Posts in category 'diy'

  • Nesting...

    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.

  • Crazy DIYers

    Okay, I thought I’d heard it all when I learned about Sailboat Arcadia. I mean, some guy building a boat in his backyard?? Well, I came across something equally hardcore today…

    Tell me, have you heard of David J. Gingery? Yeah, neither had I. Well, this crazy nutjob, who was, to quote Wikipedia, “an inventor, writer, and machinist”, wrote a series of books on how to build machine tools. Not too remarkable, right? Well, what makes this so unbelievable is that he didn’t do it by buying parts from hardware stores and so forth. Oh no, that would be too easy. Instead, he figured out how to build his own Foundry in his back yard, capable of melting aluminum and zinc alloys. Then, using Green_sand molds, he casted the parts he needed and built his devices from scratch.

    But it doesn’t end there. After figuring all this out, he wrote a series of books which, in simple, clear language, describe how to build a metal working shop. The first book covers the construction of a charcoal foundry, and the remaining volumes describe how to build various metal working equipment from recycled scrap metal, including, believe it or not, a lathe and a drill press. And all this can be done without the need for power tools or other expensive gear.

    Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “does he really plan to build a metal working shop??” In short, no. :) After completing such a project, I honestly have no idea what I’d do with it. But you must admit, it’s pretty damned amazing.