Legitimate Question
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Thread: Legitimate Question

  1. #1
    ********** |ceWriterguy
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    Legitimate Question

    I ask this in all seriousness. Hopefully it won't get me negged to death.

    I am in the process of designing a new house for my family (just my wife and I, all our kids are grown). I've been about 3feet deep into 'home automation for dummies' and I love the concept, enough to want to implement it in my own house. Now, assuming $$ is no object, my question is which OS platform should I base my server from?

    So far I've decided there'll be a dualnet setup in my house, isolating the 'god server' from the real world as much as possible, the 2nd net will most likely be t1?-csu/dsu-router&firewall-workstations (so we can surf our pr0n at leisure, and the refridgerator can order next week's groceries). I'm planning the 'everyday' workstations to use either XP Pro or RH with gui since Mrs |3 knows not the penguin. What about the server? I mean... it'll be Godlike in all respects - dual processor, maxram, raid5 hotswap, the works. What o/s, and how much automation software is there out there to help me out?
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

  2. #2
    Blast From the Past
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    sounds like your setting up a small-medimum buisness in your house boyo....props
    and you need to introduce the mrs. |3 to linux...if she knows computers at all they might get along
    work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger

  3. #3
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    There are several different ways to go in setting up a house on an automated format.

    You can, as you have suggested, make use of a dedicated box (server or pc) and use third party software or scripts -- or even write your own.

    Or you can use process controllers that while not as versital, are safer and respond better to power outages and grey outs.

    A friend of mine used a combination of both. Lighting, heat/cooling, and security being based on a process control system -- and higher functions being controlled by a PC. He has it intergraded so that the system can tell the difference between a fire and or breakin and phone the correct people, but if he would lose power for a while and the PC didn't reset itself, a general emergency call would be generated in case of need.

    He also has quite a intrusion detection system around and inside his house. Sort of like you would expect from Startrek or something.

    I believe it only cost him approx $3000 US for the equipment he uses, but he did set it up himself.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  4. #4
    ********** |ceWriterguy
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    Sounds like a sweet setup and something much lower priced than what I was expecting. Mind getting the software names/vendors from him and pm'ing 'em to me?
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

  5. #5
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    Most of his system is by process controllers and the soft ware and hardware are all inclusive. On the part he is using a PC on he coded the scripts he is using himself.

    He is using at least one application that he got from the company that his security system is tied to. I am not sure what that company is, but it provides 24 hour monitoring of his house and has a tie in to his phone system. The application he got from them ties into it and provides for more versitility in his system unless his PC goes down and then it reverts to the alarm company defaults. His default alarm system is from this company and then he has added his own layered defense to that. He did have to use devices (some sensors and some connecting devices ) that were approved by this security company to connect to their equipment.

    He told me he found the basic set up on the net and modified it to suit his needs and the security companies needs. (Sorry don't have a clue as to where he found it, I emailed him, but don't know when he will answer me either).

    edit: the costs I quoted (approx.) are just for hardware that he had to buy above the cost of the basic alarm system and service contract. They probably don't enclude the PC he is using either.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Unless you're going to have your buds over to LAN at your house, with your server hosting the different multiplayer games and other things, the dual CPU bit is somewhat excessive. But if money is no object, I suggest building a huge freaking file server where the processor doesn't really matter. Think of two 8-way RAID-5 arrays of 250GB drives. Should give you about 3.5TB of storage space. Or you could go up to dual 12-way, and get ~5.5TB of space. At this point you'd need to definatley consider a parrallelized and redundant power delivery system in the $200+ to $500+ range, because the load would be enough from just the 16 drives to kill pretty much any consumer level powersupply.

    My plans to utilize this storage would be to build a networked TiVO type system (with Linux & MythTV), where you could access videos and such from anywhere in your house. Probably a bit excessive on the storage front, but if there is absolutely no budget continue reading to where I show the cost of a fraction of this...

    Of course the cost of just a single high quality 8-way 250GB RAID-5 HDD setup is going to be about $2K. That doesn't include solving the power issues, CPU, motherboard, or anything else like gigabit network.


    BTW, Home Automation is called "Domotics" or something funky like that. I don't know too much about it, but this Wikipedia article has some links near the bottom that might be of interest -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_automation

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