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Personal Cloud Computing

Last response: in Networking
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January 19, 2011 5:11:02 PM

Hello. I would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone that helps out here. I have gotten some good advice over the years here. I don't use forums very much so I apologize if my I do something against the norm/rules. In fact this is my first post here.

I am interested in starting my own "cloud". I have done some research on what it is and kind of how it works. Honestly the idea of Microsoft and Google's clouds scares the hell out of me. I do not want those companies controlling everything I have on my computer, for a fee.

The reason I am interested in a cloud is, because my understanding is you can have computers share physical resources. I have a couple of older computers around the house that are getting to the point they cannot keep up with today's media. I would like to get a little more life out of them.

I currently have my network setup for media (video mostly) sharing. I have one large and half way decent machine I save everything on. Its kind of like my mainframe but I also use it as a computer (like now). I also do a little bit of personal web hosting off of it.

I am also looking at getting a smart phone and having a cloud could really increase the value of that I think. Let me explain what I am looking for and then I will go into details about my systems. That way you don't have to waste time reading the specs to find out what I'm asking doesn't exist or isn't worth the time. I am not looking to get rid of any OS. Believe it or not I like W7 for the most part. My older machines run XP and cannot handle anything newer. I am hoping there is something out there that can do what I want running more as an application then as an OS. I would like something that allows my various computers to share processing power and memory. Even video processing. If I introduced a Smart Phone I would be able to access it from anywhere. Potentially I could even allow friends access into it, kind of like a data dump. Here is the kicker. I need to be able to exclude computers that are on the network from the cloud. I cannot allow my work computer to access it, even if the security on the computer doesn't stop it. Also I wouldn't want whatever my company is doing for security to interrupt my cloud. So before I get into how I have things now, If this is even possible let me know.

My "server" or computer I am typing this on is a 3.2ghz X2 dual core with 8 gb of memory. Currently it is only using 4 GB because the version of W7 is only 32 bit. When I had Vista it was 64 bit. I have a 1 gb video card and 1.75 TB of hard disk b/n 3 drives. Like I said I do a little bit of web hosting for personal use off of this. The OS is W7.

I have a laptop that also has W7 on it. 2.5 ghz dual core processor and 2gb of memory. I connect this to the network both through wireless and hard line. I should probably mention my whole house is wired with CAT5 cable.

I have a desktop in the bedroom that is a 2.53 ghz 478 Prescott chip. 2gb of memory and a small video card. This also as a very cheap tuner card. This machine was built in '03. I have another one that is the same chip but only currently 256 MB of memory in the living room.

As I mentioned I have a work laptop that connects both hard line and wireless that cannot have access to the cloud. My brother also has a computer connected by wireless that I would like to keep out of the cloud but still allow him to access the internet.

My internet connection is road runner into a netgear WGR614 router. This goes to my main system and a port that one of the laptops plugs into. From there it goes to a very old EHome router and to three other ports throughout the house.

I know I have written a lot but I have probably left out something important. I didn't want to be someone that just asks a complex question and doesn't give the details to answer it. So please let me know if what I am trying to achieve is possible.

Thank you for your time,
January 20, 2011 2:00:44 AM

As far as I know there is no cheap way to have computers share CPU and video possessing power.
I am not sure how cloud computing is set up because, there isn't 1 giant task to work on like rendering a 3D Animated movie, there are like a millions of small task (like post this message on Facebook), sent by millions of users, expecting what they did to happen right now. so i don't think it is sharing processes more of sharing tasks.

The main purpose of the cloud, it to make everything accessible from any device, in a user friendly way. Like on Facebook, you can access it on any computer,Windows Linux or apple as long as it has a internet, on every smart phone, even some of the non smart phone can so it now.
My way of doing this by my self, is with a server at my house, like you I save everything on to that one device, and access it from other computers in my house. I also use remote desktop. this make it so, I can buy 1 nice computer. Then I remote desktop in to it, with a less powerful computer. Like a netbook or cheap laptop. And I get all of the power of my nice computer on my crappy netbook. Also if the netbook dies or something, I can just pick up where I left off, on another computer.
the only thing you can't do is play game, or play videos over the Remote desktop.
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January 20, 2011 10:17:41 AM

Catsrules thank you. Is there anything special you do to be able to access media from your server. Right now I just have a web page (through no-ip.com) with CSS code for my upcoming wedding. I played around a little with playing files but not much.

What software do you recommend for remote accessing? although video is really what I am trying to achieve more than anything else. Do you know of a way to stream media over the network? If I am correct that would also use the main computers processing to play and the others would just have to view it.
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January 20, 2011 10:37:15 PM

ugean said:
Catsrules thank you. Is there anything special you do to be able to access media from your server. Right now I just have a web page (through no-ip.com) with CSS code for my upcoming wedding. I played around a little with playing files but not much.


As far a on my local network, not really it is just a normal windows share, and I add that share to my comptuers' windows media center libraries, so the less computer literate people in my famely can still access the media as well easily.
If I am remotely trying to access my stuff, I have a Untangle router I have set up with OpenVPN built in. And you install the OpenVPN client on your computer, and it tunnels in through the internet and it is like your are plugged in at home. But I never use that for watching my media, because most of it is DVD vob files (About 8GB for a movie), I don't have a fast enough upload speed on my internet to stream it.
ugean said:
Do you know of a way to stream media over the network? If I am correct that would also use the main computers processing to play and the others would just have to view it.

By network is it internet or local network.
If over local network, I would just use a windows share, because you have a tone of bandwidth compared to the internet but if on the internet, because you are dealing with a lot less bandwidth, you need something with more brains. Basically a program, that figure out how much bandwidth you have, and take that 8GB movie and reduce the quality and have a higher compression rate, so it will be able to give you a live stream.
There is a program called orb at http://corp.orb.com/ this will do just that. But that catch is you need to go though there system to make it work, like creating a account and such, but it is all free.
You can also look in to Slipstream boxs, they do streaming to.
I personally don't do streaming over the internet, because, it is a pain to get working I would spend more time setting it up or trying to fix it, then I would actually watching anything, the video quality sucks, I have movies on my iphone, hulu and netflix or I copied what media i wanted to a portable hard drive or my laptop hard drive to watch
ugean said:
What software do you recommend for remote accessing? although video is really what I am trying to achieve more than anything else.

I personally like the native remote desktop connection, that comes with windows. But you need a professional version of windows to be able to connect to it. :( 
There are allot of other programs
Ultra VNC (I use this on all of my non professional computers)
team viewer, very handily for remotely fixing people computers problems.
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January 21, 2011 10:39:02 AM

Quote:

As far a on my local network, not really it is just a normal windows share, and I add that share to my comptuers' windows media center libraries, so the less computer literate people in my famely can still access the media as well easily.
If I am remotely trying to access my stuff, I have a Untangle router I have set up with OpenVPN built in. And you install the OpenVPN client on your computer, and it tunnels in through the internet and it is like your are plugged in at home. But I never use that for watching my media, because most of it is DVD vob files (About 8GB for a movie), I don't have a fast enough upload speed on my internet to stream it.


I will have to play around with media center more. I did not know it worked like that. You're not referring to the media player correct? My other systems have XP which does not have the media center. Unless I can install it as an add on. I never looked into it.

Quote:
By network is it internet or local network.


Its a local network. I understand about the file size that is the problem I am running into. Any blue ray files are just too large for the older computers to pull across and process. The video gets choppy. Thats why I was hoping a cloud would allow them to share processing power.

Thank you and feel free to through anymore advice my way.
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January 22, 2011 4:40:08 AM

ugean said:
Quote:

As far a on my local network, not really it is just a normal windows share, and I add that share to my comptuers' windows media center libraries, so the less computer literate people in my famely can still access the media as well easily.
If I am remotely trying to access my stuff, I have a Untangle router I have set up with OpenVPN built in. And you install the OpenVPN client on your computer, and it tunnels in through the internet and it is like your are plugged in at home. But I never use that for watching my media, because most of it is DVD vob files (About 8GB for a movie), I don't have a fast enough upload speed on my internet to stream it.


I will have to play around with media center more. I did not know it worked like that. You're not referring to the media player correct? My other systems have XP which does not have the media center. Unless I can install it as an add on. I never looked into it.

Quote:
By network is it internet or local network.


Its a local network. I understand about the file size that is the problem I am running into. Any blue ray files are just too large for the older computers to pull across and process. The video gets choppy. Thats why I was hoping a cloud would allow them to share processing power.

Thank you and feel free to through anymore advice my way.


Yes it is Media center not the player, sadly you can't install it on windows that don't come with it. the only XP the comes with it is Windows XP Media center edition, then vista Home premium and Ultimate, then all editions of windows 7 except starter. They update media center when the upgrade windows, to windows 7 has the best version of media center so far.

There are other media centers that give you a user interface as well.
http://xbmc.org/


How do you play your blurays, do you convert them or just make ISO images or something?
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January 22, 2011 5:16:17 PM

Quote:

There are other media centers that give you a user interface as well.
http://xbmc.org/


Thanks I will look into this.

Quote:

How do you play your blurays, do you convert them or just make ISO images or something?


I convert them to MKV files and play them with VLC.
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June 22, 2011 9:49:43 PM

ugean said:
Quote:

There are other media centers that give you a user interface as well.
http://xbmc.org/


Thanks I will look into this.

Quote:

How do you play your blurays, do you convert them or just make ISO images or something?


I convert them to MKV files and play them with VLC.






Media Center started with XP MCE 2002 (and Roll-up SDK 2005) and XP MCE 2005. Vista's creation was started after the beginning phases of W7. They claimed that Vista was a "Stepping Stone" that was necessary. My personal thoughts on this are (and all evidence points toward) they were trying to do away with XP so they didn't have to support it any longer. Anyways, somewhere about 5/6ths of the way through the project of W7 someone just out popped with the Media Center idea. It was a quick run-over that turned into a huge YES! It really is a remarkable program.

Onto the next subject: Shared Processing- I read the same thing was possible with cloud computing, but I think running servers and putting them out there via your own network or a hosted network. Of course, with all security measures involved. It would be your own personal "DARKNET" ;-) Only who you wanted to access it were the people you wanted to (made sure can be trusted?) access may. I'm working on the same project, only Comcast Cable (can I upload an image of my Net Speed here?) and similiar hook-up only we run Belkin and Cat-6's.
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June 22, 2011 9:52:41 PM

I forgot, Motorola Surfboard SB6120 with 4 Chan. up to 100 Mbps per Chan.
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June 22, 2011 9:59:32 PM

Original_Karusai said:
Media Center started with XP MCE 2002 (and Roll-up SDK 2005) and XP MCE 2005. Vista's creation was started after the beginning phases of W7. They claimed that Vista was a "Stepping Stone" that was necessary. My personal thoughts on this are (and all evidence points toward) they were trying to do away with XP so they didn't have to support it any longer. Anyways, somewhere about 5/6ths of the way through the project of W7 someone just out popped with the Media Center idea. It was a quick run-over that turned into a huge YES! It really is a remarkable program.

Onto the next subject: Shared Processing- I read the same thing was possible with cloud computing, but I think running servers and putting them out there via your own network or a hosted network. Of course, with all security measures involved. It would be your own personal "DARKNET" ;-) Only who you wanted to access it were the people you wanted to (made sure can be trusted?) access may. I'm working on the same project, only Comcast Cable (can I upload an image of my Net Speed here?) and similiar hook-up only we run Belkin and Cat-6's.



So is it possible to do in a personal network then?
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