an X10 christmas
After all this time hacking on X11
, I took a step back this holiday and installed an X10
house automation system. I had held off for years - primarily due to the overwelming invasivenes and html abuse of the the x10 web site - and my inherent hatred of an unreliable protocol (you can't tell if a module is on or off) - but the call of house automation could not be ignored.
I can finally make my mark on my house - as I have decided to stay - and making the house as easy to manage as I thought it would be (my god, managing the place is a hassle).
I shorted out the house twice along the way (* note 1 - no matter your faith in your own invulnerability, cut the circuit breaker before connecting the internal wall switch. * note 2 - is it the black wire that connects to the blue wire or the black wire that connects to the black wire? I can't remember - and remember to not do this stuff after 7PM - see note 1 - it's impossible to tell the difference between these two colors in the dark.)
The motion sensors are the best. It really is great to step outside, or pull up in the driveway, and have the outside lights switch on. The house says: "Welcome home!" Ahh... Two minutes later, the lights switch off - the electric company says: "waaaa.... "
I can now reach across my desk and turn on the stereo, the christmas tree, the lava lamp... there is a Linux interface
to it so I can control it all via the kerbango memorial radio and my wireless ipaq... if I get around to patching my kernel. I can see how metcalf's law applies - after doing half the house I NEED MORE MODULES to control the heater, the camera, the cat toy....
Heinlein once wrote about the lazy man - a guy that spent a lot of effort so completely automating his life that he could ultimately lounge in a hammock and take it easy - I want to be that guy - but I'd probably be bored. (song of the year - Stress
- by Jim's Big Ego. The song describes my 2002)
Now if only I could push a button on my remote control and get the property taxes paid and the sagging floor fixed!
In other news, Where's Cherie
made yahoo's Picks of the day
. Woohoo - Go Cherie! I have followed her adventures from the comfort of my deskchair for a over a year now!
Lets see - what else?
I have a bunch of longer blogs stacked up - one that I may take the time to finish today.
In trying to get to 1/100th of Doc
's unbelievable productivity, I decided what I really needed was an outliner
. I've been kvetching about that for a long time - it has really stopped me from writing larger pieces.
There are a bunch of good ones on DOS and Windows, but Linux lacks... about the best one I had found was called Buzz -
For a while I used a DOS one, then that machine died. I couldn't read the format with another tool...
Buzz did't quite do what I wanted to do... it was written in python, which I don't grok...
Then a couple months back I discovered Mathew Allum
. Aha! it worked on my ipaq
, and on my desktop. It used a simple xml based format, based on radio userland's OPML
standard. Best of all, the code was simple, and easy for me to understand... before I knew it I'd made the thing closer to Gnome HID compliant, and started work on getting the important features I needed going.
What I really need to be doing is writing - not writing an outliner - ah well - it was fun to spend a couple nights working out the concepts...
Here's source to a pre-pre-pre release figment
... more after I get cvs access.
You have to take time, every so often, to scratch your own itches. I have been very frustrated at work...
My vacuum cleaner is broke. I just have to order a roomba. Just have to...