Home Tech Talk, Part 2

August 30, 2015 9:07pm
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So picking up where I left off last night, I think these are going to be my next points of focus around the house…

Run Cat6 to the Living Room and Bedrooms
Not really looking forward to this because it means I have to go up into the attic and I’m always afraid of falling through the ceiling, but I’m figuring that wiring up these two rooms so that Plex doesn’t have to run over the wifi is right now probably the easiest thing I can do for the occasionally freezing that we see during playback.

Run Cat6 Out to the Garage for FiOS
Right now we have 75 Mbps symmetrical service, which is awesome, but to upgrade to anything faster we actually have to move away from using coax and run ethernet direct from where the fiber comes into the house to our router. Verizon claims that they’ll do this themselves during the upgrade, but who knows what the quality will be, and if I have to be up in the attic for wiring the other rooms anyways, it makes sense to just do this one at the same time.

Improving Backups on My Local Server
Part of this will be easy and part will be a pain. The easy part … right now I have a local install of CrashPlan pushing something from the server into the cloud, but I honestly don’t even remember what … it could just be test files from when I first got it setup, for all I know! So I just need to review and update the backup plan so that it includes more of the things that it should – Plex’s database and local settings, and some other random stuff sitting there that I want to preserve. It’s probably still not appropriate to push 20 TB of media files into the cloud, but I’m cool with sending 100 GB of music files for now.

The less easy part is facilitating backups from my web server that hosts all of my sites from an actual data center. They technically do regular backups within their own network at no charge to me, but just to be on the safe side I wouldn’t mind pulling down another copy of everything to keep archived here just in case. It’s only like 15 GB for everything anyways, so it’s not a ton of files, and I think that WHM even has an option to FTP another copy of the backup set to another location when it’s running. I just need to take an afternoon to figure it all out and get the thing working…

Organizing and Sharing Photos
Now with bringing my wife’s iPhone/iPad photos into the mix, we’re sitting on a collection of something like 40,000 photos over the last 15 years and as unmotivated as I am to print them out and fill photo books, it’s still fun to flip through them online so I think I want to finally figure out a manageable way to put them online for regular browsing. Not sure if it’s going to be Flickr, or a self-hosted WordPress install, or something else … I guess that Plex has options for Photos & Home Videos, too, so this one’s still wide open, but it’s something I’d like to do before we get up to 50,000!!!

Automated Christmas!
And the last one is something that I eluded to yesterday, and tonight I found another cool option, but their beginner set still costs upwards of $500 so it’s going to be a while before I can splurge here and it still might not happen this year. Still, I love the idea of a truly customizable Christmas light display where not only can I make the lights dance to music, but can even choose the color of each bulb as well, so no more fighting for the right combinations of colors at Lowe’s and Walmart and wherever else my lighting takes me…

…although at &^(%% per string, they’d better turn any color you want them to! 😯

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