Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Okay so I'm early. My mind is a bit on overload with all these technologies running through my head and the events of the last week: a blizzard which I'm still digging out of and my friend George Poko passed away suddenly, rest in peace George. ;-( As his brother-in-law said at the wake: 'I've never heard an unkind word out of George's mouth'. In the 20+ years I've know him I can't say I know any other that can be said of.

As far as my technology overload goes, I'm in the middle of: Setting up cross-compilers for my embedded systems. Installing and learning Contiki for my AVR Ravens. Writing application device drivers in Perl for MisterHouse (MH). Learning AJAX, JSON, XML, SVG, & HTML 5 (also for MH & DollHouse). Attempting to architect the hardware and software of my DollHouse project (DH). Learning more about Java and Groovy. Reading & learning about ZigBee for HA. Pulling together all of my book marks (I can't keep all this info in my head). Looking for the Remote USB project (it was on Source Forge). Finding out about KickStarter & Make-and-Sell ( Documenting the whole shebang (really this becomes one of the hardest parts)! And, of course, putting my presentation together for April

Phew! That's a lot of stuff I'm absorbing but I need it for my DollHouse project (DH). I'm pretty sure that I won't be able to use KickStarter (an open source/non-business type of project funding). If I start producing hardware (which I'm designing for DH) then I'm more likely to go with Make-and-Sell so people can purchase the one-off boards. I am trying to use as much off-the-shelf stuff as possible but sometimes you just need something a little more specialized.

The cool part is all the little pieces are beginning to come together and the results look pretty good. We'll see who this scales. I still have a lot to learn but at least I'm willing to learn. I stil need a way to interface the touch devices to the web server. Some of the JavaScript/CSS/HTML doesn't work very well as it assumes a mouse. Now I need to find a standard way to deal with touch devices. As I said, much to learn.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's the holiday season, it's time to automate!

Yes it's that time of the year again when geeks, nerds and hardware hackers turn their minds to automating their holiday lights. ;-)

It's a busy time for me too as I squeeze is as much work as I can before the end of the year, burn off vacation days before the end of the year & prepare for the holidays. At home I'm busy with family, chores, tuning the home automation network and preparing my HA presentation for the Trenton Computer Festival (TCF) in April. So far I've got quite a bit working with MisterHouse (MH) loaded and running on the Plug Computer (I now have 2, a Sheeva and Guru Plus plug), the necessary device drivers, Insteon and X10 running remarkably well (I've reduced to one system controlling everything), various parts of MH documented on the MH Wiki (the MHT file format & the Floor Plan howto pages). I've also been busy adding functionality to the MH code. And finally I have Perl, Java and Groovy running on MH. I still have a ton of work to do before my presentation. I'll document that work on the Presentation page. I'm also working on adding a Insteon modules EZIO2x4 to MH and I've got a ZBPLM (Insteon, X10 and ZigBee) on the way. I won't have to do anything to support Insteon and X10 but the ZigBee will be interesting. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on some ZigBee devices next month.