Taking storage to the Plext Level

Today, I found eight gigaby–

“What the bloody hell, Jonas? Today? It’s already past midnight, you filthy night owl!”

Right, sorry. Yesterday, I found eight gigabytes of RAM in my inbox. A friend had called them disposable and asked me whether I had use for that so I warmly took them. That way I could save money for my do-it-yourself home server. All the parts were already there, so, after receiving the envelope with the memory inside it, I dropped everything (except for the RAM) and started assembling all the different parts a computer needs.

“You need a home server, my arse.”

Yes, really. I used to have everything on my external hard drive and when I dropped it, that damn thing stopped working and I lost all my backups, films, creations and music on it. And I didn’t want that to happen again, which is why I came up with the brilliant idea of a power-saving server with two hard drives in it; one mirroring the other.

When putting the computer together, I still had no case because it comes tomorr– I mean, today. It should be delivered today. But waiting sucks, so I just used an old cardboard box, cutting in holes for all the different ports and put everything into it. It was a mess, yet it seemed to work. Regarding the lack of an on button, I figured I could short-circuit the power pins, and while it wasn’t any surprise it did work, I was still a little amazed because that technique seemed so hacky.


After the hardware was verified to work as it should, I installed FreeNAS which turned out to be pretty easy. Easier than setting up a Windows share and figuring out whether the damn thing mirrored my drives as I wanted it to, but it’s really just one or two hours at max, thanks to its extensive documentation. A good friend also recommended installing Plex which is a fast media server with a beautiful web interface and lots of apps for every “smart” device you could imagine streaming media from your home network to. Needless to say this is one of the coolest pieces of software ever written. Reading in your media – let it be films, TV shows or music – happens blazingly fast, and within a matter of seconds everything is displayed with beautiful metadata and cover artwork automatically fetched from the internet. It even goes as far as connecting films to the people who worked on them so that I can even search for Tarantino and get a list of his movies I have on the hard drive. Astonishing.


I spent the rest of the day goofing around with Plex which is why I’m now sitting here at 3am, writing a post about all this. I should get a life.

Also, this is an article I want to publish as soon as possible without doing a third spell check. Because I want my opening dialogue to be funny and it wouldn’t work anymore if I published this at 11am.

  • written by jonas