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.
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
Philips PCVC680K webcam
Toshiba MK4007GAL 1.8" hard disk with USB enclosure.
- Sitecom IT-001 USB phone
Pertelian X2040 Character based LCD display (4 lines, 20 columns)
GATEWAY OVU400002/00 Infrared receiver
bluetooth dongle (I use a very small one, but most bluetooth dongels will work)
WII-mote (requires bluetooth)
WiFi. I have successfully used a 3com 3crusb10075 USB dongle (zd1211 based), a Linksys WUSB54G and a
Philips CPWUA054/00 USB dongle (both Prism54 based)
Hauppauge WinTV PVR2 USB analog TV receiver.
PHILIPS SPD3400CC USB CD/DVD drive.
various USB hubs
USB hard disk (Toshiba 40GB, 1.8")
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
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.
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
- File server (NAS)
- Printer server
- Media server
- Content retrieval
- Audio playback
- Telephony (PBX, VoIP)
- Webcam based functionality
- Personal Video Recorder (PVR) (mythtv)