Tech Interests

I plan on blogging mainly about computing and technology related subjects, the following are some of the areas that interest me the most and a little bit of history behind my interest in each. I hope to expand on each topic at some point post some blogs about each in more detail.

Hardware / Software:

Shortly after getting a computer I became interested in the hardware and software that enabled a computer to run. I remember reading about Windows XP when it was in beta during 2000 / 2001. I was fascinated by how futuristic it appeared back then compared to Windows 98 / Me, and downloaded a beta of it, which took me around 5 days to do on dial up internet. Since then I have always kept up with the latest technologies, and have been able to build, upgrade and repair computers since I was around 13.

HTPC’s:

I have been interested in HTPC’s (home theatre pc’s) since I read about Windows Media Center in 2002, in 2004 i got a modified Xbox which i installed XBMC on. Now if we fast forward to 2013 there’s a pc in almost every room of the house either running Windows Media Center or XBMC. The main HTCP in the front room has a Quad DVB-T2 tuner, enabling it to record four Freeview HD channels simultaneously. The HTPC also has a HD-DVD / Blu-ray combo drive allowing me to purchase really cheap HD-DVD’s and the latest and greatest Blu-rays. Most other media is streamed off the home server, which currently has 10TB of hard drive space.

Networking:

I have also been interested in networking for many years, our home network has grown from two computers connected with a crossover cable to a network that is powered by a router, multiple wireless access points and 4 switches which connect to network wall points in various rooms of the house. In total i would estimate we have around 25 devices of some description connected. Don’t worry i’m also interested in green computing and many of the devices are very low powered, and are switched off at the plug when not in use.

Websites, the internet & servers:

Even before I got the internet at home i was always fascinated by websites and wanted to build my own, over the years i have put together many websites, however been a perfectionist most of them have never left my computer. One website created by myself and a good friend of mine has been online for around 5 years now since its re launch in 2008. Digiex can be traced back to 2001, however the current site was totally re done from the ground up starting in June 2007, it was finally finished in August 2008 when it launched. It has evolved in to quite a successful website since then, often getting over one million page views per month.

I have always has an interest in servers too, starting with running various services such as FTP on my main pc, i then experimented with Windows Server on an old computer. As Digiex has evolved it has gone from shared hosting, to a VPS through and finally various dedicated servers over the years. At the moment the site is running on two dedicated servers running Windows Server 2008 R2.

My home server is a HP Prolient Micro Server with 5x 2TB hard drives, this runs Windows Home Server 2011 and backs up the PC’s on our home network, it’s also used to serve HD media to the HTPC & XBMC devices around the home.

Mods:

Since getting an Xbox in 2004 I have been interested in modifying devices to do more than they were originally intended to by the manufactures. This started with my Xbox which had an X3 modchip installed, a 120gb hard drive and an LCD screen. This was my sole places for watching media for many years, since then I have modded all sorts of things, the latest been an Apple TV 2 which has been jailbroken and setup with XBMC.

Modified Xbox with an LCD screen

Modified Xbox with an LCD screen

Xbox LCD Mod

Xbox LCD Mod