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Posted By Subodh on Monday, August 11, 2008
1915 Views 4 Comments


Okay, I'm not talking about the mom & dad  or TIVO  aficionados. That's so 80s.

The generation that lives on the edge, cannot do without a Media Center PC, has at least a laptop for office work, has a home PC for personal work (if you do not u nderstand why your office work should stay on the office laptop and home PC needs to be a separate machine, dedicated for home use only; stop reading this article and go to the nearest IT support center right now) and a firewall. Technically, even a Linksys wireless router counts as a computer box although my personal opinion is -- it's meant for the technically challenged or people on the move. So, that's 3 machines for the average Joe!

A nerd's use-case is a different one though. He needs an additional file server to store all the family photos, digitized videos and the ever expanding random crap that's been building over the years, which he neither needs nor has time to check or sort out but has been accumulating over the fear that someday -- he might need that data. Oh, and it always helps to give that media center PC some extra space to store all those Tom and Jerry(s) recordings. Of course, a file server is just that ... a speed challenged but stable machine. A nerd would have also possess a top of the line dual SLI 9800GTO, 8Gb RAM, quad core running at 3 Ghz plus over-clocked rig just sitting to act as a showpiece and/or occasionally serving as the gaming machine. Of course since this machine is prone to dying way too often and especially since the spouse or the kids need the WOW effect, there has to be a MAC running somewhere. A Mac Book Pro works just fine, its got to be a separate machine though. A nerd would also certainly re-purpose one of the old machines as an iptables based firewall as a formidable line of defense in addition to the router (the Cisco router owners are really not part of this breed). Let's count

  1. Firewall PC
  2. Router
  3. Home Server, filer or a NAS device.
  4. Game PC
  5. The stable, cool, wow PC/Mac
  6. Office Laptop
  7. Media Center
 image imageimage   image image image image
Office laptop
Router + Firewall
File Server/NAS
Gaming PC
Media Center PC
Apple Mac
 image image  image Varies from 160W - 800W image image


So much for thinking 7 is a lot! Now, what happens to the power consumption? Notice that all of 24x7 equipment actually consumes almost as much as the rest of your house-hold put together!

Want to know how to sort this mess out? Until next time ...

Buzz up!

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 Comments & Discussions

  • Gravatar
    neighbor Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 8:31 PM
    Re: How many PCs are "way too many?"
    Am certainly not a nerd - And dont understand or appreciate the various configurations you have listed out above

    And I certainly am the type who should stop reading this at line 3.
    I am constantly on my laptop - mostly (not in any order happy )
    surfing -
    doing my own personal programming ,
    programming for work
    reading office emails and my

    I'd hate to switch between multiple machines - So am mostly on my office machine.

    Now I do have another laptop - That is for watching movies mostly (So that I can surf on the side on my office machine)
    My photos go into either online storage or a 500 G seagate drive
    My music is shared between the SG drive and my office machine - since I spend most of my music listening time in office

    So really 2 pcs are ok (Not counting the Wii and the Linksys router and the ipods etc)

  • Gravatar
    subodh Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 11:34 PM
    Re: How many PCs are "way too many?"
    Thanks for the feedback, there are multiple reasons why an office laptop just doesnt' suffice.

    1. Mostly, one cannot (or is not supposed to) install one's own personal/purchased applications. Examples include personal software like Quicken, Virtual Credit card generators for one's accounts etc. iTunes with store and credit card information cached, even somethign as harmless as usernames and passwords cached in IE etc.
    2. Office laptops are usually 3 years behind the current entry level standards. If one is okay with lugging around a 20 pound laptop that struggles to even open Outlook yeah but I have serious issues with anything that takes longer than a few seconds to even boot up.
    3. One can actually be held liable for stealing data (if one ever pisses off his/her employer) for no good reason happy Anything that one does whether while being sober or not, official or not can be tracked, archived and kept in company records for a long long time and can be taken out of context and potentially be used against.
    5. Most IT policies, whether in fine print or explicitly stated require that the laptop not be used for any sensitive information. And never for any personal use. Something as harmless as watching a movie could mean violation of the policy and something like keeping MP3s that where ripped off one's own CDs and/or Bit-torrent files can be a serious violation of that policy especially since the IT is the admin on that machine and corporate backups etc cause the data on the laptop to be replicated and accessible to a person other than the owner.
    6. Programming? Can somebody do anything serious on a laptop? I once did the mistake of installing the Visual Studio on mine and it would cra....wl while a compilation was going on!

    I counted a router as a PC/replacement for a PC, so you are still at 3 happy

  • Gravatar
    bipin Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 8:02 PM
    Re: How many PCs are "way too many?"
    You forgot the PC which has fish swimming inside the water-cooled system. Who's that computer for? The super-nerd? big grin

  • Gravatar
    subodh Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 5:38 PM
    Re: You forgot the PC which has fish swimming inside the water-cooled system. Who's that computer for? The super-nerd? :D
    for (f)ishing happy

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