Sunday, October 31, 2010

xPL Dockstar

Installing xPL-Perl was uneventful. I wanted to install the Linux::Joystick package for Perl, but that required make and some other Linux tools. That wasn't much of a problem since using apt-get to install everything worked flawlessly. Installation was quick and the joystick package compiled fairly fast. Even installing the full Emacs distribution was easy. This is unlike my experience with the Linksys NSLU2 (aka slug), which has a processor that's 4.5 times slower than the Dock. With Linux::Joystick installed, a cheap $5 USB gamepad from DealExtreme and a free 4GB flash drive, I now have a $30, 10 input IP based contact closure device. Best of all, it uses only 3 watts of power. I am contemplating replacing my 2 Slugs with Docks and maybe getting a few more to have just in case I find something to use them for - so you better buy some before I do! ;)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Toy - Seagate Dockstar

Just received the Seagate Dockstar that I got for $25 shipped. It's another one of those devices looking for a problem. Not exactly sure what I'm going to use it for, but it's getting hacked first. I've installed Debian on it via this method. Obviously, the first thing I'm going to try to get running on it is xPL and xPL-Perl looks like the way to go.

I also just received a Pandigital Novel 7" EReader/Android tablet. This is my second go-round with this device. I did buy it when it first came out and played around with it, but ultimately returned it as it's a bit sluggish. Since then, there's been a lot of work done on custom firmware mods that may make it a little more bearable. So, that's something I plan on testing out on it. I got it from Kohl's for about $85+tax.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

xPLGMail Now Sends Mail

The next logical evolution for xPLGMail is to expand from checking to sending email. Version 1.1 does just this and is available now. Now, you don't need to install an SSL gateway like Stunnel to send short email messages through GMail - just issue an xPL command to xPLGMail and it takes care of the rest. More details available here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

xPLGPower - Interface to Google powermeter Released

I've released xPLGPower, which lets you upload your power measurements to Google powermeter using simple xPL control.basic messages. Check it out and donate if you like it :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

xPLGMail Application Released

I had originally hacked up a Python script to use as a GMail notifier. I finally decided to write an app to do it instead. The app will check up to 5 accounts. Version 1.0 is available here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Consolidation and Clean Up

It's been about 10 years since I started using the first beta copies of StarCOM with our home automation system. That was when I learned how to build ASP pages to communicate with StarCOM. About 3 years ago, I started building our floorplan GUI using AJAX and MySQL, which required running Apache web server. So the last few years I've had Apache and IIS running, but this week, I decided it's time to get rid of the ASP stuff. I've been converting 10 years worth of ASP pages (it's not really that much) over to CGIs running on Apache. Last night, I finished converting all the heavily used ASP pages and pulled the plug on IIS. As a result, the server gained about 100-150 MB of free RAM in addition to a little more stability and simplicity.