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[ale] Good think clients to use for house automation/kids/tv

I am working with a friend of mine to slowly get his house setup for 
home automation.  He is trying to get his house setup as a demo house 
for home automation packages, an entrepreneurial business he owns.  He 
is not the most tech savvy guy I have ever met, but he has some money 
and a strong desire to make this work.  I was hoping that someone at ALE 
has had some experience with thin clients and home automation with linux.

He has two daughters in grade school and would like them to have thin 
clients in their rooms.  He would also like to have streaming video to 
his TV's and possibly some other thin clients for things such as 
security management, lighting control, sprinkler control, and anything 
else he can roll into the home automation package.  I am aware that he 
may not need thin clients for all of this, but I would still like to 
understand my options.

His primary system is an Ubuntu 9.10x64 desktop system.  Because issues 
with the mobo and 10.04 we cannot upgrade until drivers and other issues 
are figured out on the linux side.  It is a core2 quad with 8 gigs of 
ram, 2 gig nics, and plenty of storage capacity.  I am hoping that 
setting up roaming user accounts and terminal services is a fairly 
straight forward task.  Whether it is or not, I could use some input on 
this subject as well.

The more important issue is pricing or building the thin clients.  Is 
there a good company to look into when buying thin clients for this type 
of environment.  I am very inexperienced with this type of hardware and 
generally inexperienced with linux as whole.  Any help would be greatly 

Thanks for your time.

Joshua Roberts