« Akismet support for... | Main | Akismet works »


I spent a fair amount of holiday time trying to figure out how to share and backup the important files on our various home computers. The solution I settled on was geeky bordering on goofy:

  • A Linksys NSLU2 "Slug" running Unslung Linux, Apache HTTPD and Subversion
  • One 200GB USB drive hooked up to Slug (formatted with Linux ext)
  • Two 200GB USB drives one for each of our Mac laptops

For documents I use Subversion. On each computer, each user's files are kept in a directory that is under Subversion source code control. Since nobody else in the family knows about Subversion (yet), I have to visit each computer periodically and commit any new files or changes. I had hoped that approach would work for all of my files, but Subversion on the Slug is way too sluggish when it comes to big files.

So, for photos and other big binary files I use the Slug as a simple file-server. I make sure my photos and videos are organized into directories that are roughly DVD-size directories (i.e. about 8GB)  and I periodically copy them to the Slug and make DVDs for off-site storage.

And finally, for full backups I use disk "cloning" software. Every month or so I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a full-disk backup our two Mac laptops to a USB drive.

Sounds like a total pain in the ass doesn't it? But a growing number of folks have multiple computers and piles of photos and videos to backup, so my problems are far from unique. That's why I think Windows Home Server is going to be a hit.

Windows Home Server concept design (as seen on CrunchGear)

It's a server appliance with no monitor or keyboard. You just plug it into your home network, put it in a corner and it solve all of your PC backup problems. It quietly makes full-disk image backups of each of your Windows PCs and it gives you a place to share files with other folks at home and over the net. It's of no use to me since most of my home computers run some form of UNIX, but 95% of the world is hooked on Windows -- they're gonna want this thing. Check out Paul Thurrott's Windows Home Server Preview for more details.


I also think WHS is going to be a huge hit. I know I want it at least (but the pricing might change my mind). I'd love to see a Linux alternative. I know Linux has most of the functions today, but it doesn't have the wrapping required for it to be really usable for a non-geek. And although I'm a geek, I don't think configuring and compiling stuff at the command line for half a year to get something like WHS (that just works out of the box) out of Linux.

I'd like the functionality of WHS, plus a wee bit more openness, in the same wrapping and as user friendly as WHS, but based on Linux. The Linux community has about half a year (WHS is expected to ship Q2/Q3) to produce something like that. Now, go produce!

Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg on January 12, 2007 at 09:46 AM EST #

Asbjørn, have you checked out Pluto yet? http://www.plutohome.com It already does most of this and much more!

Posted by Mark Morgan on March 04, 2007 at 01:25 PM EST #

No, I haven't, but now I will! Thanks for the information. :-)

Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg on March 04, 2007 at 08:46 PM EST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed

« Akismet support for... | Main | Akismet works »


This is just one entry in the weblog Blogging Roller. You may want to visit the main page of the weblog

Related entries

Below are the most recent entries in the category Microsoft, some may be related to this entry.