ASUS EeeBox PC as a Home Automation/Media Server

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I recently acquired an ASUS EeeBox PC (EB1006). My goal is to set it up to serve media, manage our home automation systems, and some additional security roles. I’m hoping this will be the last major change to the home automation setup for a few years.

My first home automation system ran on an older, unused Windows XP system. After a while I converted it to a virtual machine that ran under Virtual Box and then later in Fusion. About a month ago I shut down the virtual machine and started running similar functions from my iMac in OS X.

Now that I have the EeeBox I’m in the process of shifting these functions over to it. Most of the software is working, with the exception of the VPN server. The home automation system is not running under my license of mControl 2, but instead using the beta version of mControl 3. I’m currently experimenting with Boxee and XBMC for HTPC functions – the computer is connected to the HDMI switch in the living room.

This is the configuration I’ve been planning to implement at some point. Eventually, I was going to purchase a Mac-mini server or an ASUS PC. Since these functions must run all day I wanted to shift to a low-power system that wouldn’t draw as much power as my iMac.

Instead of using Windows XP, which is what the EB1006 had pre-installed, I installed Windows 7. In the near future I will upgrade the RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB, though it runs surprisingly well with only 1 GB.

I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll upgrade the hard drive. I plan to move the movies I’ve ripped from our DVDs to this system, but I could do that now by attaching an external USB hard drive.

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