Posted 04/23/2012 - 18:08 by State68
Edit: while chatting this through with a couple of friends on Facebook, it seems that I need to put more thought into my backup strategy. Please see my comment at the bottom of this post :)
Some time in the middle of this year I'll be moving back to Edinburgh, where I lived for two and a half years between 2005 and 2008. I'll be buying a flat in Tollcross in the centre of town and picking up pretty much where I left off four years ago: teaching computing skills to people with disabilities and mental health problems, continuing to build the charity that I helped set up to provide these services, getting more involved with the peace movement and the various organisations that are helping Scotland move towards independence, and hopefully starting a PhD on Hugh MacDiarmid, a Scottish poet of obvious genius who has been largely neglected, maligned, or ignored. I get the sense that his time has come.
Needless to say, all of this is going to mean that I'll be very busy, so I'll need a solid technology rig. I made the switch from Wintel to Mac a few years ago, and I'll be focusing on using Apple hardware. I'd love to hear any ideas you have for how I can use technology to make my life easier.
Since switching to the Apple ecosystem I've used a high-spec MacBook Pro for pretty much everything. I needed it to be high-spec for things like video editing, or when I'm running Windows or Ubuntu in virtual machines using Parallels. Now I'd like to switch to using a top-end MacBook Air that I can carry everywhere. At home I'm thinking of having a Mac mini server, and I'd like to use BeThere as my ISP. The Mac mini will be set up in my office and will mainly function as a torrent box and media server, connecting to a few sets of M-Audio AV 40 monitor speakers via Airport Express, and to a projector.
In addition to functioning as a server, I'll also be using the Mac mini for any resource-intensive work that I need to do: the video editing stuff I described before that I would currently do on my MacBook Pro, for example. I'll be adding a SuperDrive to the Mac mini for the times that I need to use DVDs and CDs, and I'll set up a keyboard and screen switch so that these can also be used by the MacBook Air.
Finally, I'll be using an iPad and iPhone for general web browsing and for managing the media that's on the Mac mini. Everything will be backed up to the Cloud using BackBlaze, and backed up locally using Time Machine to an external harddrive that's physically connected to the Mac mini.
In summary, here's what I'm planning to do. Please comment if you're able to suggest any changes, or if there's something you think I've missed :)
- Using BeThere to connect to the internet
- Running a Mac mini Server as a media hub and torrent box, and for resource-intensive applications
- Ditching my MacBook Pro for a high-spec MacBook Air
- Streaming audio from the Mac mini to a few sets of M-Audio AV40 monitors via Airport Express
- Running video out of the Mac mini server to a projector: I've already got a projector screen, but know next to nothing about projectors so any advice on which one to buy would be great
- Backing up locally to an external harddrive connected to the Mac mini, via Time Machine
- Backing up to the cloud via BackBlaze
- Using an iPhone and an iPad for general web browsing and to manage the media that's on the Mac mini