Laszlo Lives Again

02/09/2010 18:29

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 much speed.  It’s actually why we still fly 386 processors on the International Space Station.  Laszlo, as a result, is severely overpowered.  But then again, he has a decent iTunes interface, and we all know that iTunes is top heavy.  The benefit is that I initialize the home automation in a fraction of the time. 

            I’ve also streamlined the build.  Frankly, Laszlo 1.0 was hacked together over five years with sloppy code and patches.  For the new version, I started from scratch, copying over only a handful of scripts.  Consequently, Laszlo can’t do much right now.  I estimate he is about 4 or 5 years old at this point, in home automation years.  But he is up and running and reading the thermostats and most of the switches.  I’ve included some photos of the build.  As you can see, I dumped the guts of out of my 4-bay rack server.  I installed all new whisper fans and a new 400 watt power supply (Laszlo won’t draw anywhere near that wattage, but it allows for high startup hard drives to be installed for backup purposes).  The new dual core board is small, sacrificing two PCI slots for price.  But I figure I only need one for the controller modem.  The rest of the peripherals I can handle over USB these days.  And I installed 12 USB ports. 

            Welcome home Laszlo from a proud papa.  I’ll be passing out cigars shortly.