Jun 212015

Someone on Quora asked if hackers really need multiple computers. Well… I am not technically a hacker (in the bad sense of the word) as I do not use my skills for illicit purposes, but I certainly have multiple computers, as this panoramic picture taken from my home office chair demonstrates:

Here is what’s in this picture:

  1. Two older, dual-core workstations that I still keep hooked up for test purposes.
  2. A monitor (currently off) with a KVM connecting the four computers on this desk. Under the monitor, three laptops (my current travel laptop, a still more or less current netbook, and an older laptop that I don’t really use anymore.)
  3. Two more computers: my main server and its standby backup. On top, a wireless access point; behind (not visible) two network routers and several concentrators, as well as an older monochrome laser printer. Behind on the floor, there is also a UPS.
  4. Underneath it all: several cardboard boxes containing vintage calculators and various bits of computer parts.
  5. A filing cabinet. (On top, not seen, some radio frequency equipment, a multi-standard VHS VCR that I still occasionally use to digitize old videos, and a turntable record player.)
  6. Several pieces of radio frequency test equipment, owned by one of my clients. On top (not visible) my tablet.
  7. Underneath, my main workstation, with 2×24 TB (mirrored) external storage. A UPS is behind the workstation.
  8. My main monitor and keyboard. Under the monitor, a photo printer, and my old smartphone (still functional, with a data-only SIM card that I keep as a backup Internet connection. My current smartphone is the one I used to take this picture.)
  9. A laser printer and scanner. Underneath, under the desk, some boxes of paper, manuals, etc.
  10. My “hardware” desk, with boxes of parts, a soldering iron, a test power supply, a couple of multimeters and other equipment. Under the desk (not seen) more computer parts and more radio equipment.
  11. My secondary monitor and keyboard. An oscilloscope is sitting under the monitor.
  12. Two more computers: an older Windows 98 machine that I keep around as it can connect to legacy hardware (including the old “winprinter” style laser printer seen here, as well as an EPROM programmer) and a backup of my main workstation. A UPS is also visible.

Not seen in this picture (behind me and/or above) are bookshelves full of technical books and literature, folders containing MSDN subscription CDs/DVDs, three additional older computers (not hooked up, but functional) and additional computer parts, lots of cables, etc.

Most of this equipment is “in use”. Out of the 7 desktop computers shown, three are currently powered (but two are powered 24/7, a server and my main workstation.)

 Posted by at 6:35 pm