Developer on the go

by Peter Tyrrell Thursday, September 20, 2007 9:49 AM

Not so much about attaching wheels to a developer, although that would be really cool, and would, I'm sure, lead to more rapid development as well as head-to-head racing and eventually tractor pulls. No, this is me and the requirement to work away from my office at a moment's notice.

I may have to pull up stakes and run off at any moment, not because my office is highly flammable, or a contended military zone, but because I now share it with a newborn infant, who is more damaging to productivity than an inferno, and more interruptive than a civil war. Sometimes I'm able to work with the little bundle of fiery conflict wrapped slumbering on my chest, but long before she came along I laid careful plans for a backup and mobile office. Here it is.

Operation Desert Skedaddle

1. Laptop

Dell Inspiron 9400 "desktop replacement" laptop, Core 2 Duo, 2Gb RAM. Kind of ugly and clunky looking, which is oh so Dell, but it does the job. Of course, *now* they're offering pretty case colours. Now. I would have gone for espresso brown, but I'm stuck with yawn-inducing silver.

An external USB Lacie 160GB drive, for virtual machines and a gigantic iTunes library.

2. File Synchronization

GoodSync to sync files between desktop and laptop, by the makers of Roboform password keeper software, which I also can't live without, and it gets synced along with everything else.

3. VPN

Hamachi VPN to stay connected to my home network. Dead easy to configure. I can sync over the VPN if I'm really desperate, and the VPN aids remote desktop in that I don't have to configure a remote desktop port on the home router for each computer on the network.

4. Office space

I got a used Linksys WRT54G wireless router on eBay and flashed it with DD-WRT open source Linux-based router firmware. DD-WRT offers many advanced features not found in the original Linksys firmware. It wasn't strictly necessary, but it *was* very satisfying. I installed it at my parents' house and beefed up their internet plan to 10 Mpbs down, 1 Mbps up. They get pretty decent wireless, and I get a backup office.

Are you mobile? How does it work for you?



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