Sunday, May 31, 2009

Upscale networking

Posted on 05/31 at 05:21 AM

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Donavon West has created a humidor that stores cigars as well as servers for home networks, which allow multiple computers and media devices to share files such as pictures and music. (Baltimore Sun photo by Amy Davis / May 26, 2009)

If you happen to enjoy both home-computer networking and fine cigars, Donavon West has the perfect all-in-one solution: the Home Servidor.

The Baltimore-based independent software developer has designed what he calls the Home Servidor - a desktop humidor made of cedar that also doubles as a computer server for storing and sharing photos, videos and other files across your home computer network. The ideal customer, he thinks, will be people with home offices and small businesses who like a good cigar and are avid consumers and producers of digital media.

“They don’t want an ugly computer sitting there on their desk,” West said. “They like things that look nice. They might have a nice flat-screen monitor, a wireless keyboard, and the last thing you want is an ugly gray box.”

Home media servers are becoming more popular, as consumers who own multiple computers strive to connect them and share large multimedia files across their home network. Companies like HP and Acer are targeting the consumer market with off-the-shelf servers that act as huge automatic back-up disk drives that can also network several computers, allowing people to view photos, videos and other digital content on any computer or television in their house.

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