The Offices of FlounderCraft, Ltd.

(at least, the computer room)

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In May of 1999 the offices underwent a major renovation. The old O'Sullivan desks-and-hutches that had served me well for a decade are gone; they didn't scale up to the size of my operation, and new Ergotron computer furniture now holds the suite of processors. Several shots of my work room appear below.

The office is too messy to photograph now, so I've annotated the replacements to the right. If I get it clean enough to photograph, I'll update the picture and the descriptions)

The right-hand side of the rack holds all the computers. The computers, over the years, have been replaced from this photo. The current set is:

A 2.2GHz dual processor driver testbed machine.

1.5GB, 2.8GHz dual hyperthreaded Xeon, main development machine.

1GB, 2GHz dedicated email machine (the only machine that actually has Internet access).

1GB, dual hyperthreaded Xeon server, 100GB RAID5 array, 100GB AIT backup tape.

Dual processor dual-core AMD-64 system running XP64 and under VMWare, Vista64.

1GB, dual hyperthreaded Xeon server, 100GB RAID5 array. Hot failover from primary server.

Also not in this photo: a new scanner, and a CD/DVD with integrated printer. The network backplane is 1GB copper. There is also a 802.11g wireless router.  Incoming network service is 5Mb FIOS.

All computers and peripherals are plugged into three APC 1500XL UPS units (one is shown on the floor on the right, the other is on the left and is hidden by the RS232 patch panel at the left. The third unit is not in this photo)


Second shelf, left-to-right: a bank of RS232 switches to connect COM ports to peripherals and other COM ports (USB would be nice, but I do a lot of legacy support); a scanner which has since been replaced, and other miscellaneous peripherals now retired. If I ever clean the space up, I'll take a new photo.


Top shelf, left-to-right: KVM switch; embedded systems for testing a product I'm developing for a client; alternate disk cartridges for the leftmost computer; 3Com 10/100 auto-sense 12-port hub (missing from photo: four more hubs, including two 1Gb hubs, SonicWall security appliance, Firber modem, and 802.11g wireless access point).


image08.jpg (24433 bytes) A view from the far side. In the front is a LexMark 16ppm laser printer with its double-sided attachment. It is worth pointing out that if I installed the optional disk drive, this printer would have more computing power, a faster network, more RAM, and more disk space than the first major mainframe I worked on, the IBM 360/67 at Carnegie Mellon University (1968). And that provided computing services to the entire campus!

Since the photo, this has been replaced by a 40ppm Xerox N4025 and the cheap HP printer by a Xerox DN7300 color laser printer.

On top of the HP NetServer is a Sony 50GB backup tape unit. This has been replaced with an AIT3 unit.

All monitors are connected to all computers via a 2x8 KVM switch.

These have been replaced by two 20" flat panel displays.

Some people ask why I like to be self-employed. Here's one reason. In the summer, I can sit on my back porch all afternoon, and connect to any of my machines using Remote Desktop and my 802.11g wireless LAN. Show me any other employer who provides this as a benefit! (Yes, I give up the big monitors, but for a lot of my work, I don't need two 20" monitors).

The platform for the laptop is basically a DVD player unit built by www.sackso.com With two outboard C-clamps to simulate the headrests in a car, I have a very nice laptop arrangement.

This is the view from my office. 

No drop ceiling with fluorescent lights, no cubicle walls.

Birds, chipmunks, and the neighborhood cats are present to add to the ambience.  In June, after dark, fireflies provide entertainment.

The large green area to the back is a cemetery.

Note that in the center of the lawn is what may the only fully-shaded sundial in existence.

More than half my work days from mid-May to late September are spent here.  Some days it is too cold, or it is raining, but on the whole this is where I spend most of my non-teaching time.

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Copyright 1999 The Joseph M. Newcomer Co.
Last modified: May 27, 2007