Saturday, September 05, 2009

Lots of stuff

I just completed writing the initial Java/Groovy package to access the Elexol Ether IO24. I'll post the relevant information and code on my Getherio24 page when it's ready. At the moment there's a lot of code and Javadocs I need to work through. I know about the Perl EtherIO24 module written by Chris Luke, which means I can easily integrate that into Misterhouse. My Groovy project is meant for something else. Since I'm learning to program in Groovy (and relearning Java) I decided to write it in that language (yes both :-) ). Technically this will be my first project written in Java/Groovy. I'm really trying to get a better grasp of OOP. I've seen how well it works with Perl, which is not really an OO language, and decided I needed to learn more about OOP.

Last week I came across an article on the Schlage Link, a lock that you can unlock with your key, phone, computer ... you get the idea. For $12/month you can get the service which allows you to monitor and remotely access the lock. According to the web site you can use Z-Wave modules to turn on your lights, control your thermostats and access a camera. This sounds more like geek marketing (see what's in your frig, turn on lights from anywhere in the world). I do have to wonder about this (security, compatibility?) and I really don't like the $12/month for the service. If I had more Z-Wave I could probably figure out how to make it work without Schlage's service. I also found a, not so nice, review of the Link system here Schlage Link Review -- Watch out! (Feb09), here Schlage Link 2 months later questionable advertising? (Mar09), here Schlage link bridge and web portal 5 months later (May09), Zwave logo, branding and compatibility, what is it mean (Aug09). Note, that a there are a couple of common posters to these threads. The short of it is that there seems to be limitations with the Schlage system, they don't seem to live up to the extra features of their advertisements (such as working with the Trane thermostat and lamp modules) and there are questions about Z-Wave interoperability. Odd it seems that Schlage is not putting a lot of effort into this, here's an article on Engadget from Sept. 2008 - Schlage Link Web Controlled Z-wave Door Locks Priced Right Out Of Consideration. Seems I'm not the only one with questions.

Wow has the smart grid taken off. I see the term used by everyone. I don't know what it is but everyone's got it (this sounds like one of those 'them' things). I doubt anyone can really tell me what the technology is (again, security?). In my opinion it is today's marketing meme for a way to charge you for your information. I'm certain that this is just a new way to generate revenue. So it's $10 a month for your electric usage, $10 a month for gas, $10 a month for water, $10 for my frig, $10 for my radio, $10 for my TV (hey wait that's already $150 a month :-/ ), $10/month ad infinitum. I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here and I'm being nickeled and dimed. Hey marketing folks, this ain't gonna work! ...

Update: I downloaded the Discovery Channel's iPhone App to my iPod and one of the videos they had explained the Smart Grid finally! I think it's a great short video (thanks Discovery). I think I'll post another blog on the subject.


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