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February 12, 2005

home automation

so this week i've been on a sort of home automation kick. i bought a couple of light timers. i bought some doodads for my outdoor lights that will turn those lights on when it gets dark out. those aren't so good-- the lights are dim. not sure why. nevertheless it's nice to come home to a lit house without having to go through an elaborate morning routine of light turning on (and having lights needlessly burning all day-- my grandpa would be so proud).

now the next thing i'm working on is having some music playing when i get home from work. here is my (yet to be fully thought-through) cockamamie scheme (note that the goal is to avoid all manual intervention and automate this whole process):

1) record radio shows i think i will like using iRecordMusic on the Cube in my office.
2) get them into iTunes (this may require some Applescripting, but I hope I can just save the files to a directory that iTunes will automatically pick up... yet to be investigated.)
3) get an airport express (they are $99 refurbished right now) to send the music from iTunes on the Cube out to the stereo in the living room. (possibly put the stereo on a timer, too, but i'm not so sure about doing that).
4) schedule iTunes to start playing a particular playlist (probably a Smart Playlist that will automatically pick up the latest recorded radio shows) right before i get home. This is easily done with a 3-line Applescript that is fired off by iCal.

if i actually get all of this working, y'all better do some killer radio shows so it's worth it! :)

a programmable thermostat will have to wait til i get a new furnace & a/c; christa says not all programmable thermostats are compatible with all furnaces, and since they're pricey-- around $300-- i don't want to get one now and then have to discard it in a few months.

Posted by lisa at February 12, 2005 07:32 PM | TrackBack

Comments

Just wait, I'll get you hooked on X10 and then you'll be totally screwed.

ed: doncha need a peecee to run that stuff?

Let me have a look at the light sensor dodads. Are your outdoor lights just regular incandescents?

ed: gladly. incandescents. i guess they just aren't getting as much wattage now?

Laurie and I drove by that house. She's intrigued.

ed: w00t!

Posted by: jason! on February 13, 2005 02:31 PM

My light sensor dodads weren't getting enough light to them. They weren't in direct light all the time, so they flickered weirdly.

Would podcasting software get the tunes into iTunes? I haven't done enough research on that yet.

Posted by: Steph Mineart on February 14, 2005 06:34 AM

i haven't looked into podcasting software yet, either, so i'm not sure.

Posted by: lisa on February 14, 2005 08:57 AM

X10 has a USB interface, and there is a bit of mac software that does just fine. It all costs more than the PC stuff, but you're used to that.

http://www.smarthome.com/1430.html

I'd also imagine that the linux software that works for free could be adapted with adeqate geekery.

One of the things that I find with some lighting controllers is that they don't "snap" on or off (the cheaper ones have this problem). There's also a feedback situation where the light from the controlled device falls on the sensor controlling it.

Posted by: Jason! on February 14, 2005 09:51 AM

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