Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Updated OpenRemote

First, Happy St. Patrick's day! :-)

For the past few months it's looked like OpenRemote hasn't been doing much. Quite the contrary! I know that Marc Fleury and Juha Lindsfor have been quite busy and they're about to show off their work. If you visit the site you will see a major update to the site. Also there is going to be some photos and descriptions of some of the tools and software to be used with OpenRemote. I'm looking forward to the day when I've completed my current degree and I can begin putting more time into coding. Right now I'm busy with school and learning Java, Groovy and AI. I have much to learn and in doing so I hope, much to offer. Let's face it I have plenty ideas but I don't often have the knowledge to implement them. I'm confident that OpenRemote will bring something completely new to the Smart Home party.

My vision of OpenRemote has Groovy as the user programming language extension (don't worry most people will just use the web front end), it will have remote command line access like a cisco router and include the expect library. This is not all of the features but these are some things I've been giving thought to. Marc has been razzing me about me clinging to the command line but I've found that, for diagnostics the command line is hard to beat when things are really down. Of course this command line may just be a bash shell with the appropriate tools (that's work). But the Groovy extension I think will be very cool. Getting fancy with it could mean we have threaded processes (something not easily done on othe smart home software). This will be a great tool for user extensibility. One library/tool I hope to get working is Expect. I've used Expect with Tcl and it makes talking to various devices incredibly easy. With Groovy I think we can extend that even further. Of course first I'll need to create working examples in Groovy. :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Morning mish-mash (miscellaneous madness/mutterings)

I've been busy with the usual and I haven't been able to get out my 'misc. mutterings'. First I'm very happy to see that the OpenRemote folks are busy. They've actually been very quiet but busy behind the scenes. There's no w new site (note to self update link on LinuxHA). I was starting to get worried with the long period of quiet. At the moment I am frustrated as I don't understand what is going on and I have ideas but I don't know how to articulate them. On the other side of the fence, the experts are telling me here's how we're doing it and I don't know if I understand. Very frustrating! Either way I'm busy reading up on Java and Groovy (very neat) and getting ideas (I'll detail my ideas in another blog entry). Juha mentioned OSGi and I'm also reading up about that (boy am I feeling stupid). I really should calm down there are things I'm good at and I can't be good at everything

In my media course we're learning everything about media (the Internet, TV, radio, news magazines books, etc.) and we're looking at the failures of newspapers (and by extension magazines). I'll just say it's complicated and leave it at that. Initially I thought the papers were buggy whips, something we no longer need. But after reading the chapter there is an argument for them and it's the local news. Something our state/local papers have failed to do. Our county papers have done a much better job and I'm hoping they can survive. Unfortunately they're owned by the state wide papers.

I was worried about the magazines I subscribe to, Circuit Cellar, Nuts and Volts and Servo Magazine. I just started subscribing to the last two but I've been a follower of Circuit Cellar since the Byte magazine days. All three are electronic subscriptions. While it's not great for bathroom reading but more convenient otherwise. I'll work on finding a touch screen for use in the bathroom. ;-) I really can't do without my Circuit Cellar, I would feel totally disconnected from the world of Computer, Electronics and Engineers without it. But, gratefully, Steve Ciarcia tells me that the Electronic version is embracing more web technology. In addition to the normal full magazine features, it also contains a special bonus section of project shorts. I'm not worried about the quality as I know what to expect because of years of previous Circuit Cellar material. Now I just can't wait for the new "Digital Plus" to arrive so I can get my hands on it. Here's a few samples of what's available: ads that include "see before you buy" video demonstrations and Circuit Cellar YouTube Channel. One of the first videos I looked at was Irrigation Control. It's a Greener Lawn Irrigation System (the link is to the contest entry). This is a sample of smart home technology done right. Something of an idea I've only been toying with for the past couple months. Now that's cool! In case your wondering, yes I actual purchase materials from the Circuit Cellar advertisers. It's on of the first places I look for material I need. Having the electronic version makes it even easier to search. Circuit Cellar looks like it'll survive nicely.