Home Automation

02/12/2014 23:16

Necessity of Modular Design

As we transition to our next technological revolution, that of Home Automation and Wearable Computing, we are going to face two problems.  The first is the problem of how to tech up wearable items that are, for the most part, bordering on disposable.  The other is how to design home...


02/12/2014 22:46

Longevity of Home Components

One of the premier problems that designers of home automation products will have to deal with is the longevity of the common home.  Unlike the given lifetime of a smartphone, a computer, or any typical overpriced consumer electronic, home components are expected to live the life of the house,...


02/09/2010 18:29

Laszlo Lives Again

I’m happy to report that Laszlo, the home automation computer, is back with us.  The 2.0 version sports a dual core processor, more onboard cache, and significantly faster memory.  Of course, home automation mostly just telemeters bit commands and so the computer doesn’t really require...


08/27/2009 14:32

That Special Visitor (or how to securely let someone into your house on the cheap)

Because I keyed every lock in my house off a master, I don’t like letting anyone borrow a key.  If I were to lose a key, it would require changing 11 locks.  It takes me on average of 20 minutes to rekey a lock (yes, I’m very slow) so I came up with a way to let people into my...


01/10/2009 17:56

Ghost in the machine

The problem with X-10 technology is, well, X-10 technology.  Now I must caveat that it works very well on clean lines.  The problem is that there are several "dirty devices" that produce an inordinate amount of line noise.  For the last few months, I've been chasing a pest in my...


11/02/2008 07:29

Night Lights

One of the nicest aspects of having a central home computer is that I can tie in the lighting system to the alarm system. This gives me an inexpensive way to create a feedback control loop using $10 motion sensors.  When I built the house, I made the decision to run extra...


10/01/2008 10:35

Laszlo Online

I'll try to slowly migrate all of the tip and tricks from my last site.  I don't think I'll have enough time to moderate a forum so I apologize in advance.  Laszlo, the super smart guy who lives in the closet, was named after Lazlo Hollyfeld from the movie Real Genius.  I named him...