Well, with all the hardware for the MythTV project on the way (mostly, anyway… NCIX didn’t have a couple items in stock. Like the TV capture card), it seemed like a good time to get the house in order for the new arrivals. Thus, as a logical first step, I decided it was about time I got my firewall rebuilt and moved all the various networking bits downstairs onto some kind of shelving. The result is this:

As you can see, I re-purposed an old Ikea shelving unit as a make-shift rack, and then moved all these things downstairs:

  1. Cable Modem
  2. 10Mbs hub (until I get a proper switch for the main house LAN)
  3. 10/100Mbs switch for the MythTV LAN
  4. Firewall

In case you’re wondering, this gear is all set up like so:

[[fig:Home Network Diagram]]

Why so complicated? Well, the primary complication is in my choice to shunt the MythTV stuff onto it’s own subnet. I had a couple reasons for this:

  1. The MythTV frontends will be configured via DHCP and bootp. Putting this on a separate network prevents conflicts with the main firewall DHCP (and any other network-booted devices I may deploy).
  2. I figured a dedicated, switched 100Mbs network for the Myth stuff wasn’t a bad thing.

Of course, if I had a proper switch which supported VLANs, I could have done this with a single switch, but I wasn’t prepared to pay the bucks for such a device.

As for the firewall, I ended up abandoning LEAF in favour of m0n0wall, a FreeBSD-based firewall that boots nicely off a mini-CD and writes it’s configuration to a dirt cheap USB flash drive I plugged into the back of the thing (IOW, no more unreliable floppies!). And as a bonus, it has a nice, easy to use web-based admin interface, so no longer do I have to hook a damn monitor up to the thing every time I want to reconfigure things.