Okay, what does that alphabet soup mean?
In short, it’s a tiny, OpenSource, Do-It-Yourself Tivo. The Mini-ITX standard defines a super-small motherboard and system. In this case, they took a pretty standard mini system and converted it by adding a larger harddrive and a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) card. The system runs Ubuntu Linux and MythTV, which are both available free from the Internet.
Really, this is a very cool thing and it looks easy enough that most slightly experienced users could manage it. Go to the article on XYZ Computing and see for yourself. Mainly, you have to get a small computer, upgrade or add the harddrive, upgrade or add the special video card, and install the operating system and one, very special, program. You know, I might just do this myself! Based on the prices of the equipment, it wouldn’t be that expensive at all!
And, besides, it’s a great way to spend Friday afternoon, fantasizing about the wonders of technology.