*smooch* (ldy) wrote,

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Tech questions

Well, I'm working on my telecommuting problem again.

VNC: I've started using an open-source version, and it seems excellent for troubleshooting purposes. I'm the only one in the office who's tech-savvy, so everyone was a little leery of the implications of my move regarding my ability to troubleshoot internal computer problems. We do use windows, after all. VNC is not, however, the best solution for telecommuting.

VPN: Nice in theory, but I've had a helluva time getting the damned thing implemented. Might consider using it for certain situations if we install a server, but it seems to chew up too much RAM and bandwidth to use it as a full-time telecommuting solution.

Right now, we have four computers connected through a workgroup hub and then to a router to our DSL modem. One computer (ironically, the slowest one with the least memory) holds the majority of the files, and all four are part of one workgroup. I've wanted to implement a central server for years. Seems like now might be a good time to realize that desire.

I have, oh, about a gazillion questions. I wish that IT were my main priority, rather than sixth or seventh down on my list.
  • What's a good, economical server for 2-10 people? The IBM eServer is great, but more oomph than I need, and higher pricetag than I can afford. A PC would do in a pinch, but I'd rather build for the future than build to get by for today. It ultimately all comes down to $$, though.

  • Windows Server 2003? Can't afford it. Windows Small Office? The same. (Especially since we may hire another PT worker, and one may work from home on occasion, meaning we'll be crossing the 5-6 users/devices CAL threshhold). Samba? SUSE? Something else? All four PCs have Win2kpro. I like the idea of Samba on some flavour of Linux or BSD, but suspect that the learning curve might be too great for me in the short-term. I need to implement this in a hurry, and am mainly a Winchick. That's not to say I wouldn't mind going that route if it could be implemented first and (better) understood later; in fact, that would be great.

  • Best way for me to telecommute? I'm thinking that grabbing files off a server would do the trick. What, SSH over telnet? FTP? I'm thinking that PCanywhere might be handy as well; perhaps even more useful than VNC.

  • How, exactly, does the server tie into the rest of the network? I'm having trouble visualizing it.

  • Those files are our corporate lifeblood. Does RAID make sense? Yes, ldy, of course it does.

See, now I'm just getting silly. Trying to create a VPN between two systems behind routers will do that to a girl. Especially when that girl's not network-savvy to begin with, and has twenty other urgent tasks vying for her attention at any given moment.

Perhaps the move to a server is too big a leap right now. Perhaps not. It's something I should eventually learn anyway, so why not now?

Any thoughts that networking-savvy folk could spare would be greatly appreciated.

I'll be home later, and probably on AIM (LdyLemontini), Yahoo (LdySaphyre) and ICQ (DamnedifIremember). But for now, I'm heading out of the office for a pint o' Guinness. I've been working for ten hours straight and am totally and completely fried.

Btw, have I also mentioned that I'm looking into becoming an IC, starting an LLC and learning my ABCs in my spare time? Yeah. On top of learning the ins and outs of FSBO and getting my house in order.

In comparison, the tech stuff I'm learning is easy.

Ok. Beer now. Talk later. :)

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