The idea of a Linux media center intrigues me. I’d love to find a combination of free software applications delivering the level of usability I get from the actively developed media center apps like Beyond TV, SageTV and Microsoft’s XP MCE. So far, the usability falls down at some point in the process for anyone who’s not a hardcore geek. At first glance, this intrigue is what makes Tom Lynema’s Ubuntu media center implementation look compelling. Tom walks through the hardware used to create his media center configuration, as well as a number of tricks for configuring hardware drivers. For many usability reasons, I’m sticking with a Windows-based media center implementation for the foreseeable future, but it appears Linux solutions continue to evolve.