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Google Engineer Builds the Ultimate LAN Party House

| 13 Dec 2011 20:25

A Google software engineer wanted something a little special for his new home, so he built the ultimate LAN Party Optimized House.

Let's say you had a little more money than the average bear lying around and you decided to spend it on a house. And not just any house, but a nice house that you could jazz up as you saw fit. What would you do? I know what I'd do, and it's probably something like what Google software engineer Kenton Varda did: turn it into a LAN party pit.

Varda's shack features twelve fold-out computer stations, six in each of two rooms, built by a cabinet maker based on Varda's own design. Each station boasts a 27" monitor mounted on what appears to be an adjustable slider, while the PCs themselves - Intel Core i5-2500 rigs with MSI GeForce 560GTX video cards and 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM - are on a rack in another room. There are also a pair of televisions, one 55 inch and one 59 inch, each with multiple game consoles connected, although Varda says that "in practice we usually end up streaming pro StarCraft matches to these instead of playing games on them."

As for the games themselves, Varda doesn't keep 12 copies of everything kicking around. Instead, everyone who comes to play accesses their own games via Steam or Battle.net. To handle the "enormous pain in the ass" of maintaining 12 PCs, Varda has everything boot off the network in either "master" or "replica" mode, simplifying the process of keeping the systems updated and in sync.

And how much does a setup like this cost? Varda didn't say but he did insist, in response to comments that he "must be loaded," that he is not particularly wealthy. "As expensive as twelve gaming machines might be, they are small compared to the price of a typical house, no matter where you live. So if you can afford a house, you can afford to make it into a LAN party house," he wrote. "What you will need, however, is lots of time and patience, and a long-term plan for fulfilling your dream." He did acknowledge in an update, however, that "most people would consider me rich. Not in-the-one-percent rich, but probably in the five percent."

So time, patience and a fair chunk of money, then. Even though that probably puts it out of mainstream reach, it's still an interesting project to read about. And hey, dare to dream, right? Just don't dream about paying Varda's house a visit when he's not home and helping yourself to all his sweet loot; the house also sports an extensive security system including several cameras with motion detectors that send images to his phone and email accounts as soon as they're triggered.

Source: Kenton's Weekend Projects

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