Office re-org

I spent much of today doing a long over-due office clean up and re-organization. Part of the point of the re-org was to put all my computers and the printers over closer to the cable modem and wireless access point/router.

The main reason I wanted all that stuff together is that I’m thinking of replacing my wireless access point with an Apple Airport Express (AE). As well as acting like a wireless access point/ router, it also has a USB 2.0 port. Coupled with a USB 2.0 hub, you can hook up printers and hard drives and share them over the net – which is good because right now the printers are hooked up to an aging G4 server which sometimes makes horrible grinding noises in the drive. It would be a big improvement in the amount of power used and heat generated in this room if I could keep the G4 shut down except when it’s needed.

As well, storing my music collection on my Linux box and NFS mounting it on my laptop has been a good way to save disk space on my laptop, but it doesn’t always work well. Recently when I’ve plugged in the iPod on my laptop, it claims that it can’t transfer some of the music files, but when I click on one of the songs it claims it can’t play, it plays fine. And sometimes after a session of playing some of these songs, I’ll notice that I’ve got the mp3s directory mounted dozens of times. I’m thinking an external drive on the AE might work better. Plus when Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) arrives, an external drive would be a good thing to backup all our laptops with using Time Tunnel. I might even buy a Drobo.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I wanted to move all my computers into one area, which meant unplugging a whole bunch of cords, moving stuff around, and plugging everything back in. I ended up buying some plug-mould and power strips in order to get everything the way I wanted it. Just to make sure everything is where I wanted it, I even labeled the power strips either “UPS” or “NON-UPS” so that stuff that shouldn’t be protected from power outages (like the monitor, KVM, and printers) isn’t plugged into the UPS. The Linux server and the G4 are plugged into the UPS, as are the cable modem, wireless router, and 10/100 switch.

Everything is back up and running, and seems to be working fine.

There have been two slightly worrying end results. One is that there was a ton of left-over cords and cables. At least two power cables, three ethernet patch cables, and a USB hub that I decided I don’t need any more, and some random USB cables. The second worrying consequence is that according to Munin, the temperature on /dev/sdb is climbing rather dramatically. I’ve got to figure out if something is obstructing the fans.