Introduction

NOTE UPFRONT: Although functionally most of James works, documenting and testing on the various platforms is still work in progress, and will gradually be completed over the next months, after which this note will be removed. Thank you for your patience!


This is the home page of James.

James (acronym for Just A Miniature Entertainment System) is an application providing a home entertainment solution. It is also called James as it aims to be a global "butler" application providing various services. What functionality is actually offered by James also depends on the actual hardware present in the system.

Rationale for calling it Miniature, is because the system will be small in physical size (but not in functionality). Aim is also to reuse as much open source software as possible.

And actually entertainment system is a little bit of a misnomer. James will provide all kind of home services, so it could also e.g. provide NAS functionality or even a web server.

Hardware

James aims to be flexible concerning hardware. It runs on various hardware platforms, albeid the functionality of course depends on the capabilities of the platform.
James explicitly aims at being a system that is always available. As it is an always-on system it is targeted towards low-power platforms.
The hardware platforms this was tested on are:

Additional hardware used during the development and for prototyping

Software

As operating system software Linux is used. The following variants are tested: Debian or other debian based variants will most likely also work by using the ubuntu recipes.
Other OpenEmbedded distributions will most likely als work by using the Angstrom recipes.

Note that as you read this, it is still work in progress. Feel free to report problems.

The section on Functionality will provide links to pages describing how to install parts of the system.
This is not for the complete n00b. Installing things will require some tweaking at your side (especially when it comes to path's, configuration and security. As the target hardware often does not have any local UI and as people might want to store the hardware in e.g. a utility closet, remote management

Functionality

The following functionality is envisioned for James. It might not be possible to install all functionality at the same time. This will also depend on things like available RAM, storage, CPU power and peripherals.

  1. File server (NAS)
  2. Printer server
  3. Media server
  4. Content retrieval
  5. Audio playback
  6. Routing
  7. Telephony (PBX, VoIP)
  8. Webcam based functionality
  9. Personal Video Recorder (PVR) (mythtv)
  10. Miscellaneous
But before installing individual functions you need to prepare your system. As this depends on your operating system you need to choose whether you want to go for Ubuntu or Angstrom.