Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Home Network

Our house, out in the country, has never been eligible for cable modems or DSL, and for the longest time, our telephone dialup line could only get about 28k on a good day, so when we learned that we could get ISDN installed, we went for it. ISDN, at the very best, is 128k, which hardly qualifies as 'broadband', but it was so much faster than our typical 14-28k connection that we were very happy with it for a long time.

Now, in comparison with our RV satellite system, it seems a bit anemic. However, satellite has high latency and that generates a lot of missed connections all on its own, so each has its advantages. Today, after having several hours of ISDN outage, I finished expanding my RV network so that it could be picked up by the computers in the house. Using WDS, it is possible to add remote base stations, which pick up a wireless signal and relay it to new territory. During our last satellite outage, I had set up WDS from the house network, and this was just finishing out the process.

As of today, I can choose either network at will. The MeltonRV gets me much faster download times for video and software. MeltonHomeX has more hardware connected to it -- the laser printer and the Retrospect Backup Server in particular. I'll probably leave my laptop on the home network overnight to get backed up, but I have lots of downloads that'll need the speed.

What I really need to do is to bridge the networks -- run both to a Mac Mini and set up the router to share the bandwidth of both networks, and then feed the wireless cloud from the Mini. But that's a project for another day.


shelley said...

What are you using for your backups?

Henry Melton said...

Backups? Well...

1. Retrospect runs on an old iBook, which polls all the computers it can see on my network, backing up everything, building a huge stack of DVD's. I'm up to number 56 for the current year.

2. My laptop and Mary Ann's laptop have Deja Vu installed. Hers is configured to mirror the external hard drives she uses for her photos. Mine is configured to regularly keep an image of my most important 15GB or so of my files -- writings, software source trees, etc. -- copied to my iPod.

3. I run from Apple, which runs a wide variety of backups, both to my .Mac account on Apple's servers, and to a partition on my Mac Mini.

4. Occasionally, I'll manually burn a DVD of my writing files, as an archive. When possible, I'll stash these with other family members at their house.

5. When a hard drive gets too small (they shrink, you know), I'll retire it, but first, I'll copy important archives to it, create a text index listing, and then file the hard drive in my file cabinets. The index stays on my laptop and is searched by Spotlight when I'm looking for something.

Well, as of today, that's what I'm doing for backups. But I'm always open for ideas.