X10 Home automation / Internet appliance
Techologies: Soekris Net4801, OpenBSD 3.5, HTTP and Perl
Files:OpenBSD 3.5 Soekris Image
*Please not that this is not
I was talking with a friend of mine, and the company he was working for had written an application
that would control X10 devices using a serial port attachment and a Visual Basic application that
would communicate with a server over the internet. The original programmer had written it so that
port forwarding would have to be enabled. This could cause problems because not everyone will forward
ports graciously and will usually block non-standard traffic.
I used a Soekris and trimmed down OpenBSD 3.5 to the bare bones,
and was able to get it to around 64MB. I actually got it a lot smaller( <16mb ), but needed perl and some other
applications that bloated the size of the install. Using this method, I was able to load the flash disk, boot the Soekris
and communicate with an X10 "firecracker" serial device. I then used perl to communicate with a remote web server and retrieve X10
commands from the server. The nice part about this, was that the communication was all http. This meant no router
intervention would (more than likely) ever need to occur.
Some other nice features where that the system had no moving parts and it could
have been further developed to configure itself from a remote webserver via XML. I also liked the idea of being able to communicate with lights at my home, say
when I am on vacation or visiting relatives. Another cool idea would be to get a Honeywell Thermostat and hook the Soekris device to it via serial,
and retrieve the current temperature conditions of your home. Alas, this was a prototype that never took off. It was kind of
expensive, probably in the neighborhood of $350 dollars per device. But it was fun while it lasted.
Dayton Museum of Natural History
Techologies: Soekris 4501, NetBSD, 802.11b
Perigrine Falcons - Webcam
This work was performed mainly by Jim Miller, while I assisted. We took two Soekris Net4501 embedded computers and
setup a wireless link between the historic AT&T building in downtown Dayton, Oh and our office. This allowed us to retrieve
images from the webcam and transmit them back to our office three blocks away.