art with code

2018-02-09

Office build

Recently I've been setting up an office in Hong Kong, a.k.a. setting money on fire. Generating heat that enables us to set up installations in-house, tackle bigger projects and expand the company from its current staff of 1.25. Good plan? Great plan!

Very IKEA, much birch veneer. Spent a couple enjoyable days building furniture, almost done for now. Plan is to get a big board in front of the office's glass door and mount a big TV on it to run a demo loop of interactive content for the other tenants in the building to enjoy.

Also planning some network infrastructure build. The place has a wired network from the previous tenant, with five Cat5e cables strung along the walls, which I hooked up to an 8-port gigabit switch. There are another five cables running inside the walls that terminate at ethernet sockets, but those seem to be broken somehow.

Getting gigabit fibre internet there next week, which was surprisingly affordable. Like, $100/month affordable. For WiFi, I got a small WiFi router, 802.11ac. It's all very small-time setup at the moment.

So hey, how about some servers and a network upgrade? Get a couple of used old Xeon servers, fill them with SSDs and high-capacity drives for a proper storage tower. Run a bunch of VMs for dev servers and NAS. And, hmm, how about QDR InfiniBand cards and cables for 32Gbps network speed between servers and wired workstations, with the GigE and WiFi for others. Sort of like a 2012 supercomputing node setup. The best part? All of this kit (apart from the new drives) would be around $1500, total.

That said, I'll start with one server and a direct connection to the workstation. It'll keep the budget down to $400ish and let me try it out to see if it actually works.

Next to find the parts and get that thing built and running.

And um, yeah, do some sales too.




Here are some recent visuals done with our friends and partners at cityshake.com and plot.ly. For awesome sites and corporate app development in Austria, contact raade.at, who we have also worked with on various projects. Interested? Of course you are!

Mail me at my brand spanking new email address hei@heichen.hk and buy some awesome visuals or a fancy interactive office/retail/hotel installation or a fabulous fashion show. Or your very own VM hosted by a DevOps noob on obsolete hardware. I'm sure a VM can't catch on fire. Or... can it?

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Built art installations, web sites, graphics libraries, web browsers, mobile apps, desktop apps, media player themes, many nutty prototypes