I almost always have a couple of dozen projects I’m working on. These are not projects for work or even household projects that my wife wants me to take care of. These are personal projects of varying importance though generally of little overall *real* importance. For example, at the moment I am working on:
– Building a solid automated online streaming radio service.
– Playing through several video games.
– Burning old family VHS tapes to DVDs
– Building a small corner shelf for putting my games and DVDs on in the bedroom to reduce the clutter in the closet.
– Repairing several laptops i have that don’t work.
Anyway, Several of these projects I’m “working on” are continual, like playing through various games. Others I have not even started on, though I still would say I’m “working on them”. Some I may never start. The point is that I tend to think about a large string of projects in the back of my mind almost constantly.
Often when i have “free time” I do something completely different when I should be doing “a project”. I have a tendency to procrastinate on these things. Often this procrastination though is good because inevitably, I get an epiphany on some project that makes it extremely simple and quick and it’s the best possible solution.
The latest example, which inspired this rambling blog post involves my home network. It’s not huge but it is larger than most people’s home networks and it “evolves” much more than most people’s home networks. Currently, the phone line feeds the cable box thing (we’ll call this the Residential Gateway or RG for lack of better term though I’m not sure it’s actually accurate). It comes out of the RG and feeds a router. This router was put in by the cable guy when he came out to replace the RG when it broke. The thing is, he left the old router in place (also provided by the phone company). This initially created some issues since it gave me two IP address sets which is annoying when you’re doing a lot of NAT translations for things like streaming radio and VNC access to half a dozen machines as well as hosting FTP, HTTP, etc. I also own a switch and a hub, though I don’t use the Hub because "hubs suck”.
I lived with forwarding all ports to the internal router for a while but inevitably I swapped the Hub for the switched, changed the IPs of all my machines and rebuilt the NAT table. it was a one time pain but it makes things simpler.
I put the old router aside until I discovered the the new router does not support the older less secure Wireless protocols that my Nintendo DS requires. So the old router went back in almost exclusively for use of the NDS, whoes IP address I don’t care about. It also serves as an access point for guests or whatever to keep them off of the main network.
The issue I had recently however involves a remote location in the house in my wife’s office. She has a PC out there for “office use” and I put a second PC out there recently with a KVM for my “experimenting etc” use. Currently it hosts Lameazoid Radio, an OpenSIM server, a session of Outlook that is attached to archives of all of my old email PST files and I use it for downloading Torrents. The main point is, it creates a lot of network traffic. The problem is, there’s only one physical cable running to the office and running a second one would be a pain. the obvious answer is, put in a switch. I could use the hub but I fear the high traffic of the one machine would cause lots of issues for the office computer and visa versa.
I’d pretty much resolved myself that I can afford a 30 dollar switch to throw out there. The problem is that i just got off of a huge backup with my “personal budget” from buying several expensive items “in advance” and then paying back the budget. I’m tired of being broke for the past 2 months on my personal budget. Also, Black Friday is coming up and I intend to have a chunk of change to spend on good deals.
So I can drop money and be short on BF, or i can wait a few weeks and listen to my wife occasionally complain that the office PC doesn’t have internet access. So I decided to “sit on” or procrastinate this project.
Then I had the epiphany. I can move the main Router over to where the switch is now and swap them out. The only thing plugged into the main router besides the long network cable running across the room tot he switch is an old laptop I was trying to project but i can’t keep running anyway. It can be dropped. I was going to plug a media center PC into it for Hulu but Netflix on the Wii eliminates the need for that and I already have a long cable running back to the TV area from before the newer Router was there anyway I can use.
The point is, that I don’t NEED it to be where it is. Then I get my switch back.
The real point is, because I didn’t rush into putting in the hub or rush out to buy a switch, i came up with the best solution AND it doesn’t cost me anything. I do this a lot. I did it at my old job all the time. I’d sit on a project until I’d realize I can combine two obsolete items into something useful or whatever. The point is, sometimes it’s good to procrastinate.