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You can certainly build a TiVo-like device using commodity PC parts and Linux. The two most popular programs for the front-end for this are MythTV and FreeVo. You would need to check whether that supports exactly the same hardware as your WinNT Media PC or not (PC hardware manufacturers have a habit of only releasing Windows drivers for their components, so you need to check that the capture card etc have good Linux drivers). Dual booting Windows and Linux isn't a problem. There are plenty of people who find TiVo a bit too limiting who have built their own like this.

However a TiVo is not a suitable base for such a project. Although it runs Linux, it's not a PC. You'll notice it doesn't have a keyboard. Or a mouse. Or a VGA card. Or the same type of CPU as a PC. Or very much RAM. And you can't add any of those things to it. TiVoes are 'embedded' devices - they build on commodity hardware and software to create a custom solution to a very tightly defined problem and end up looking and working nothing like a PC, even if that's what they derive from.
 

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Actually the original Macs used Motorola 68000 chips. The current Macintosh architecture is PowerPC (although the actual CPU chips probably have very little in common with the chips in the rovers - those would be derived from designs that are many years old).

A modern PowerPC chip like the G5 would be a disaster on a space mission - all those tiny transistors make it very sensitive to high-energy particles like cosmic rays.

And before someone asks, no, you can't install Windows XP Media Centre on Spirir...
 
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