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Geekiness on a budget....

I just spent the last 3+ hours doing a few office things, and figuring out how to cheaply do not one, but two wireless networks.

Now I know why I'd been putting it off for so long.

I couldn't just do the simple thing. Say, a laptop and/or desktop machine running windows ___ and being connected to a wireless router connected to my cable modem. That'd be too simple. Nope, I have to do the following (keep in mind, this is geeking on a budget):

Office: 3 computers networked off of my old 11Mbps SMC router/firewall. I've been running the router/firewall for a while now and it's actually a pretty nifty toy. My machine (running linux) will stop being the router/firewall for the office. The SMC router will go in between it and the cable modem. My dad's machine will become wireless (finding a suitably cheap linux-friendly wireless PCI NIC was challenging). My mom's windows box (i.e. the "I want a computer of my own even if I don't have an actual use for it other than solitaire" machine) will also end up wireless. Total cost for all of this: $40 for two wireless NICs and I end up with a decent bit of ethernet cable and a couple of left over wired NICs.

Mi Casa: 4 computers (to start) networked off of my new 54*2 Mbps D-link router/firewall (I have my doubts as to whether it will actually operate at 108Mbps, but it was on sale and at worst, 54 is still better than 11) and my old 12 port 3Com hub. Moya remains wired (since it lives less than 10 ft from the cable modem and router. Talyn, my newly revived laptop, becomes a wirless, go anywhere light-load machine. The media archive machine remains wired (it lives about a foot from the router). The downstairs entertainment PC which is running windoze XP gets the snazzy new 54*2 Mbps D-link wireless NIC. Total cost for 2 wireless NICs and 1 router/firewall was < $125 once I factor in some mail-in rebates and this is including shipping (much of which was free for all the new toys). I end up with a decent bit of old hardware that can be retired for the time being (or until I need to unretire it again).

Of course the real fun will come from trying to make all the computers play nice with all of the other computers and the new hardware etc... The sad thing being that I'm actually really looking forward to getting all this stuff up and running. Lately I've been increasingly psyched to seriously geek out working on various projects. I've missed geeking at home.... Be afraid, be very afraid ;)


Hmmmm you know, I really hope you're not mistaking me for a certain jolly old elf that lives up north somewhere ;)

If money where no concern I'd hook you up with the nifty toys, but I'm doing the geek thing on a budget so you get all of :-p

Although if you guys need any advice etc... with house building stuff I'd be glad to lend you a hand.