The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Back in the old days of home computers, say five years ago, most of us had one free-standing computer in the house, and the whole family shared it. Those days are now long gone. Many families, perhaps most, now have multiple computers. As computers have become more affordable, portable, and necessary, it’s now common to find multiple computers scattered throughout a home. There is often one computer per family member. With today's technology, the computers are easily connected together by a network, sharing one Internet connection.
If you already have a broadband connection with a router, you probably already have a network installed whether you know it or not. If you have wi-fi installed at home, you definitely have a network.
While many people may not realize it, once the network is installed, it is easy to also share printers, disk drives, and more. It’s even easy to share the resources among different operating systems. For instance, in my home we have Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and handheld computers all connected together via a mix of wired and wi-fi wireless connections. All the computers share the same Internet connection, the same two printers, and the same file server for storage of backup files.
The printers and the Internet connection are items we already had. Sharing them was done at no extra expense. However, adding shared disk storage was a bit trickier. In our case, we added storage at very little cost. All the computers, even the handheld devices, can access the two-terabyte disk drive that I bought on sale recently. That's a lot of storage for a six-ounce handheld computer!
I can even access all that storage when I am traveling in another part of the country. However, that's a story for a different day.
Technology changes quickly. Sooner or later, you will replace one of the computers in your home with a faster or lighter model, one with more disk drive capacity, one with greater capabilities. What will you do with the old computer? Will you give it away? Or perhaps simply put it in a closet where you will forget about it and let it gather dust?
I have a better idea: convert it into a server. Let that one machine serve all the other computing devices in the household, providing on-site backup for each device’s files, supplementing functionality that other devices may lack, and allowing everyone in the family to share the same printer(s), scanner(s), CD or DVD drive(s), and more.
The following works with Windows, Macintosh, and with many handheld computers. In fact, it will also work with Linux if you feel like experimenting. It will work with desktop or laptop computers.
The remainder of this article is for Plus Edition subscribers only.
If you have a Plus Edition user ID and password, you can read the full article right now at no additional charge in this web site's Plus Edition at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=12953. This article will remain online for several weeks.
If you do not remember your Plus Edition user ID or password, you can retrieve them at http://www.eogn.com/wp/ and click on "Forgot password?"
If you decide to subscribe to the Plus Edition right now, you will be able to immediately read this article online. What sort of articles can you read in the Plus Edition? Click here to find out.
For more information about subscribing to the Plus Edition of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, visit http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/plusedition.html