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Earning some side income.


dummptyhummpty
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I was joking with my girlfriend that it would be nice to have a second job to earn some extra income. With the summer coming up, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea. I got to thinking about jobs, using my computer knowledge, that I could do on the weekend or around my work schedule. I'm going to be taking two summer school classes (T/Th from 1pm-10pm) for the next six weeks and I'll be working 20 hours part time all summer. This kind of limits me to smaller jobs. I'm thinking some kind of consulting, but I don't want to do computer repair/troubleshooting. I used to do this for a neighbor and had a bad experience; plus, I just don't enjoy that type of thing.

I'm an independent contractor for another consultant and we mostly manage Windows servers and workstations for local, small businesses. To prevent any conflict of interest, I'd like to stay away from [managing] Windows servers.

I've recently become interested in Linux again (Used to use RedHat 5.2 back in the day) and was trying to see if I could do anything with that. I have experience with OS X as well.

Some ideas I have quickly thought of:

  1. Sell Pre-Configured Hotspots that the buyer can manage from a website*
  2. Provide Linux Based Computer Labs (solutions?) to schools*
  3. I have three older HP servers sitting around, maybe I could put them to use? (or I'm selling them)
  4. Something to do with Asterisk/Trixbox (had some experience with them at one point)
  5. Helping people use "Web 2.0" for Marketing (I know very little about marketing - only took one marketing class)
  6. VM/Virtulization (I'm really interested in this and I could use the practice/experience at work, since we are starting to use it more)
  7. Car computers? (meh...)
  8. Something to do with home network setup/layout/design (NAS, Wireless, ETC)**
  9. EDIT: Something to do with home theater setup? (I'm not good on equipment recommendations though)

*These might be a little more time demanding, and I actually consider them possible business ideas for when I'm out of school in a year. I'm thinking start small now and expand when time permits?

**At work, we do very little with home users. Just the occasional firewall (Sonicwall) and AP.

I'm open to any ideas so please don't hesitate. Lastly, I don't know any programming, but I'm currently learning RoR.

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In the past as a side project/extra income, I've gone to SOHO owners/users, evaluated their needs and have implemented different types of perimeter security and unified threat management solutions. It's a lot of fun to architect different setups based on clients needs. The only downside is that without a support team or any employees working with you.. then YOU become the support. (which i'm sure you're aware of ..)

I've used Untangle, Smoothwall, and more recently PFSense. I've also used Suse Linux and CentOS linux as all in one server/storage solutions.

Hope this gives you some ideas :)

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In the past as a side project/extra income, I've gone to SOHO owners/users, evaluated their needs and have implemented different types of perimeter security and unified threat management solutions. It's a lot of fun to architect different setups based on clients needs. The only downside is that without a support team or any employees working with you.. then YOU become the support. (which i'm sure you're aware of ..)

I've used Untangle, Smoothwall, and more recently PFSense. I've also used Suse Linux and CentOS linux as all in one server/storage solutions.

Hope this gives you some ideas :)

I agree with lnxr0r the soho route is not a bad idea, from what I have seen most small businesses I have done work for don't really give a toss about firewall installations like smoothwall etc, they are more interested in storage and basic networking solutions.

Then again this could be due to me doing most of my work for video/dvd rental outlets. The work is not so steady but when they need a repair they need it right away due to it being a critical component for them to transact, there for you can charge a fair price for your service call. Plus once you have a semi decent reputation established you can design networks and such for new stores that are opening.

note: Most stores In Australia use video minder or some franchise produced software for transactions. Setup is a piece of piss and if you know how to setup the rate tables among other shit you can get on going work.

I kind of fell into this role a while ago when I was working as a counter clerk and it made for some nice side money. I still do it from time to time while I am doing my full time studies.

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lnxr0x & shonen,

Thanks for the suggestions. lnxr0x, do you just go and setup firewalls or is there more to it? "Perimeter security" is a new term to me so i'm not sure if I might not be thinking of something. This might be similar to what we do at work, but i'll think on it a bit.

taiyed14,

That's been done already and I'm not sure how hard it might be do replicate. :lol:

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