Building a Digital Lifestyle with Open-Source Technology

Mike Diehl gives an overview of the hardware and software he used to create a magnificent home digital lifestyle.

Mike Diehl is a freelance Computer Nerd specializing in Linux administration, programing, and VoIP. Mike lives in Albuquerque, NM. with his wife and 3 sons. He can be reached at


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Mike, thanks for the

Kir's picture

Mike, thanks for the article, especially ATAoE :) By the way, have you heard about the PlutoHome?- this is Linux-based home automation system. It combines many of gadgets you named under a single hood.

Yes, I have

Anonymous's picture

Thank you for the kind words. I also think ATAoE is a pretty cool trick. Someday I'd like to write an article about the Coraid hardware...

Anyway, yes, I am aware of the PlutoHome project. Sounds really neat, but looks like it needs a lot of special hardware that I just can't afford just yet.

...but talk about living the Jetsons liftstyle!


ATAoE hardware

tiny's picture

"But what happens when the day comes when I want to replace an aging 200GB drive with a new 400GB drive, but I don't" ...

Sounds cool but doesn't ATAoE requires some special hardware from Coraid?

Ups, forgot about the userspace tool virtuale blade.

I've tested ATAoE and the

Mike Diehl.'s picture

I've tested ATAoE and the userspace client works quite well. I exported a loopback "device" as a regular ATA drive and it worked like a champ. Really neat.

Which Voip service do you use?

shupp's picture

I'm wondering which wholesale voip service you use, as referred to in your article.



I use Easy

Mike Diehl.'s picture

I use Easy people to work with and they support Asterisk, and know it well. Tell them I sent you... (need to build karma points.)

Great Article

mr_mike_m's picture


Great Article! It was the first thing I read when my copy came in the mail yesterday.

I've been building my "digital home" too, as time and money permit.

Would you be able to post your some of your asterisk config files?

I've been running asterisk off and on for a few years now, mostly as a digital answering machine (kind of a waste of a good TDM400 card!), but want to take it to the level you have.

Thank you for the kind

Mike Diehl.'s picture

Thank you for the kind words. Unfortunately, my asterisk system calls a PostgreSQL database for configuration parameters and would probably not make much sense outside of that context. I also use a LOT of macros. This helps with maintainability.

BTW, I've started to resell my service to my friends. I don't make much money, but it's a lot of fun and we all save a buck or two.

If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me directly as I don't monitor this forum as often as I should.

Suggestion to help fighting spam

klurt's picture

You had mentioned in your article (great article, btw) that you're suffering from a deluge of spam.
One thing that I have done to greatly reduce the amount of spam I receive, is the use of Real-time Spam Black Lists (RBL) within my exim config file.

To reduce the collateral damage of legitimate emails, I have a daily cron send me an email of all RBL activity.

Combined with SpamAssassin, RBLs work very well for me.

I've considered using an RBL

Mike Diehl.'s picture

I've considered using an RBL to fight spam but the control freak in me gets in the way. I just can't seem to get around the fact that someone else is determining who can sent me mail and who can't. I know many people use these tools, so I'm sure it's just me....