My Home of the Future

We are now surrounded with technology of all kinds.  Microsoft and Apple all strive for a place on our desktops and in our homes.  I believe in a well balanced approach to the technology I have chosen to bring into my home… and I would like to share that with you.  My vision of a Home is a place where family lives, memories are made, and life just happens.

Traditional Computing
I would consider my home office setup a traditional one.  My Fiancé and I have two desktop computers with attached web-cams.  They are linked together via a 1Gbps Switch under our desks.  Our systems are backed up nightly onto our HP home server which also stores all of the multimedia we own like family photos, videos, music, etc…  We have a cable Internet connection and it is shared to all computers on our wired and wireless networks.  I have installed a shared network printer which all computers in the house have access to.

This is a pretty standard setup and serves us very well.

Not so Traditional…

Digital Picture Frames
I deeply believe in family and have pictures all around our apartment.  Our walls are decorated with both traditionally printed pictures and digital picture frames.  These digital frames are linked into our wireless network and pull from the photos shared on the home server.  This provides us with a wonderful mix of old and new imagery to enjoy. 

Mounting the digital picture frames has one problem, the annoying little black power wire extending down to the floor.  I plan to solve the power needs of these frames using a simple solution but I must wait because we currently live in an apartment complex, thus punching holes in the walls is not allowed.  When we purchase our first home, my plan is to place electrical outlets hidden within the walls to accommodate the power needs of our picture frames.  The power to these frames will be controlled via an X-10 network of power control relays and computer control programs. 

Home Entertainment
Our entertainment is provided by our AppleTV, a rear projection 60″ television, an XBox 360 and a Wii.  The XBox and Wii are both for gaming purposes, but the AppleTV is for pure television watching. 

When we moved in, we chose not to signup for cable or satellite television.  Instead we are using iTunes and AppleTV to provide all of our entertainment…

To get the thrill of channel surfing, I utilize the power of pod-casts.  AppleTV provides the ability to flip through pod-casts like they are channels.  This gives me, a man, the ability to get my thrills of flipping through a large variety of entertainment very quickly.

To satisfy our need for network television, we purchase the television series we watch from the iTunes library on my computer.  The shows are automatically downloaded and stored on our Home Server and accessible to the AppleTV.

Lastly to get our movie entertainment, I have taken the hundreds of DVD movies that I have purchased over the years and ripped them into MP4 format using a program called Magic DVD Ripper.  These MP4 movie files are stored for private use on our Home Server.  (FYI:  these movies are kept private for licensing reasons, don’t ask me to upload anything!)

 Well, I hope you liked my little introduction into my home of the future.  If you have other ways you use technology, I would be glad to hear…

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