Wired

The bad news is that my lungs felt like they were ripped out and replaced with sandpaper. The good news is that I've now got gigabit Ethernet wiring in the house.

The installation kicked up so much insulation dust that I ended up getting sick. Even still, I think it will be worth it.

The house used to be wireless. I wanted to go wired for several reasons.

Wired is more reliable. That's important because I want to move critical functions onto my file server, such as backups. And, of course, the digital music collection.

Wired is also more secure. I now literally have an air gap between my trusted and untrusted resources.

Finally, wired is higher performance. That's important for backups and streaming media, two functions I want to support.

I'm in the process of consolidating all the media files onto the server and setup the satellite systems to run off of that.

Next up, I'll need to deploy some sort of backup solution. I've mostly rolled my own, using find and tar. I should probably switch over to some package. I'll probably start my evaluation with amanda. If you have some other package to suggest, leave a comment.

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Bacula

You might also have a look at Bacula.

I feel your pain. At least,

I feel your pain. At least, I did when I ran cable through my attic. Insulation is nasty stuff. As you pointed out, wireless is slower and less reliable than a physical connection. 2+ years later, I'm still happy with my decision to physically wire my home.

As far as backup solutions, I use rsync to do one-way copy from client computer to remote server, basically like this:
rsync -vrltpgo --delete --exclude IGNORE_DIR_1 --exclude IGNORE_DIR_2 $SOURCE_DIR $DEST_DIR

It basically ends up capturing a mirror of your machine, so as things are deleted in your local filesystem through regular usage they also disappear from the fileserver, and new stuff is copied over. That may not cut it for some backup needs, but it works pretty well for me. I've got another directory on the remote server where I can drop non-rsync'ed stuff, so that's where I put the things I want to keep on the fileserver only (mpgs I create from DVD collection for simpler viewing on computer, etc.).

insulation and rsync

I should note that I didn't do the crawling myself. Still, it was so bad that just being in the house while the work was being done got me sick.

I've always rolled my own backups using the GNU tar incremental backup capability. The thing I miss from that is the ease of single file recovery that a backup client could provide. I'm happy groveling through tarballs. My wife, the Windows user, not so much.

The rsync solution doesn't have that problem: just point the filesystem explorer at the backup archive. Its drawbacks are lack of compression and ability to do incremental snapshots. (For instance, the rsync solution is not well suited to the scenario for recovering a file deleted three backups ago.)