I was wandering around the house last night listening to the persistent hum of technology all around me. I realized that I might possibly have more technology in my house than pieces of furniture, so I started to add it all up to see what in the world had happened to my once peaceful and quiet life.
Starting from the fibre coming in I've got a Netgear* switch. Attached to that is a linux server that faces the world, and a Netgear Wireless-N router that manages the internal house network. The Wireless-N supports a Vista* 64 desktop, Vista 32 notebook, XP* Notebook, my iPhone*, and a Linksys* Wireless-G router in another room.
Off the Wireless-G router we've got a Vista 32 notebook, XP desktop, two Apple* Airport Express* devices (for music streaming to living room and back yard), and a Dell* Wireless-G access point.
Off the Wireless-G access point we've got the Xbox* 360, Nintendo Wii*, DVD player, and DVR connected (for on-demand downloads).
It's actually more complex than it needs to be, but only because I haven't finished upgrading the house to Wireless-N, and because I still haven't got around to building a media center PC in the living room which could replace the DVR, DVD, and one of the Airport devices. (by the way, I'm going to be building my own Core i7* based system in the next couple of months - so stay tuned for a play-by-play)
I'm actually amazed at all the tech that is required to do some very simple things that I want to do - like streaming music from my computer across the house into the stereo in the living room. Right now we're using an Airport Express to do that (along with iTunes* and AirFoil*), but why can't my stereo have a network plug so I can send to it directly?
Which begs the question, why isn't EVERYTHING in the house network aware at this point, I mean it's 2009 right? My TV should be wireless or bluetooth at a minimum, so should the stereo. And while I'm at it, why not the refrigerator so that I can constantly pull an inventory based on RFID tagging of products...and the thermostat so I can remotely manage it...and the alarm system...and the outdoor sprinkler system...the list goes on.
But can it be too much? Even if I close the office doors at night I can still hear the hum of hard drives, CPU fans, router fans - it echos all over the house (not to mention heats up the house quite a bit). I really don't want my house to become a data center, I just want to be able to do what I want to do! I want music no matter where I am, I want to watch movies on any system in the house, I want to be able to access every computer from every other computer...my demands aren't that big are they? 🙂
So I want to hear about YOUR home network. What gadgets are you using to techify your life, and what recommendations do you have for others who are designing their home? I'm ready to learn how I can simplify!
* Product and vendor names are copyrights/trademarks of their respective companies.