File server – music server – HTPC

Now that I have my Lightroom workflow set up nicely and my iTunes library organised centrally… I’m getting aware of a new problem with my current hardware setup !!
Because of the use of DNG photo files and MP3 files that have a low compression, I’m using up disk space fast !! And due to the fact that I don’t want to loose these files, I’m also duplicating them onto another drive, so that drive is getting full also.
So it seems that I need some new hardware to accommodate this.

First of, let me give you a small overview of what I have available right now:

  • Laptop with 80gb ( 2 years old )
  • Desktop with 80gb ( many years old )
  • USB/FireWire external HD with 250gb
  • USB external HD with 500gb

What are my needs for the new system:

  • Less external devices ! ( those external HD’s are great but take up space )
  • Central networked system so I can get to my files from my laptop or other devices if needed

But given these features, there are several possible solutions. Let me sum up a few:

  • A networked external HD
  • A NAS, that will act as networked storage center
  • A low level server system ( linux kind ) with enough HD’s
  • A high level server system, guessing more like the Windows Home Server kind
  • A HTPC

So you see, to much options. Thus I have to define my needs in much more detail…
This brings me to following extra needs:

  • RAID would be a suburb option
  • Music streaming/serving

And that sums it up, so looking at these specs, I think a nice HTPC would do the trick. Because that way I can hook it up in the network and place it at my TV and Hifi set, making movie and music playback possible !
But I’m a n00b when it comes to building pc systems myself, so I’m a bit stuck on what hardware to choose.
Still, the first selection any HTPC buyer has to make is picking a case to put all the hardware in.

So I did some searching and let me present you the current choices:

Origen AE H6

htpc_shot5.jpg htpc_shot4.jpg

Zalman HD160

hd160_01_b0.jpg hd160_03_b0.jpg

Antec Fusion 430

fusion.jpg fusion-v2-b.jpg

Here again to much choice ;), but I have to start somewhere !
So any thoughts on what to pick and why, just leave a comment… now I’m of to my friend Google again to read some reviews 😀

[tags]HTPC, NAS, File Server, iTunes[/tags]

Blogging service – Thoughts.com (Sponsored review)

When I wanted to start with blogging, I was not sure if I would have enough time to blog or have enough interesting things to say.
So to keep my personal investment to a minimal, I went on a search for free blogging services. After the first encounter with the WordPress.com platform, I found out that I much rather have some impact on the design myself… that’s why I currently have my blog up with Weblogs.us, who give you enough freedom to toy around.

But unfortunately for other similar like minded people, Weblogs.us has stopped adding people to their community.

But anybody who wants to start with a minimal payment impact, there is an alternative… it’s called Thoughts.com. It isn’t exactly a WordPress environment, but you will be able to post your daily chit chat without any problems.
Thoughts.com offers even more then just free blogging, you can also upload photos and videos and you will be able to set the privacy level ( everyone, friends or family ). But to be honest, it does look a lot like the MySpace or Live services.

So I don’t know if we really need another social blogging clone, but if you like this approach and you are still looking for a free service… Thoughts.com could be a good suggestion. So follow following link to Create Blog.

[tags]Thoughs.com, Blogs[/tags]

Design and bakery !

A small post with lots of link love 😉

Two people I know are opening a new business with a third person I don’t know 🙂
If you love design, cartoon characters and bakery ( cakes, sweets, etc etc ), then come to the grand opening of the Eugene and Louise Bakery at Lucy* this Thursday the 6the of March.

Some shot to get you interested 😉

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chocolate_bar_brown.jpg

[tags]Eugene and Louise, Lucy, Bakery[/tags]

Bicycle routes – Google maps

Well, just a small post, to help a brilliant idea !
There is community that would love to see a new feature in the Google Maps project, that would help bicycle riders !!

They give all needed information here : http://googlemapsbikethere.org/
It consists of a new feature that will plot out a bicycle route on Google maps instead of a normal driving route. Also they would like to have a colouring scheme that indicates how bike safe the suggested road is.

All I can say is, sign that petition and push Google to implement this 🙂

[tags]Google maps, GoogleMapsBikeThere, Bicycle, GPS[/tags]