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Tech questions - Ldy, the lemony, ligerish ducttaparian's Magic Treehouse of Lost Thoughts
A classy broad's life... with footnotes.
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. :)

I'm feeling all kinds of: Farizzle? Fazoozle!
What I hear: Somewhere, a dark pint calls my name.

16 tall tales or Tell me a story
mattcallow From: mattcallow Date: August 19th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC) (permalink)
i'd go with the Visible Panty Network, but what do i know?
ldy From: ldy Date: August 19th, 2004 05:31 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Silly. It stands for Virtual Penis Nunchuku!

I'm not certain we want that at the office.
From: reproman Date: August 19th, 2004 05:36 pm (UTC) (permalink)
::watches post fly over head...except for beer now part::
ldy From: ldy Date: August 19th, 2004 05:47 pm (UTC) (permalink)
You got the important part, and that's what matters :)
From: reproman Date: August 19th, 2004 06:29 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Heh. You're damned right!
gdj From: gdj Date: August 19th, 2004 05:48 pm (UTC) (permalink)
As to where the serve goes in the network -- it would just connect to the hub like any other pc. How you access it form your pcs will depend on the operating system on the server. Even xp pro would work, if all you need is peer to peer sharing.

Pcs are so cheap now, you can build or buy a higher end pc and have lots of power. For a file server, the hard drive should be as fast as you can manage.
ldy From: ldy Date: August 19th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC) (permalink)
I may have to end up doing that :) Thanks, Gary!
ferretsofglory From: ferretsofglory Date: August 19th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Can you get everyone on xp pro?
ldy From: ldy Date: August 19th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC) (permalink)
I'm not keen on XP. Every time I type it, all I can see is a dead person lying down! I'm much happier with win2kpro :)

Besides, I don't think we could afford to switch OSs at this point.

But in other news *SCHAMOOOCH!*
ferretsofglory From: ferretsofglory Date: August 19th, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Thats a shame, it has all the remote desktop stuff built in.

BUT maybe you could get away with netmeeting!

I'll take that schamooooooooooch and raise you a maaaawwwwwwwwwwwuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
ldy From: ldy Date: August 19th, 2004 07:01 pm (UTC) (permalink)
That's so funny! I'm just discussing netmeeting with thetech!

Truth is, VNC works well for remote control, so I'm pretty much set there anyway. But netmeeting can work for me a variety of ways :D

From: insaniac Date: August 19th, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC) (permalink)
You broke my brain with this post :(

I dont suggest Win2k3 as its very costly. Whats wrong with win2k?
ldy From: ldy Date: August 19th, 2004 06:43 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Nothing, really. I'm quite fond of it! I just wonder whether actual server software might have some sort of benefit :)
From: aerasin Date: August 19th, 2004 07:54 pm (UTC) (permalink)
I think you should get an abacus. Tried and tested computing device of the ages.
kodakrome From: kodakrome Date: August 19th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC) (permalink)

heh.. no offense..

but i read your words and they're like.. WAH WAH BLAH WAH..


From: thecowrdlylion Date: August 20th, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC) (permalink)
yes... i don't think i understood a single word of this journal entry, but GUINNESS IS GOOD! CHEERS!! Ever have an Irish Car Bomb??
16 tall tales or Tell me a story