May 09, 2007

Home, Geek Home

Last night I completed the geekiest project of my life. (Okay, there may be one geekier thing, but not by much)

Now that we're in a house, I resurrected an old computer with the intention of broadcasting music on FM, so I can turn on any radio throughout the house and hear the same music.

That's pretty geekie, but it gets worse.

I wanted to have easy remote access to the computer, and customize it with my own scripts and such. So I installed Linux on it instead of Windows. Geeky, yes, but that's nothing.

Here's what I did:

I ordered an x10 wall switch online, a special type of switch that can be controlled by my computer. I replaced our outside porch light switch with it.

I then hooked up a bluetooth adapter to the Linux machine.

Once that was working, I wrote a program which senses the bluetooth on my phone (or Amy's phone) to detect when we arrive home for the day. If it's late, it turns on the porch light so we can see where we're going and get our key in the door.

So basically, I now use a linux computer, bluetooth, and x10 to do what a $30 motion sensing porch light from Home Depot would have done.

But mine is so much cooler.

Posted by Kevin at May 9, 2007 01:56 PM

Nice work, Kevin!

What language did you write the program in?

Posted by: Brian Kelly at May 9, 2007 07:56 PM

It's nothing special, just PHP. The real work is done by the linux "hcitool" for detecting bluetooth, and "heyu" for interacting with x10.

I'll publish it here eventually.

Posted by: Kevin at May 9, 2007 08:14 PM
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