First, a brief overview of my home setup. We have 3 laptops and 2 desktops, plus our iPhones, iPad, Apple TV's, Wii, X-Box, WiFi-connected BluRay players, etc. I also obtained an older Mac desktop to use as a server; with this, I have a 1TB RAID mirror that we do backups to, a VPN so I can connect to my home network from anywhere, and running network services (like Open Directory authentication, DHCP, DNS, and AirPrint to my older printers that are not AirPrint compatible).
So, what can we do with all this stuff?
- Time Machine keeps all 6 of our Macs backed up hourly, automatically, so I don't have to worry about localized crashes or data loss (and since our iPhones, iPods and iPads are backed up on the Mac, we have a complete solution).
- iTunes running on the server, and Home Sharing, means we can play our iTunes library from any mobile device, or right on the big screen with Apple TV.
- Connect while traveling on the road, and work just like I am at home - remote control any screen on any computer on my network, print to a printer in my house, etc.
- And more
Boxcar ties notifications into a unified messaging platform, and delivers the messages using the method you want. You can push them as notices to your smart phone, send them as e-mail messages, SMS text messages, you name it. So I configured it, and downloaded the app, to notify my iPhone.
Meanwhile, the temperature problem. I found an app that monitors the temperature of the major components of the Mac, called Temperature Gage. It integrates with Growl, so I set up alerts at a temperature threshold where I noticed it fails (in fact, the app didn't allow me to set the right temperature, so I e-mailed the developer, and within a couple of weeks they had the new version out). $8.89 total cost, now when the machine gets too hot, my phone buzzes.
Now is that cool or what? Very inexpensive, and a very sophisticated and flexible setup.