Serving The Planet

My Virtual Office Space: *FEAST* Mode 2018 Update with Enterprise Graded Gear

Been a while I wrote a “My Virtual Office Space”-update as extensive as I will now. note: updating regurarly.

My Office Space introduction

Although I featured the basic hardware specifications in this picture (from a different angle) on my FaceBook timeline already. Let’s dive a little deeper why I’m not unhappy with my curent hardware gear line-up. A picture tells more than the thousand words below it? Not in this case.

Less is More?

And just in case you’re thinking right now:

Haha, my stuff is so much better / faster!

That might be true. However, there’s a lot more you cannot see in that picture. AND its not about how ‘well hung’  you are, but how you use your ‘equipment’.

Thus let’s dig a bit deeper!

Home Office Gear

This is all the stuff you saw in the picture in much more detail.

‘EliteBook’ Workstation

The computer I spend the most time at every single day!

Computer (Laptop): HP EliteBook 2570P
Manufacturer Release Date: March 2012
Date of Purchase: 2017-Dec-25
Price Paid: €185 ~ $229USD

Basic specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3320M @ 2.6-3.2Ghz (CPU/passmark points: ~ 4100)
  • Chipset: Intel 77QM (4th Generation)
  • RAM: 2×4=8GB Samsung DDR3L SODIMM
  • ODD: DVD+/-RW
  • Connectivity: 2x USB2.0, 1x USB3.0, headset, eSATA, Display Port

Hardware Upgrades

The dates reflect the purchase date of the time, the order of the items are about when I’ve started using them.

  • [2017-Jan-06] 1st Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SATA3 SSD with MacOS 10.13 @ AFPS
  • [2018-Feb-20] Replaced HSDPA (4G mobile) with BCM94360 (aka Apple Airport)
  • [2018-Feb-21] replace ODD by a HDD caddy
  • [2018-Feb-22] 2nd Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SATA SSD for a RAID0 array @ MacOS 10.13.3 HFS+J
  • [2018-Feb-24] HP Port Replicator Docking Station for HP 2570p (A9B77AA)
  • [2018-Dec-25] from 2×4=8GB to 2×8=16GB DDR3L RAM

Scheduled Upgrade Path

In no particular order:

  • replace i5-3320M (Dual-Core) with a i7-3xx0QM (Quad-core) CPU. Update early 2019: doesn’t seem to be possible due to TDP cooling limit and there’s no really good throttling software for Hackintosh neither MacOS. Tried with Clover but thusfar unsuccesful.

Operating System(s)

Host OS: MacOS High Sierra (10.13.3)
Guest OS (virtualized through Parallels Desktop): Android 7, Anti-X (Linux), Kali 2018.1 (Linux), Windows 7 Ultimate Lite, multiple Windows 10

‘BlogBook’ Workstation

3rd time I own this baby: Acer ChromeBook C720P.

Basic Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Celeron U2955 (soldered)
  • Chipset: Haswell
  • RAM: 4GB (soldered)
  • Storage: 32GB SSD
  • GPU: Intel HD2500
  • Connectivity: HDMI, headset, 1x USB2.0, 1x USB3.0, SD card reader

Operating System(s):

Replaced ChromeOS with Crouton @ ChromeOS. Crouton powered OS Lineup: Linux Ubuntu 16.04LTS, Kali, Kodi, Linux Fedora, and ChromeOS itself of  course Hence it’s a virtualization type of mini laptop.

Matching accessory list Chromebook

  • No-name Chinese USB LED light
  • Sharkoon 1GBit Etherlan LAN + 3x USB3.0 hub

‘Experimental’ Workstation

Computer (Laptop) Model: Asus K53E
Manufacturer Release Date: ???
Purchased date: did not*

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*) pulled it together from resources I still had laying around.

Basic Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i5-2450m @ 2.5GHz
  • Chipset: Sandy Bridge
  • RAM: 2×2=4GB (max. 8GB)
  • Storage: 120GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD
  • GPU: Intel HD3000
  • Connectivity: HDMI, headset + mic, 2x USB2.0 +  1x USB3.0

Operating System(s):

What’s better than virtualizing a Windows10 OS through Parallels Desktop on a Mac? Not having to polute it with Windows at all. And native OS always works best, so this Asus laptop is running a Windows 10 trial v1907 accessed through Microsoft Remote Desktop app for Mac.

Home ‘MMX’ Studio

… more info coming before summer! Basically going to rebuild a my prior studio experience of 2008 with a Yamaha MO8 88-key weighted Piano, this time hooked in Logic.

Home Office Network

1st (living space) floor

  • Cisco Modem/Router
  • TP-Link Powerline AV500

2nd floor

‘My Office’

  • Switch: TP-Link SG-1004E | 4x ports 1Gbit hardware switch
  • WiFi Access Points: Ziggo C7 AP
    Had this one before. It’s a custom ROM version of the TP-Link Archer C7. Where Ziggo basically has taken out the Router functionality and has made it a WiFi Access Point only. And the Ziggo v2.x firmware has greatly improved over the v1.x … otherwise I would indeed put DD-WRT on it again.

Other rooms 2nd floor

Every other room has a straight  1Gbit LAN patch connection to the router/modem downstairs.

Accessories & other Gear

Sorted in order of importance.


Next to each and every monitor at every laptop / tablet / smartphone device? I had two additional monitors.


This is the large monitor you see in the picture.

  • Diagonal: 28″
  • Resolution: 4K, but due to my HD4000 GPU limitation running a comfortable 2560×1440
  • LCD panel type: TN
  • Color: black
  • Ports: DisplayPort, DVI-D, HDMI, VGA (D-Sub)

Manufacturer link. For the €199 spend, its simply second to none. Infact when I’m out & about working in flex offices around the globe on far more expensive DELL or HP business line screens, I always love it again when I can work from my home office.

HP L19050

  • Diagonal: 19″
  • Resolution: 1280×1024
  • Ports: VGA, DVI
  • Color: space grey
  • Extra: in height adjustable

hooked into an Aten CS201 KVM Switch.


Docking stations

  • Deltaco MAP-GD35U3 USB3.0 Dual Docking Station  for simultaneous 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA
  • Sharkoon QuickPort XT USB3 V2 for 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA

Off-line Backup

  • 500GB: 1.8″ Samsung T5 USB 3.1 (Gen1) | Purchase date: Dec 2018
  • 500GB: 2.5″ Seagate Momentus 5400rpm SATA3 | Acquire date: no clue
  • 2000GB: 3.5″ Seagate 5400 SATA3 through USB3 | Acquire date: no clue

USB Pendrives

  • 1GB pendrive with Anti-X

Cloud Storage

In alphabetical order …

Apple iCloud

Purpose: iPhone/iPad backup + iWork notes
Account plan:
Cost: $1 per month
Typical account usage: 2-3GB
User since: 
ever sincei it launched at 11th of October 2011

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Purpose: iPhone photo album sync + temporary storage between devices
Account plan:
FREE (eligible for 14.5 out of 15GB)
Cost: $0
Currently in use: 2-3GB
Active user since:

Google Drive

Purpose: biz plans, whitepaper storage, Joint Venture brainstorming
Account plan:
Cost: $0
Storage capacity: 15GB
Currently in use: 8-9GB
Active user since: ever since it launched at April 24, 2012

Ingreso Cloud (LiveDrive OEM)

Purpose: Computers Backup
Account plan: unlimited (Gold Partner) @ $25/month via PayPal
Currently in use: > 6TB
Active user since: 2014-Jan

Purpose: syncing storage
Account plan: FREE (upto 50GB)
Cost: $0
Currently in use: ~ 85GB
Active user since: 2018-Feb-27

Microsoft OneDrive

Purpose: “Office Online“-storage
Account plan: FREE (max. 5GB?)
Cost: $0
Currently in use: ± 100MB
Active user since: 2017-Nov

Resilio (aka BitTorrent Sync)

Purpose: potential replacement of my Google Drive, Dropbox, MEGA and TransIP stack account.
Account plan: Family
ETA: May 2018

TransIP Stack

Purpose: Multimedia Project & Webdevelopment library storage
Account plan: FREE (max. 1TB)
Currently in use: ± 300GB
User Since: 2015-Nov-08

Virtual Office

Previous chapter was about the physical office. One of my best kept secrets of the past 4 years as part of the Options4ALL project. Let’s get down to the meat & potatoes of my actual virtual office (as cloud storage doesn’t really qualify as such).

Dedicated (RDP) Server

Purpose: secret (Non Disclosure Agreement)
Supplier: KimSufi
Server model: KS-5
Server specs: Intel Xeon 2×5504 2GHz (8c/8t), 16GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, 2TB HDD, 100Mbps
Operating System: Windows 10 v1907

Email & Shared Hosting

Purpose: email inbox hosting, domain forwarding, and hosting some old sites like
Supplier: SolidHosting.NL
Account type: Small
Webserver stack: Apache2 + PHP7 + MySQL

Virtual Private Server: ‘CNi-SW’

Purpose: next to the 11+ month old prototype, it runs a lot more (API-wise with Non Disclosure Agreements).
Supplier: Vultr
VPS model: VC2 (aka a droplet)
Server specs: 1x virtual Xeon CPU core, 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD
Server location: datacenter in Amsterdam, NL
Server Uplink: 1Gbit (with traffic cap of 1TB)
Server OS: Linux Ubuntu 17.10
Webserver stack: Lighttpd + PHP7-FPM + MySQL
Control Panel: SSH only

Virtual Private Server: ‘Ferrari’

Purpose: production server to test new projects
Supplier: Vultr
VPS model: VC2 (aka a droplet)
Server specs: 1x virtual Xeon CPU core, 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD
Server location: datacenter in Amsterdam, NL
Server uplink: 1Gbit(with 1TB traffic cap)
Server OS: Linux Ubuntu 16.04LTS
Control Panel: VestaCP
Webserver stack: NGINX + PHP7-FPM + Redis + MySQL

Virtual Private Server: ‘PocaHontas’

Purpose: running some ancient projects that cannot run on the NGINX production servers
Supplier: Vultr
VPS model: VC2 (aka a droplet) + 50GB Block Storage
Server specs: Xeon core, 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD
Server location: datacenter in New Jersey, USA
Server uplink: 1Gbit (with 1TB traffic cap)
Server OS: Linux Ubuntu 16.04LTS
Control Panel: VestaCP
Webserver stack: NGINX + PHP5 + Redis + MySQL

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Virtual Private Server: ‘Tesla’

Purpose: production server for all large(r) projects
VPS model: Blade X2
Server specs: Xeon core, 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD
Server location: datacenter in Amsterdam NL
Server uplink: 1Gbit (with 1TB traffic cap)
Server OS: Linux Ubuntu 16.04LTS
Control Panel: VestaCP
Webserver stack: NGINX + PHP5 + Redis + MySQL

About Earnie Rhyker

tech pioneer | intellectual BadAss | ethical lifehacker | WordPress Developer & Polyglot | information activist | blogger | added value services provider | multimedia enthusiast | senior linux server administrator | geek | bitcoin investor | laptop entrepreneur | open source contributor | hackintosh fanatic | charity donator | accredited top MLM networker & internet marketer 2014-2016 @ BFH

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