home automation server

mushroom blue

New member
so I recommissioned my desktop PC as a home server. slapped a new install of Ubuntu on the disk, and put it under the stairs in my basement. now I have a nice big hard drive I can store stuff on, and now massive powerful PC's aren't necessary in my house anymore.

I download all my television/music/movies to my home server, because I refuse to pay ridiculous prices for basic cable. I get it in higher resolution, and it all plays nicely on my xbox 360, once you get a good UPnP/DLNA media server program (like TwonkyMedia). PS3 has the same functionality. the 360 also handles my music and movie library through the same media server. I probably won't do a softmod until WhoaMan comes up, or until the fall XBL update is pushed out. don't want to have my XBLA account banned before Street Fighter 4 is out. so I'm playing nice.

my home server will soon be set up to run my doorbell (play an mp3 when pressed, or hooked to an asterisk server/speaker/mic for screening people at my door). also, USB webcams are cheap as hell, as are USB to Ethernet adapters (300 meter USB cables are your friend). if one is judicious in looking for cheap equipment, one can rig a decent security setup in your home (motion detectors, USB cameras, window security switches, etc) for less than 200 bux. if you want to spend for some X10 devices, you can even let the server handle the lighting in your house, and christmas lights as well.

eventually, the plan is to put a small VIA-based MicroPC in every room, all hooked back into the home server. touch screens for devices in bathrooms/kitchen, living/family rooms get remote/wiimote-based input. traditional input methods for other rooms. all communicating with the main server. I don't even need to put hard drives in them; everything could netboot from images on the server. all would be automatically capable of playing any image/music/video/rom format I threw at it. plus, with the aforementioned asterisk server, any terminal in the house can act as a telephone/video phone with the addition of mic/speakers and webcam (which many touchscreens/tablets include in the hardware). probably looking at about $1200 total for the coolest house ever.

anyone have any extra ideas that would make my house better?
 
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