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!
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.