Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
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Good article but...
by george.n on Sun 25th Nov 2012 14:13 UTC
george.n
Member since:
2012-06-18

I've been freelancing (web design and development) for the past three years and one of my critical aspects of business is that I must have a machine available at all times. Over these few years I've been bitten due to hardware and software failure.

If I see windows misbehaving in anyway, based on the problem, I quickly do a check (virus scan, system restore, etc). If the problem is consistent, I have a hard drive ready with an exact carbon copy of my software setup - I change the drive and continue (windows activation may apply at times due to a simple hardware change).

If the problem after this continues - I continue my work with my pc slate (with hdmi out - very important as the slate screen size is too small for design work) while I run hardware test on my problematic machine. Once I find the hardware issue I'm just a call and short drive away from getting a replacement part. Problem solved.

Throughout all of this, I have a development server running on a mini-itx machine (ubuntu server). If that fails I have xampp on the ready on both machines (main pc and slate) and restore everything from my backups.

Backups, backups, and backups, those should always be off any of my work machines. Have a NAS for this (and going to setup another NAS off-site).

The key element in all of the above is that I did not skimp out on initial investment on hardware and software - furthermore having a good plan in place. Meaning that I did not try to save money for the sake of saving money - meaning buy a brand machine with questionable parts but instead bought each part with some afterthought (the slate and the NAS included).

I'm saving money now because I've minimized trouble shooting time to the point that it costs me less to get my self up and running to continue my work and not losing money because I couldn't work.

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