The computer industry is changing rapidly. Equipment new one day is eclipsed by something new the next. One of the big terms now is multi-tasking adaptability.. For example a lawnmower cuts the yard. YOu could take the blade off and put a stirring paddles on the bottom and then put the mower now becomes part of a giant blender. You could even attach an alternator or generator to it and have a unit that produces electricity. So now what was just a lawn mower has several uses. Infact with gears chins or pulleys, you could do all three uses at almost one. Well moving the yard and being a blender might not go together. Buy you get my point that it can be adapted not only for other jobs, but do those jobs at the same time! that is multi-task adaptability.

In the computer industry, some of the big vendors have tried to incorporate that idea into their equipment. Probably the closest example is the “all in one” printer that is a document/photo scanner, printer, fax machine phone, and etc. People who who like to tinker with things are generally the impetus bind such equipment. They like to take single purpose appliances and make them more useful. Unfortunately most vendor of equipment lock down their systems so that they can not be adapted for other uses. With the economy as it is multitask adaptability  should be a selling point rather  than a cause  of warranty limitation. Two of the most prevalent of the computer single purpose appliances are the NAS (network  addressed storage)   and the multimedia applicances such as pvrs (personal video recorders).

A nas is sometimes called a home file server or electronic file cabinet if you will. Some Nas boxes do have extra features  are sometimes low powered and only take a small space. but eventually they will outlast their usefulnesss  and become a throwaway item unless a modification is foundd to mkae them more useful.  They are just a computer without a keyboard and monitor for the ost part.  Why not just just make an existing computer not only be a nas but allow it to do ohter things also. To me the most prolific example is the Cisco Linksys Nslu2 nas.  that was adapted to run like a normal computer. ( That is what I call multi-task adapability. make a product more valuable.The pvr’s allow you to record media broadcast from the airwaves,  Local cable, or a sattelite dish. They are basically a computer without a keybard or a monitor.  again if the technology changes it becomes wothless un;ess it can be adapted. Now if we started with your average computer to start with to be the pvr and nas at the same time, you have acheived multitake adaptability. later on if you decide not to have apvar and or nas. the computer can be set up as  a workstation for a new child or even used to control home appliances. There is no end to the possibilities.

Thes are just a few thoughts about how you can how you can spend your money more wisely.  A  pvr and nas can cost you close to a thousand dollars.  You can get a computer to do the same thing for under two to thr hundred dollars.  Its your money….   Recycling  computers will save you big money!


Turnkey software:

To allow your computer to be a pvr: Mythbuntu,  Mythtv, LinuxMCE, and Mythdora.

To allow your computer to be as nas: Freenas, Openfile, and others.


Most any linux distribution can be adapted to be a mediacenter and a nas.