I've been reading the forums for the past week and Linux MCE has seriously interested me and I've decided to start building LinuxMCE core with 4 or so thin clients.
Can this do Skype?
Can you use a Bluetooth headset for when answering calls?
How do diskless thin clients work (I've been wanting to do something like this for a while and I can't figure it out!)
How should my set up be? (I want a cheap set-up but I also want it to do it flawlessly. I also have a ton of media. Should I put it all on the Hard drive of the core or should I use NAS?)
Can two or more thin clients access the core without interfering with each other? (i.e. one thin client is watching a recorded tv show another is watching a DVD from the Jukebox)
and One of the most important question is, can I access this through the internet (A la Slingbox or so?) If so I have a great project in mind .
Thanks for reading and responding ,
Hi... you've had a lot of response to your questions already but I thought I'd put my '2 cents' worth in too ;-)
I believe there is some work going on to integrate Skype as a backend Voip provider (or at least there was). But right now you can install the Skype client as a KDE desktop app and use it there just as you would under Windows/Mac.
- Bluetooth Headset integration
As far as I know you can't just attach a Bluetooth dongle to a MD and then use a Bluetooth headset directly connected to it. However you could use a Voip enabled mobile phone (eg Nokia N95 etc) running a Voip app and use a Bluetooth headset paired to the mobile (cellular phone...sorry I'm a Brit ;-)) connected back to the Core/PBX over WiFi. In this scenario the Core would be the PBX and the Mobile phone would work just like any 'normal' voip phone would. We have tested this and it works very well.
- Diskless PXE booted Clients
Essentially when a PXE booted client boots it is using a directory on the Core as its boot drive. All the processing and code execution happens in the clients processor/memory. It means that the client only needs minimally a processor & 512mb ram and no local HD and optionally an optical drive if you want to play local CD/DVD content direct from discs. The delivers a low cost, low energy & low maintenance solution.
- Core's Hard Drive or NAS?
Well lmce-0704 is a very flexible platform and offers numerous options here. You could 'load up' your Core with drives (and they could be RAIDed too) or you could add a low cost self contained NAS, or build a NAS using something like FreeNAS or as you could add HD's to one of you MD's and make that the main storage solution in your system. All would work independently or mixed together in pretty much any way that suited you. Whether one is better than the other will depend on your needs etc... there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way though!
- Can two or more thin clients access the core?
The simple answer is yes they can. But as with any system there will be limits on how smoothly performance is delivered as you 'load up' your system. In our experience using a 2.8 ghz Celeron M/i915/1Gb based Core using a 10/100 network we can smoothly handle 4 PXE booted MD's all playing media or streaming UK standard PAL TV concurrently (even while the Core is say ripping a DVD). But in the end it comes down to making sure your LAN is setup correctly and configure optimally as well.
- Can lmce-0704 be used like a SlingBox?
Well as of today not really. However in the short term you could attach a Slingbox to your Core or an MD and use it to stream/control the Core/MD from outside your house just like you would a TV or DVR. We have not tested this... but I can't see any reason that this might not work in principle.
Hope the above helps you!