Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time Flies

Has it really been almost four months since my last post? Things have been incredibly busy at work, and I haven't had much time to blog since summer. We had a major liquidity event recently, and the build up to that and the aftermath, has been an increased focus on the product I'm working on. Needless to say, the stupid crazy work schedule for a grossly understaffed project has been ramped up again. While it's great to have a cash reward for 2 1/2 years of manic, startup work, what I really want is time off.

I have been able to do some things here and there. One much needed housekeeping chore I did was cleaning up a bunch of wiring around the house and garage and putting all the exterior cameras and motions on a single 12V power supply (so they can easily be put on a UPS). Another project I've been working on is gradually cleaning up the jobs that run on my HA server, mainly in preparation to build a new one. It's a 6.5 year old Core2 Duo system running XP. Eventually I want to put in a new i3 or i5 server.

As part of that cleanup, I started testing putting some hardware on one of the BeagleBone Blacks I bought. I put the Aeon Labs ZStick on the BBB, installed OpenZWave and added xPL functionality to their Python sample code. After some testing, I moved ZWave permanently over from the HA server to the BBB and turned off my .NET app. Another thing I moved was 1Wire. I installed DigiTemp on the BBB to read the DS9097U 1Wire network and wrote more Python to dump the temperature data to mySQL. With that, I turned off another of my .NET apps.

Is there a pattern here? Possibly. I have gotten tired of .NET apps running on XP but not on Windows 7 or breaking after a Windows update. The ever growing, bloated Visual Studio tools are another negative. I don't think I can get away completely from .NET, but I can reduce some of the dependencies I have by coding in Python. Of course, coding in Python means a certain Premise user on CocoonTech (who doesn't understand blogs, thinks they're hard to read and should be organized by topic instead of date) will have an easy time stripping the headers and credits from my code and passing it off as his own.

I also funded this Arduino project on indiegogo getting 5 boards, 2 for the kids and 3 for future projects. Haven't had much time to work on them, other than powering up and downloading sample code to make sure they work. Recently, I've been searching EBay for various sensors for these boards to play around with. Borderless Electronics, has now come back with a follow up campaign, featuring various combinations of a kit, board and shield. I'm also contributing, to get some shields for my Arduinos, so they can be network enabled.

While on the topic of crowdfunded projects, I also backed the Pressy project. This is going to be a great way to kick things off on my Note II, like triggering my voice recognition home automation script.