As some of you know, I've been working my way up the Linux learning curve. I've
solicited lots of help on this and other lists over the past several months.
I've now got Debian 2.1 running on a PII 350 and I've got an old 486 networked
in as a remote X-Terminal for my daughter. I've still got a long way to go to
get everything running smooth, but I feel I've accomplished a lot. Most of it
thanks to the many people here on this list. Recently the opportunity arose to
sell my home for a tidy profit. I'm considering building a new house next year.
Of course I'll be wiring it for a network, with 2-4 RJ45 jacks in each room.
This allows both networking PLUS phone capability anywhere. Then this Idea hit
Home Entertainment Server!!!
Basically, a PC with AGP and IRdA. Put in a Massive video card with video or
SCART output. Use the TV for the monitor, connect the sound to the stereo.
Personal music and movies can be stored on Hard drive somewhere in the LAN. A
TV/Radio card as well. The Killer App would be a really nice GUI to control the
entire thing. I'm not sure if IRdA would be compatible with a general All-In-One
remote, but that would be nice. Otherwise, a PalmIII would make a great remote.
I remember Kate mentioning a desire to work on GUI's, this would be a great
project. Menu selection to choose TV/Video/Satellite/Cable/Stereo/Personal
Library. Maybe this could even work with Digital TV. Movies and Music could be
organised by Type, Artist, Family member etc. . . Personal music and videos
could be digitised at home for easier selection. Get a new CD, pop it in and
record mp3's as you play it the first time. No more digging through the CD
collection, just pick the song title and artist. Same idea for videos. This
would all be for personal use, so it doesn't violate copyright laws. Ready for
some games? don't start pulling wires to set-up the playstation or N64, just
fire up a game of Quake, Doom or Tomb Raider right there on your 28" TV! For
even more fun, play death-match against some one at another terminal! All of
this could run as a remote X-Terminal, so you wouldn't need to have too much
power tied up in the PC in the sitting room, just enough for AGP video card and
decent sound. The processing power could come from your main PC.
I just thought I'd throw this idea out and see what everyone thought of it. I've
heard some comments about an Irish contribution to Linux, so how about the first
Home Entertainment Server package? The PC could be fitted into a nice stereo
cabinet to match the rest of your sound system. I suppose there are lots of
other ideas that could be incorporated; Security monitoring, caller ID display,
WEB surfing from the sitting room. The list seems endless. I'll start looking
for a motherboard that meets the basic requirements. If some programming types
want to have a go at some kind of GUI, and some sys-admin types can start
stripping down a Linux distribution for the absolute bare minimum to boot and
run as an X-Terminal.
So, let me know what you think.
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