Extension Update 3: Rooms and Wireless Planning

Came home today and inspected the progress on the extensions. Very happy that the dividing frame is up. Now we can really see what sort of area that we have to work from.

I can start planning the new built in desk layout and function. Looks like there is going to be heaps of room to play with. Looking forward to the big desk and built-in cupboards.

In thinking about the layout of the new office I am also considering the associated work such as the home network. I am planning on hard wiring most of the house to the Internet. Including a wireless access point upstairs to provide wireless access over the whole house.

As far as wireless access points go I am currently considering two models from Netgear:

  1. PROSAFE™ 802.11G WG102
  2. PROSAFE™ 802.11G WG302

Both are pretty good wireless access points. The one thing that I have to consider is that I am trying to provide wireless access over two floors and I need the signal to travel both horizontal and vertically. The point will be upstairs and most of the coverage will be over this area. So the additional areal on the WG302 may be distinct advantage, being able to position it at a different angle. Both units are capable of PoE which is a must as the access point will be on a small shelf high on the wall. I am going to have a chat to my brother as he is a guru with this sort of thing… he should be, since he is an IT manager!

The hard-wiring over the rest of the house is mainly to the entertainment areas such as near TV’s etc. This is not so much essential now but more a future proofing measure. I firmly believe that in the future all our “Television” will be delivered via the Internet and not as a signal through the air as it is now (in Australia at least). So I figure that hard wiring it with CAT6 cable is the best option for this application.

So getting back to the office layout; I’ll need a shelf or cupboard dedicated to routers, power, switches and access terminals. So being able to see the walls is starting to make the decisions as to where these things go a lot easier.

Maybe by the end of the week we shall see a second floor start to emerge.

House Extensions Update 2

I got home this afternoon and I was excited to see that the frame has gone up on the ground floor. The dividing wall between the two rooms is missing but I am guessing that it will go in tomorrow.

I managed to get out before it got too dark and take some photos. I took the boys down as well and they had a great time walking around and getting a feel for what it will look like when it is finished.

Extension Update 2

Initially we were concerned about the size of the rooms. We had the plan revised before they started. But we were never 100% sure that we allowed enough and made the rooms large enough. Today I was pleased to have a look at what will be my study and actually visualize the room size and where things will go. The rooms are going to be great. No regrets so far as to design and sizing. Although we do have the upstairs floor to go yet. But things are looking good.

Extension Update 2

No doubt with the dividing frame tomorrow there will be yet another hole into some fixture. But I am getting used to that!

More images on flickr

New Laptop

This morning the delivery company had the good mind to give the landline a try and we were going to town anyway and picked them up on the way. So after the jobs in town I came home and did the whole unboxing thing.

New Laptop Unboxing

I had a bit of an advantage in that there were two computers to unbox and set up. Cool, I can make mistakes on the wife’s and mine will be perfect (don’t tell her that). So I unboxed the “ruby red” version that Kate got, set hers up and got onto mine. No major dramas with hers at all.

Pictures are good and I took some, check out the whole unboxing there. The model that I purchased was a Dell Inspiron 1720, 2.4Ghz processor, 3 Gig of RAM, Audigy soundcard, NVIDIA 256mb 8600M GT video card and TV tuner. That’s the basics of it.

New Laptop Unboxing

I was expecting to have a laptop full of crapware, but to my surprise there was not much at all. The major one being IE and that was gone as quick as I could download Firefox. IE did have Google Toolbar, which is not a big deal. There is a trial of McAffee Security Center installed. Again not a big thing, I am actually giving it a try because it is there, seems to be doing the job and it is not as if it is Norton. Plus there was the usual stuff from Dell that you might expect and in fact you don’t have that much choice about. Again OK by me and not irreversible.

One thing I had to get used to was Vista. Now I feel kinda dirty saying this, but Vista has it’s good ponts. For example connecting wirelessly to the Internet was as easy as pie. The interface is pretty much XP but prettier. But there are some nice gems among the nice graphics. Such as uploading pictures from my camera. Again very easy and straight forward. I really do like the way that Vista handles images, having them sorted into dates and tags turns what used to be a complete mess into something actually useful. I have not found the UAC to be as annoying as I thought it would be either.

I have to admit that my bashing of Vista was unwarranted in the generalized fashion that was prone to doing. I said I would never get or use Vista. This time I was not given a choice. I am kinda glad that I had no choice. Sure Vista has issues but so does every operating system, the ones regarding Vista are not as bad as people would have you believe. Sorry but I am yet to find a “puke” factor to Vista. I still might and I’ll be the first to let you know.

One peripheral purchase that was a real winner was a Logitech V450 mouse. I still work faster with a mouse and I am using the trackpad as well. But this came in handy when I wanted to feel more at home on the laptop. Setting up was quick and easy, batteries, wireless USB and done in about 1 minute. Only one criticism is the hardness of the scroll wheel button, otherwise a real winner.

Well I am going to enjoy the blogging from bed that I will now be able to enjoy. I am pretty satisfied with Dell and the new laptops. More configuring tomorrow, no doubt that will go on for a week or so. Feel free to ask me anything about the laptop or Dell in the comments!

House Extensions Update 1

Finally found the time to take some photos and write about the new house extensions that we are doing. After much planning, measuring and revising plans and waiting for everything to get through council we have started!

So I got out today and got some photos so that I could post an update. Yesterday the concrete was poured for the footings. Now the builders won’t be back for the rest of the week because they want these to settle and set. Then we should see some real progress. The small slab was poured for the new stair well last week but that was not that exciting. But now we can actually see the beginnings of something.

House Extensions

See not that exciting, a slab of concrete. The window that is there will disapear. Not even sure why it is there as it is under the house.

House Extensions

This is looking from the side, that slab is to the left. The 2 metal poles are holding the front of the house up. The ground floor joists and bearers are partly in place. This extension is going to extend out towards the front and this is the begining of the ground floor. The footings in the foreground are for the new upper deck. Here under that deck will be a water tank. To the right in front of the lower floor are some more footings for a smaller lower deck that will open out from the 4th bedroom. The office that will be most distant in this image will have a small deck as well and will join by a walkway to the lower bedroom deck.

House Extensions

This is exciting for me because this is my new office. I know it doesn’t look like much now but it will! The concrete slab to the left will be the stairs. The office will have it’s own external access and a small deck landing. Not huge but big enough to have a few chairs and enjoy a beer in the hot summer evenings.

There are more images on my flickr page, I have linked these to there. I am trying to keep this up to date now things are started. Sorry if it is boring everyone to tears. But this will be great to look back on over the years. Pkus the listeners of the podcast are wanting some photos and a blog post. See I do listen! More updates to come.

I Know Where Matt is!

Or at least where he has been.

In 2005 Matt Harding created a video of all the places that he had visited that year, with a twist. He was doing this weird dance (no not a good one and I am sure that is half the appeal). The video was a viral hit, it should be – it is fun and had that viral quality that marketers would die for. In addition he got sponsored to do it all again! So in 2006 he created another video. They became known as the “Where the Hell is Matt?” series and a website was born with all sorts of stuff like his journal and map tracking.

Now in 2008 Matt is Back with “Where the Hell is Matt 2008”. This time round you can see the video in HD glory at viemo, which is very nice. Starting to appreciate the HD with video, but you need a pretty good connection to get the best from it. I am only too happy to contribute to Matt’s viral success, I think the videos are great and have that feel good effect. Which is perfect given the crap week I have had.