Friday, January 29, 2010

A GUI Scripting Engine

This is very cool. Sikuli is a scripting engine that allows you to automate almost any interaction with a GUI. It can find visual elements on your screen given screen captures of what you're looking for.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad Thoughts

I don't use Apple products, but I was interested in their iPad announcement as I'm eagerly waiting for cheap tablets to use as home automation control panels. I have to admit, the $500 starting price is a lot lower than I expected, but I don't think they really had any choice. CES was filled with so many cheap tablets that Apple didn't have much pricing room, even with the Apple premium. The low iPad price should mean a very competitive tablet market. I'm hoping for some $200ish tablets in the near future.

In the meantime, I haven't done much HA work lately. I tend to do stuff in spurts and this is one of those idle periods.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

xPLWav Enables Remote Controlled WAV Playing

I've released another app, xPLWav, which allows you to make a remote computer play a WAV file. I'm using this in combination with our Noise app to automatically scold our dog when he's barking and we're not home :) This app is necessary since the closet PC to where our dog usually barks (and where Noise is installed) is not the HA server. To do this, I've recorded WAV files of us saying corrections ("Quiet!", "Stop that!", etc.) and upon a short period of no noise, an automatic praise is played ("Good dog!", etc.) So far it's working. Anyway, give it a try.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Noise 1.1 A Complete Rewrite

I wasn't really happy with the XAML based GUI of my original Noise app. It required .NET 3.5 which limited what machines it could run on. I didn't like the configuration method I chose either. So, I completely rewrote it. Same link as before.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Using Google Visualization API for Power Monitoring

I just started playing around with the Visualization API today and it's pretty cool. Here's a short screencast I just did showing real-time power usage from our Brultech ECM-1240 power monitor. Every second, data from the ECM-1240 is stored in MySQL. The gauges are in a simple HTML page with a little AJAX to fetch the power data each second from MySQL. The API takes care of the graphics and updating them.

Monday, January 4, 2010

xPLGPix connects xPL to Google's Picasa Web Albums

Continuing with my Google tangent, I've just created a new app called xPLGPix. If you send it an xPL message specifying an album and JPG file, it will upload the picture to the specified album on Google's Picasa. You can read more about it here. I've tested it just a little, so it may be a little rough around the edges.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

xPLGSheet: An xPL interface to Google Doc Spreadsheets

I'm welcoming in 2010 with a new app called xPLGSheet. It allows you to query and edit a GDocs spreadsheet using xPL messages. Aside from the typical use of automated updates of a database, this app opens up possibilities of syncing remote systems via a shared spreadsheet. For more, go here.