Posted by: Ian | June 14, 2012

IT in the home – part 1

This is a multipart series to detail the IT setup I have built over the years using various technologies in the aid to reduce the management of having an IT infrastructure at home.

During my IT career I’ve come across many technologies which I’ve thought – cool I’ll try and work that in to my work/home life. Things like instant messaging across devices, syncing files between computers, snapshot backups etc. The problem has always been management of the things I’ve tried to use and the question of whether it is ‘wife proof’.

Being an IT professional as a job means I get to try lots of cool tech, however not all of it is actually that great when trying to use it at home and a lot of it has not been wife proof.

Throughout the next few articles I will refer to things as wife proof. My partner is not technical nor does she have time or interest to be. She wants to be able to have a brief run down of something and expect to use it and for it to be available when she wants to use it.

It’s no different than most client requirements, they want it to work, they want it to be available when they want to use it and they don’t want to have to refer to a manual to use it.

The final challenge to implementing any new tech or process at home is scepticism on why it’s needed. It’s very much a sales exercise in most instances.

So that’s the background on with the detail.

I’ll start by giving an overview of the home network and some of the tech/process involved.

This is an high level view of what the current setup looks like.


The major use features here are:

  • iPhones/iPads – emails, weather, news, shopping websites/apps, music, video, baby cam, photos, games
  • Apple TV 2 with XBMC – TV shows, Movies, Air Display/Mirror from iPhone/ipad
  • NAS – Storage and backups, runs downloaders
  • ESX – LAB for work, also runs FreePBX phone system
  • In the coming posts I’ll break down the key features and what I’ve done to automate as much as possible.


    1. so where is part two? im interested in these “downloaders” that run on your NAS

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