I’ll admit it… I “do” IT for a living. Have for a long time. I started in the day before the WWW (remember Usenet anybody?) and for many years home internet was a dialup modem. How far we’ve come.
After work, I come home and often “play” with my computer here. Yes, I enjoy it, still.
I’m also the family IT guy. Most families have one. I’m the guy my mother-in-law calls when she opens a new tab in her email program and can’t find her way back to her inbox. I’m the guy that gets the “This coffee program wants to upgrade, what do I do?” (Java) phone call. You know the routine. If you’re reading this, you are quite possibly that guy or gal in your family.
I wonder what people do that don’t have a family IT guy… I guess they are the folks that use Geek Squad or something.
Over and above supporting the extended family, I have my own IT setup. It’s well above what most people have at home, and probably more than we need in the house (how many machines do three people need, anyhow?). This setup, although it has continued to morph over the years as my interests, abilities and resources have changed, has served us very well. I honestly don’t think my family realizes the things that go on behind the scenes to keep them happily computing.
Anyhow, I want to make a series of posts outlining some thoughts and ideas for the “family IT” guy to consider. If you build your own servers, load Linux blindfolded, know the difference between RAID1 from RAID5 (software and hardware based), etc., then this may be a little simplistic (although I hope you might get a few ideas that you might not have considered). If you normally call your son-in-law to help with your email program, maybe not for you either, although you might point him this direction. But if you like to dabble, value having a system that works well and is solid and secure, check the series out.