Frustrating thoughts regarding Home Network Storage

I hate the fact that when I get an idea, it nags at the back of my head until something is done with it. I mean, it bothers me at work, it bothers me thoughout the day, and it bothers me when trying to sleep. The latest issue of this: trying to come up with an idea for home storage solution. One would think that would be relatively easy, and as did I, until I started thinking.

My original idea was to use a solution such as FreeNas, and two 1.5TB hard drives. I love FreeBSD, and my original thought was just “I need network storage.” So I went ahead and gave this a whirl. Probably 10 minutes after downloading the disc, I was in business.

Messing around inside the FreeNas control panel, I find a UPNP section, which fires off the idea: “Hm… If I have network storage, I could probably end up streaming videos to the Wii.” The Wii doesn’t support UPNP, but it DOES work with flash with Opera. So, I search around for Wii Media Centers, and end up trying WiiCR.

So I go that route, end up with a headless Ubuntu Server running apache and WiiCR. It kind of worked despite the install/setup was
a huge pain in the ass due to improper documentation. Regardless of that, there are even some performance issues with long videos, which is the entire reason I chose this route: to stream a home move collection. And WiiCR states upon video select: “wait one minute, then continue”, so the encoder can buffer in the background. In words-of-a-dustin, this is unacceptable. I love linux, but now I am leaning in a different direction.

And after taking misty out during the week to catch a movie which I want to do at least once a week now, we are now prompted with the question of having a DVR again. And if I’m doing that, I might as well push the webserver off the vmware instance on the netbook, so I can take the netbook outside the WLAN and two of my websites still work. *gasp* Yes, I am using my netbook at a server.

So, the next idea now, is to install windows home server, use ORB to stream movies, to the Wii, vmware to run my public LAMP server, and attempt something to schedule tv recording using one of my video cards.

I guess this project just wasn’t thought out correctly, because if I would have drawn my requirements out first, I could have just installed my PC in the entertainment center and just called it a day, as it has everything I need on it. The only question goes back to the normal: Windows or Linux for a media center?

I guess I will try the windows home server, and give it a whirl. At least it’d give me a general idea of what it is about… so I guess stay tuned for a review of Windows Home Server.

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