Linux Smart Homes for Dummies

Overview

A Linux smart home is about controlling and monitoring devices and information around your home using a standard personal computer, Linux, and its vast array of open source tools. You don’t have to be a master programmer to create one. If you like to tinker with Linux, Linux Smart Homes For Dummies will guide you through cool home automation projects that are as much fun to work on as they are to use.


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Overview

A Linux smart home is about controlling and monitoring devices and information around your home using a standard personal computer, Linux, and its vast array of open source tools. You don’t have to be a master programmer to create one. If you like to tinker with Linux, Linux Smart Homes For Dummies will guide you through cool home automation projects that are as much fun to work on as they are to use.


Home automation used to be limited to turning on lights and appliances, and maybe controlling your thermostat and lawn sprinkler, from your computer. While you still might not be able to create all the Jetsons’ toys, today you can also



  • Build a wireless network

  • Create and set up a weather station

  • Automate your TV and sound system

  • Spy on your pets when you’re not home

  • Set up an answering system that knows what to do with calls

  • Increase your home’s security



If you know how to use Linux and a few basic development tools — Perl, the BASH shell, development libraries, and the GNU C compiler—Linux Smart Homes For Dummies will help you do all these tricks and more. For example, you can



  • Discover the best sources for Linux-based home automation devices

  • Set up a wireless network, create a wireless access point, build a bridge between wired and wireless networks, and route your own network traffic

  • Build a personal video recorder with MythTV that will record to DVD, or set up a wireless streaming music system

  • Create a smart phone system that takes messages and forwards them to your fax, modem, or answering machine

  • Build a weather station that notifies you of severe weather alerts

  • Control and secure your home automation network, and even check on your house when you’re away



The bonus CD-ROM includes all kinds of cool open source software for your home automation projects. Linux Smart Homes For Dummies even includes lists of cool gadgets to check out and great ways to automate those boring household chores. A smart home’s a happy home!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764598234
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/7/2006
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Cherry has been working with computers, computer electronics, and software since 1978. He has been playing with X10 since 1982. He began automating his home in 1992 when a friend gave him an X10 computer interface, and he started the Linux Home Automation Web site (www.linuxha.com) in 1996. When he’s not riding his bicycle or playing with home automation, he works for AT&T Research Lab South, Middletown, NJ, as a Test Engineer. You can reach him by e-mail at linuxha@linuxha.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.


Part I: Bringing the Future Home.


Chapter 1: Exploring the Possibilities of Home Automation.


Chapter 2: Filling Your Home Automation Toolkit with Linux Software.


Part II: Connecting Multiple Computers without the Wires.


Chapter 3: Going Wireless.


Chapter 4: Creating a Wireless Access Point.


Chapter 5: Routing Network Traffic for Free.


Part III: Entertaining Your Brain with a Little Help from Linux.


Chapter 6: Building a Personal Video Recorder with MythTV.


Chapter 7: Streaming Music without the Wires.


Chapter 8: Having Fun with a Webcam.


Chapter 9: Setting Up a Smart Phone System.


Part IV: Keeping a Linux Eye on the Sky.


Chapter 10: Letting Linux Watch the Weather For You.


Chapter 11: Getting Online Weather Information.


Chapter 12: Staying Comfortable with Thermostat Controls.


Part V: X10-ding Your Environment with Home Automation.


Chapter 13: Introducing X10 Home Automation.


Chapter 14: Going Wireless with X10.


Part VI: Controlling and Securing Your Automation Network.


Chapter 15: Controlling Your House with MisterHouse.


Chapter 16: Controlling X10 from MisterHouse.


Chapter 17: Using the Web Interface for Remote Control.


Chapter 18: Remotely Accessing Your MisterHouse Controls.


Part VII: The Part of Tens.


Chapter 19: (Nearly) Ten Cool Chores You Can Automate.


Chapter 20: Ten Gadgets Worth Checking Out.


Appendix.


Index.

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