Saturday, January 14, 2012

Network Project

Today I spoke with my parents about a vision I had for improving their digital luxuries by installing data cable in their home and setting up a home network server to host data, printing, scanning, and so on. Surprisingly, the planned date to do all this is right around the cornerspring break to be exact. I sketched a draft of what my project is going to include. Here it is below:
I have some experience in Wide Area Networking (WAN), but I have never set up a server before. Really, the most complex networking I have really done so far is setting up a wireless bridge (and that was tough and time-consuming enough!). However, I am really excited about this project because I'll be installing the data cable in their house so not everything has to be wireless. I don't condemn wireless, I just don't like how it seems to be unreliable at times and how hard it is to maintain a good signal. Sure there are many ways to accomplish this, but the truth is, there is no better signal than to wire everything. 

Anyways, as you can see from my sketch, there are 3 rooms that will have wired connections: my dad's room, the server room, and the play room. The reason why my dad has a hub is because he has some electronics that are network reliant such as an internet radio. The play room has 3 computers and the TV will be a future project that will include creating digital copies of all my parent's movies, and compiling all other audio/visual media. The server will have the printer, scanner, data storage (of course!), security cameras (another future project), and whatever else to be added in the future. Data will also have the capability to be transmitted wirelessly as well for other electronics such as an iTouch, or laptop computer. 

I came up with this project to satisfy both my mom and dad's needs/wants in their digital media. My dad loves movies, so the ability to play a movie without having to turn on another electronic and insert a disk, he can browse through a whole library and watch it on his computer or even have it connected to his TV via HDMI. My mom is crafty and needs to use the printer, but for a while (until recently purchasing a wireless network printer) all her printing had to be done on my dad's machine, which was a hassle because she would either have to find the website on his computer or email the stuff she wanted printed to my dad, and then print. 

So, where does my excitement come in? Well, to be honest, I enjoy designing and building. This project will be my treat, being able to install and set up everything will be a lot of fun. Plus, when I have a LAN party (if I EVER do one again. I don't game much these days.) all my friends could easily plug in and get gaming right away. But, my mom watches over some neat 13 year olds after school before their parents get home from work, so they'll be able to enjoy the benefits of all the multiplayer capabilities through the network.

There are so many capabilities it would be almost impossible to go over everything I want to do with this project now. For now, I will prepare by studying what needs to be done to accomplish this, and will then wait patiently until the day comes when I get to start cutting holes in my parent's walls and making a mess (haha!! Just kidding!). 

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