Day 231 – Simplify: Technology

I had already simplified the living-room entertainment set-up late last year with a 7.1 Harman Kardon amp and a consumer BluRay player to replace the Media PC that had done confusing duty for years to the dismay of all visitors that want to casually watch some television.

My aim for this year is further simplification though. I had looked wistfully at the Dell XPS 15 for some time as a replacement for both my Samsung ATIV 700 Touch convertible laptop and my custom PC (Silverstone case, 16GB ram, 240GB SSD, Radeon 7850).

I was hoping for something with more compelling gaming performance to come around… but then I realised that halving the output resolution on the XPS 15 probably gives enough performance for my needs anyway.

Then, when I spotted the bargain in the Dell Outlet Store for 40+% off the full retail price I decided Dell was trying to tell me something. So I gave in. It should arrive by the weekend.

That’ll reduce the number of my computers by 1.

The next and last step of my technology simplification plan involves our trusty QNAP 409 that has done faithful duty for a long time. Sadly its ARM 400Mhz processor is a little underpowered for what I’d like to do with it next. And a number of features in the latest models that I’d like to avail myself of.

As well as, eventually, installing enough space to rip copies of all my media off the discs we bought them on so that we can always play anything we own without having to find the right disc first. Yes, it’s lazy and indulgent. What about it?

I am very strongly leaning towards the QNAP 870 PRO model for the following reasons:

  • 8 bays = up to 28TB RAID 5 storage = enough head-room to keep everything
  • HDMI output with 5.1 sound = direct media playback if needed
  • Personal DropBox-alike system for file replication without using the cloud
  • Automated/scheduled backups of specified Windows folders
  • Add-on packages for Java, Python, MySQL, Git, and various web solutions
  • Virtualisation solution that can run multiple Windows/Linux VMs inside the QNAP

It looks like a capable candidate to quietly serve all our existing IT needs as well as some completely new ones within a convenient 60W profile.

Day 172 – Simplify

I’m not entirely sure what today was about. It had a number of the usual Saturday features, including a very demanding and tough and oh-so-worthwhile gym session in the morning, and an overwhelming desire to clean only overshadowed by an even more overwhelming desire not to.

Instead I spent a lot of time watching movies and TV, letting my mind wander for inspiration on what I want to achieve with 2014. I know, it sounds counter-productive to my stated aim, but a little reflection helps me work out what is most important to me… I think.

I’m not sure it worked yet so far.

I am strongly considering making “Simplify” the theme for the year. I’m sure I could get some mileage out of that one. Even though it sounds pretentious and vague to me too. But it just *feels* like the right theme, so I think I’m going to run with it for a while and see what I end up with.

So far, that makes my official list of resolutions for the coming year:

  • Simplify
  • Keep my gym routine challenging
  • Eat healthier
  • 3200×1800 … (sorry, nerdy joke, couldn’t resist)