My article “Asterisk, WiFi, HomePlug, and an Avaya SIP Phone” inspired me to reveal some of the technical infrastructure of what I like to think of as the Palatial Overclock Estate, but what is more typically described by the media as the Heavily-Armed Overclock Compound. Besides, Demian Neidetcher tells me I should blog about more mundane stuff, like my “cat in a sink”. So, Demian, there’s a photograph of one of our cats here. (Click on any photograph to see a larger version.)
The Nexus of the Vast Overclock Empire
Here I am busily accomplishing vitally important strategic corporate goals in my home office. Visible here (clockwise from top left) are my backup analog business phone, my Avaya 4610SW SIP phone, my IBM Thinkpad in its docking station, and my flat panel display with keyboard and wireless mouse. The Thinkpad connects via WiFi, the SIP phone via HomePlug. Also visible are other critical business tools like a magic eightball, a photograph of my favorite musical group Swing Out Sister posing with a Triumph motorcycle, the cat Jiji from the Japanese anime movie Kiki’s Delivery Service, a red Swingline stapler just like in the movie Office Space, an illuminated Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, and a bamboo plant which I haven’t managed to kill yet. A Netgear HomePlug bridge is plugged into a wall outlet behind all of this.
The Multi-Purpose Spousal Unit
When Mrs. Overclock (a.k.a. Dr. Overclock, Medicine Woman) isn't heroically saving lives, or enriching the cultural heritage of the world via filk music, she spends her time cruising the web looking for new catalog web-order sites. Here she can be seen with her WiFi-connected Mac Powerbook, which you will have to pry from her cold dead fingers.
The Network Equipment Stack
Here you can see Bastet, one of our technocats, working on some network cabling behind the A/V cabinets. We have had some success outsourcing the more mundane infrastructure work to other species. The blue boxes on top of the rightmost cabinet, just to the right of the Bender robot from the TV series Futurama, are the LinkSys network equipment stack. The TiVo is on a shelf directly underneath the television. Below that is a VCR which we have never used since buying the TiVo, and probably never will. Another Netgear HomePlug bridge is plugged into a wall outlet behind all of this.
The Computer Center
Here is the powerful Digital Aggregates computer center situated in its secure underground facility. On top of the table is an H-P full duplex color laser printer, which dwarfs everything else. Underneath the table (left to right) is a Dell server running Fedora Core Linux with Asterisk and Apache, an old Compaq laptop running Fedora Core Linux that serves as a build server and Subversion repository, a UPS, and the all important document shredder. The Dell server is networked via HomePlug, the printer and the build server via WiFi. Also visible on the wall is a Bullwinkle clock that runs counterclockwise and from which all other network timekeeping is synchronized. Yet another Netgear HomePlug bridge is plugged into a wall outlet behind all of this.
In a future article I'll describe the stuff you don't see in these photographs: not only the software involved, but what services we outsource and to whom and why.