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Well, well... it's been almost a year since my last post. While I've done some random X-10 stuff in my new apartment (a few lamps, seasonal Christmas lights...), I haven't really done any MisterHouse work. The apartment's just too small (okay, it's way bigger than the dorm room... but that was different) to have the superloud MisterHouse server running. Hopefully we'll be moving into some kind of house soon, and hopefully MisterHouse will be able to flex his muscles.

I did get a 3com Audrey a couple of months ago, with hopes of integrating it into the house system... since I don't have that running yet its purpose in life is being questioned...

That's all the good news for now... hopefully I'll be able to update again soon.
posted by David Miller 3/8/2002 06:32:20 PM

X-10 helps in school projects...

Back when I first started using X-10, I gave an informational speech about it in my Public Speaking class. Now, it seems that X-10 is coming in handy for another class.

Mike and I are working on a project for our research methods class in which we tape computer help desk conversations, survey the participants (employee and student being helped), and the analyze the conversation according to the data collected. So how can we inconspicuously turn on the tape recorder? A PalmPad RF controller, and an X-10 transceiver module, of course!

We had some more complicated ideas, like setting up a laptop with a webcam and firecracker, so we could turn on the tape recorder from one of our rooms whenever someone came to be helped, and even have the webcam give an alarm when motion was detected. Lack of a webcam and lack of motivation have prevented us from doing this as yet. Also, the fact that we were only given a week to conduct the experiment limits the effort put into setting things up...
posted by David Miller 4/25/2001 01:54:05 AM

MisterHouse is offline for the moment... My main computer stopped working after I tried installing some more RAM, so I'm stuck using my HA box for my main computing activities... and it's just too slow to run MH on a P166 while I'm trying to do other stuff.

I downloaded a couple of simple macros into the CM-11 from Activehome, so those are controlling the lights right now, as well as RF controllers scattered throughout the room. I really miss the ease of MH, and can't wait till I get this computer fixed so I can start using it again.

On another note, I'll be done with GCC soon (graduation is May 19th), and so I'll be working on using HA in whatever apartment I'll be living in, in whatever city I have a job.
posted by David Miller 4/25/2001 01:48:05 AM

Oh, and I tried out the thermostat setback... much to the chagrin of the maintenance crew. Now see, the thermostat in our room controls the heat for this whole side of the hall. And there's something wrong with the radiators in the suite at the end... so our heat is turned all the way up by the maintenance staff. So last semester, we had removed the protective thermostat cover and reduced the heat to a reasonable level (when the heat's over 80 degrees, measures need to be taken). So the guys at the end of the hall whined, and the staff turned the heat back up and recovered the thermostat, this time with a cover we couldn't easily remove.

Here's where the X-10 thermostat set-back comes in. I placed one of these underneath the thermostat, and for a couple of days my roommate and I enjoyed a pleasant 70 degrees in our room. But then the staff was called back in. They ripped down the setback and made sure the thermostat was once again on full blast. Grrr. Luckily, warmer weather is approaching, and the heat will be turned off, leaving us in open-window, moderate temperature bliss...
posted by David Miller 4/5/2001 02:15:22 AM

Yeah, so I haven't really visited Blogger for quite some time. Sorry bout that. I've implemented a weblog by greymatter as my homepage, and have done some serious modification and design with that. I've also been working on the RhoLog. Oh yeah, and schoolwork. So I haven't given much of my time to all things automation. My bad.

Anyway, Windows 95 finally crashed on me today, after 49 days and some hours of uptime. I'm pretty sure there's a bug that causes a crash about that often in 95. So yeah. Anyway, I successfully rebooted and restarted MH (after remembering, without a monitor, that I had put a boot password on the machine). So that's good. I still have an extra 2 gig drive waiting for a home, and I'm definitely planning on installing Linux on the machine sometime... it's just that it's so hard to do without while I'm learning to do Linux. Grrr.
posted by David Miller 4/5/2001 02:03:22 AM

I haven't updated this log for half a month now, and the reason is that everything has been running fine. I haven't bought any new stuff since the hard drive(s), and MisterHouse has been behaving quite well. MisterHouse has been up for 19 days without a hitch, and the Win95 system it's running on has been up for 20. Pretty impressive...
posted by David Miller 3/6/2001 06:46:26 PM

Yesterday I installed a SCSI adapter card and 2.1 GB SCSI drive (Seagate ST12550N) in the HA computer. It was a bear. The SCSI card was looking for IRQ's taken by my other devices, and I eventually had to remove the soundcard, force the SCSI adapter's IRQ, and then replace the sound card after everything was working. But all seems okay now, except for the decibel level of the new drive.

Through a shipping messup, I also received a duplicate drive in the mail today. Upon alerting the seller, they simply told me to keep it. Now I just need to find space to put the extra full-height 3.5" drive...
posted by David Miller 2/14/2001 07:16:11 PM

I finally plugged the monitor cable directly into my main tower, meaning that my HA comp is strictly TV-out/VNC controlled now. The only problem I had is remembering to type in my boot password (the TV-out doesn't kick in till Windows loads). No more ghosts!
posted by David Miller 2/9/2001 08:49:41 AM

Last night I played around with the "play" command, and added a .wav file to a serial event. Pretty neat. Now whenever I turn certain lights on (only via an external controller at the moment... I'm working on it...) a .wav file plays some music.
posted by David Miller 2/8/2001 09:00:03 AM

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