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2 networked computers: 1 audio/1 online

I'm considering stripping down my current pc for strictly recording applications. I'd like to remove all programs/ user files that are unnecessary. Internet/e-mail, pics, games, various media players(and the loads of background processes that bug the heck out me) downloaded music, PORN, Anti-virus/firewall crap. .

Having a 3.6 ghz p4, 2 gb RAM, and 2x160 hd's focusing only on the necessary Windows stuff and audio software applications is very appealing to me.

So, I'm thinking about 2 pc's. one for Audio, one for online. Since pc's are incredibly cheap, I'd probably just buy a decent bottom end model for playing around online. As you know, "the bang for the buck" factor is pretty impressive these days. There are, however, some issues that I need advice on.

What's the best way to transfer files between the two pc's? I'm thinking some kind of cable modem to a router? I need to be able to swap files back and forth without compromising the "unprotected" pc's security. Don't most routers come with some kind of firewall? I'm not a network dude. ; )

Obviousily, I'd still need to get software updates to the audio pc and transfer audio files from it. I suppose re-writable DVD's could be an option, but I'd rather be "wired".

I would think there would be a way to use 2 monitors, 1 mouse, and 1 keyboard. Any way I can pull this off? Hardware, software, USB? I'd like to keep things as simple as possible.

What do you think?



Kapt.Krunch Sun, 12/10/2006 - 05:50
IHateRap wrote: I'd like to remove all programs/ user files that are unnecessary. Internet/e-mail, pics, games, various media players(and the loads of background processes that bug the heck out me) downloaded music, PORN, Anti-virus/firewall crap.....

Instead of just trying to "remove" all that stuff, you'd probably be better off formatting the OS drive and reinstalling the OS and only anything else you plan to use. Uninstalling, removing, etc., still tends to leave a LOT of garbage floating around in nooks and crannies. You never know if you got it all, and it's possible something could screw things up. Not to mention the risks of trying to remove things and removing shared files and stuff.

With all newly installed software, you know exactly what is on there. That has the added benefit of easier troubleshooting if something pops up. If you take a bit of time to do it, you can also test out everything as you go to make sure everything still works...before you add the next thing. If you just start installing as quickly as possible and don't test the intermediate installs, it may make it more difficult to track down the problem.
There are probably a lot of tweaks that you may want to perform at various stages, rather than just at the beginning or after everything is installed.
Yes, it takes time. But if you take the time at first to get everything right, then you may not have to take even more time, and perhaps even more times, to try to figure out problems in the middle of something.

As far as networking, if you have it connected to the Internet computer, and the Internet computer is behind a firewall, you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

Burning to a disk is an option to get it from one to the other. A simpler and quicker option may a good-sized USB jump drive. Maybe a bit of both.

If you need to update, say, Windows on your music computer...then you'll probably need to be connected to that computer. You could set it up temporarily to run through the Internet to do all the updates you need, and then disable all the stuff when finished. That would probably be the quickest way, but then you still run the risk of getting Internet garbage on that computer.

Maybe a bit of all? That's pretty much what I do. Anything that doesn't NEED to be connected can moved by disk or jump drive. And you might as well do the LEAST possible on the Internet with the audio computer to help keep the gremlins out. When you download to the Internet computer, everything can be scanned before transferring to the audio computer.

There's one other thing you may want to do once you go through all that trouble to set it up properly. Before you use it extensively, and after you know it's set up right, you may want to clone that drive, if you have the means. Then, if something goes horribly wrong with something you add or do later, you can just clone it back to the fresh install. You won't have to go through all that again. As long as your CMOS settings and hardware stay the same, everything should go back to exactly like it was when you created the image. BUT, if you have added hardware, you may need to remove that for the clone, then add it back later.

Always good to clean out a computer, occasionally.

Just some thoughts,


Reggie Sun, 12/10/2006 - 13:14
I recently switched over to a new system similar to what you are looking to do. What I did is use one computer so the hardware can be shared, but two seperate windowsXP installs on separate hard drives. Then I have a couple RAID0 hard drives for the audio files. So far everything is working real nice. When I start it up, it gives me the choice of which windowsXP to boot; or it starts my general use drive automatically if I don't select anything after 30 seconds.
The only real pain is the time it takes to install and update all your programs and drivers and crap on both drives.

shredz Mon, 12/11/2006 - 12:37
the only problem is if u want to access both machines at the same time...say ur recording and wanna look up something online real quick, then youll want 2 a KVM is the answer.
If u dont care about that, the best and cheapest way is to use removeable drives...then u cant drag something bad to the other...