mountable Cisco Small Business switch and I have a self-built 4U server (low-power, won't make much heat) which can be rack mounted (505mm deep).

Now, the construction company suggests a wall mounted rack (6U: 340mm x 600mm x 480mm — 6U definitely won't be enough, but a 12U model exists). It's not expensive, but I have never worked on a rack where the backside is unreachable. (For work, I get to work in a data center with huge racks that are accessible from both sides). Now obviously, I don't need a data center-grade rack, but these wall-mounted racks scream "switch-only" racks to me. What are your experiences? Is it possible to put servers in racks like these, or should I find a "both-side-accessible" rack instead?"

Comment: Re:Bill's Law (Score 2) 534

by Corporate Troll (#35951340) Attached to: Another Windows 8 Pre-Beta Surfaces

It was nothing like that... Basically, it was:

Win 3.xx -> Win 95 -> Win 98 --> Win ME, where the line dies. In parallel the NT line looked like this NT 3.xx -> NT 4 -> Win 2000 -> Win XP -> Win Vista -> Win 7.

That's the operating system family history. From the consumer point of view, the "next version" from Win 98/ME was Windows XP, and that's where the "professional" and "consumer" lines merge. The period around Windows 98/ME/2000 was pretty interesting. There were plenty of consumers that didn't want ME, and asked for 98 or 2000 instead. Yes, consumers went with 2000, I've seen many specifically asking for it. Even Dell sold consumer PCs with 2000 as an option. So reality was more like that the users from 95 (plenty of people still ran 95 in that time), 98, ME and 2000 migrated in roughly the same period to XP.

Since this brings up Windows 2000. Windows 2000 was, in my opinion, their best system hands-down. It simply got neglected and was a bit too early to incorporate Wireless. The two "big" things that are missing from 2000 versus XP are wireless support out of the box and fast user switching (for the home user). You can get wireless to run on a 2000 machine, but you have to use the horrible, horrible applications that wireless card manufacturers make. With Windows XP, you usually can avoid those. (but alas, they are still in existence... why is completely beyond to me as the standard interface does everything well)

Comment: Re:Really? Not really, they stopped last year. (Score 1) 766

by Corporate Troll (#35904890) Attached to: Microsoft Counts Down To XP Death

Only works for Windows 7 Professional to Windows XP Professional... but yes, that works. I have done this at work. You need to have the OEM XP disk though, but if you have one machine that came with it you're covered.

That said, what doesn't seem to work is running Linux (Ubuntu) and use the downgraded Windows XP Professional in a VM. The Windows 7 OEM in a VM on Linux works. Why this is, I do not know... I haven't found out and never got it to work.

(Visualization is also only allowed for the "Pro" version... )

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 766

by Corporate Troll (#35895160) Attached to: Microsoft Counts Down To XP Death

Because computer power reached a plateau for the end-user. I consider myself a end-user. Let's take my primary personal laptop, bought in January 2007, runs Windows XP Media Center Edition (well, most of the time it runs Ubuntu, but that's what it came with).

That laptop was low-end and on sale the day I bought it: Turion X2 TL-50 (cache starved) and 1GB RAM, which I upgraded to 2GB because I could, but 1GB really would have sufficed.

For my daily surfing, the occasional letter, an email left and right... it is... overkill.

That's where you come to the point of "Upgrading". Why the hell would I spend 150€++ to go to Windows 7, which will most likely bog down the machine more than XP? That's an "upgrade", the "cheapest" way to get Windows 7. From an end-user point of view, spending 500€++ on a new computer is insane if the current one does just fine. I'd rather use that 150€ upgrade money for something that I enjoy. (Upgrading operating systems, especially those from Redmond is not part of "enjoying").

Slightly related, I love to tech-dumpster-dive. It is pretty common to find 2.0GHz single core machines (AMD Athlon, Pentium IV) in dumpsters these days. Given enough memory, those make great computers. They all come with OEM License stickers. It is easy to get those back up and running. I have a license (it's on the case), I can install it. If Microsoft decides to turn off the activation servers, dumpster divers all over the world will cry in agony.

Comment: Re:home routers (Score 1) 406

by Corporate Troll (#35882870) Attached to: IPv6 Traffic Remains Minuscule

I'm trying to understand what you mean with 1£/W/year. Assuming normal precedence, this means (1£/W)/year. So, a 24/7, 100W device costs 100£/year. I'm trying to figure out if that's even remotely possible. I've had this thing running for years, and I pay around 120€ every two months, so 720€ per year. Just assuming 100W Athon, and 1£=1€, that would make ~1/7 of my power bill? The migration to the Soekris was only achieved last fall, but according to you, I should save around 80€/year... Nothing on my current power bills have hinted anything in that direction (You'd expect ~13€ less each two months).

Still... To me the cost in power wasn't the issue...The noise was though.

Comment: Re:home routers (Score 1) 406

by Corporate Troll (#35881704) Attached to: IPv6 Traffic Remains Minuscule

Just before anyone actually does this... Keep in mind that this old PC will make noise and that 24/7. Unless you live in the basement of your parents and it's there and only bothers you, you will get someone nagging about it. I have this setup, twice actually... Once at my parents where it is a Atom D510MO and it nicely routes for my parents, but it's in the basement and bothers no one. At my place, I used to have a dumpster sourced AMD Athlon 64 3400+. My wife hated it, as you could hear it throughout the apartment if you left the door of the office open. I replaced it with a Soekris which is near silent (and everything is fine), but it took ages as a married man doesn't have as much time as the single geek I was when the dumpster sourced Athlon.

So... Only from noise perspective, I would seriously discourage it. From the power consumption side, the Athlon just used 90W or so, the Soekris is much less (20W? Never tested it....) I won't say this isn't a significant change, but not nearly as dramatic as you'd expect. My parents server was even worse: it used to be a P-III 800MHz and that one used ~70W. The Atom (which does have a few raided 2T harddisks) also uses around 70W. Not much gain for them, expect of course loads and loads of disk space.

Finally, make sure your old router supports "bridge mode". I had one that had the option, but it wouldn't work *at all*. Just using a different modem fixed it. In routing mode, the old router worked fine though.

Comment: Re:home routers (Score 1) 406

by Corporate Troll (#35881292) Attached to: IPv6 Traffic Remains Minuscule

Even then? What do I gain? I have a Soekris net5501-70 doing my routing for me and it's connected by using a ADSL modem in bridge mode. It runs OpenBSD. I can switch now, as my ISP supports IPv6 by just changing the login credentials from myusername@myisp.com to myusername@ipv6.myisp.com.

I tried, it works... I get an IPv4 and an IPv6 address, just as it's supposed to. Alas, it also broke some of my scripts that assume IPv4, which is obviously my fault, but I haven't come around fixing them. However, when I have done that, what then?

I think I will have to change my firewall rules (currently NAT + strong IPv4 filtering, IPv6 is all blocked) and migrate my network. Changing the firewall rules, I don't expect to be hard, but how the heck do I migrate my internal network? I know about "rtadvd", but that's how far my knowledge stretches.

I really like having DHCP distribute fixed IP addresses and my DNS server to know which IP is what. It's really easier to remember gimli instead of 192.168.2.55 or so. The whole IPv6 autoconfig may work, but it unnerves me that it takes away my control.

So, you see, even geeks who can go IPv6 are reluctant... At least I am... (Okay, being married and not be able to spend my whole evenings toying with computers is a big factor.... Time, where has thou gone?)

Comment: Re:Then (Score 1) 321

by Corporate Troll (#35826534) Attached to: Asia Runs Out of IPv4 Addresses
Actually we don't have that problem. I'm a native Dutch speaker and the mis-usage of then/than annoys the hell out of me. (Like college/collage, principle/principal, etc, etc, etc....) I've also heard that it's mostly native speakers who have this problem, as usually these pitfalls are pointed out and practiced when encountered in foreign language courses.

Comment: Re:Technology of Ancients. (Score 1) 531

by Corporate Troll (#35816496) Attached to: The End of the "Age of Speed"

I have absolutelly no fucking idea how to use a car

No driving license, then? "Using a car" is worlds away from toying with engines and the other stuff your dad did. Using a car is easy, in some countries they practically throw driving licenses at 16 year olds.

Now, if you say that you wouldn't be able to service a car, then your comparison would hold.

In computing we are also at the same level: we have few people knowing how to service computers (programming, hardware troubleshooting, system administration, etc...), but plenty of people can "use" a computer (Where I use the verb "use" very loosely)

Comment: Re:Never underestimate the power of liquids (Score 1) 533

by Corporate Troll (#35815270) Attached to: Workers Will Smash Their PCs To Get an Upgrade
Yes, it is an option on XP. I have used it recently, because one of my users needed OpenVPN and that doesn't work Limited, but with those rights it does. It makes the user able to change all network settings. It really simply is a user group: add user to it, done. I assume that you could set every required right as a group policy, but I wouldn't know.

Comment: Re:Never underestimate the power of liquids (Score 1) 533

by Corporate Troll (#35805266) Attached to: Workers Will Smash Their PCs To Get an Upgrade

My experience says that misbehaving applications can be made to be run as limited user. Usually, it's a matter of allowing User R/W access to certain directories (Typically the installation directory of the application). If that doesn't work, it's usually registry keys that need to be set to User R/W. Worst case, it's registry keys created in the user hive during installation, that are expected to be present when the application is run. Running it on a different user (after all you installed as Admin) then fails. Temporary give that user Admin rights, install the application, revoke the rights and it usually works.

I won't say it works for every single program, but I've managed to make run 99% of applications that way.

"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberrys!" -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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