Dilbert Wants Amahi (does he know it?)

Now someone famous is asking for Amahi, and he does not even know it!

Scott Adams recent blog entry addresses his personal need for a home server. Quoting him directly:

If you’re wondering where the next economic boom will come from, I think it will involve a central computer for your home that handles all of your entertainment, home controller, and computing needs.

Before you rush to tell me “That already exists,” and then provide links to things that only do a few functions, let me assure you that it doesn’t exist. But there is no reason to think it won’t be developed in the future.

I came to this conclusion while searching for a home system that would deliver recorded TV shows and music (iTunes) to several rooms in the house, with each room controlling its own content. I was surprised to learn that no such thing exists.

Not surprisingly, as a member of the Amahi community, I take offense at the comment “let me assure you that it does not exist.” It does exist – Amahi is designed with just this objective in mind!

Scott lists his immediate requirements as delivering recorded TV as streaming music (iTunes). Well, those in the community know that MythTV (backend server) for recording and streaming TV is in alpha for one-click deployment on Amahi, and AmahiTunes is already available as a one-click install for streaming music from/to iTunes.

Scott continues in his blog to dream about more advanced home control: lighting, video games, home security, climate control, etc. Well, Amahi already delivers on some of these (eg. video surveillance with ZoneMinder one-click installer), and as an expandable platform it is only a matter of time before the open source community packages more solutions for one-click deployment.

My question for Scott Adams is, “What would Dilbert say about the quality of research Scott did searching for a home server?”

Announce: Theme generator

One of the most important concerns with home networking is ease of use.

To this end, we have been developing themes for the Amahi Linux Home Server, to make it more user friendly to use.


We’d like to announce the pre-alpha version of a theme generator for Amahi Linux Home Server.

It’s almost there to get it working! There’s only a bit missing.

It’s under:

svn co https://amahi.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/amahi/utils/theme-generator theme-generator
cd theme-generator
make rpm

this will generate an rpm in the release/ directory.

What’s there:

  • Generic theme
  • Build infrastructure to create the rpm ready for release with proper versioning, etc.

What’s missing:

  • The script hda-generate-theme.
  • This script has details inside of what needs to be done.
    should be easy to do in perl, ruby, python … even bash.
    (probably ruby is best, since there is some CamelCase work that needs to be done)

What needs to be done is basically this:

  • Take a name for the theme
  • Make a theme directory based on the enclosed generic theme
  • Go through every (non-binary) file and substitute the name of the theme for the stubs in the file that act as placeholders for the name.
  • The generic theme images (which is based on the iHama theme), should be changed to generic images.

Update: platform, iHama theme

Some updates today. Bringing the theme engine one step closer to full “theming” capaility is something we’ve been striving for a little while. We’re almost there with this update.
What we need to close this particular loop is to create a common theme for headers in applications, like torrents (the bittorrent client), wiki, etc.

Here are the update details.

  • platform-0.94
    • Support for initialization by the themes, through ruby
    • This enables the “theme-ization” of piecharts in the setup/disk screen
    • Default theme supports new theme-ization
  • iHama-theme-1.3
    • Clickable logo (takes you to dashboard)
    • Setup pages with disk monitors now match the theme
    • Fixes for colors under IE/Safari