Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

Archive for August 2009

My new intern stirring my coffee…

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Written by hiway

August 22, 2009 at 9:32 am

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I am ready to step into the awesome land of Arduino / Freeduino

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This is a rant, not a short informational piece. I’ll summarize the next content for you if you are in a hurry: I’m getting a freeduino board, a small microcontroller system with many analog and digital interfaces and a decently powerful ATMega168 processor. I wanted to work on home automation since I was a kid. Since keeping a whole computer running for such projects seemed like a waste of energy, my small projects never were permanently set up. Now I plan to work on them.

 That’s about it 🙂 if you have too much time, read on:

 When in school, I participated in science fair every year. It is sad that most kids brought readymade kits to display. I had been taught to believe in making something myself. The projects were smallish, but encouraged and admired. Then came college where these things were considered silly – knowing formulas and definitions was in vogue. My boxes of junk (electronic spares, broken devices, odds and ends of various machines etc.) collected over the years slowly disappeared… until one day I realized I had become a ‘software guy’ who had forgotten how to create a basic circuit.

 Somewhere in between, I had these wild dreams of automating my home with all kinds of intelligent systems. Things that made my life inside the house more comfortable and saved labour and time so I could focus on more important things.

 Even today, many switches in our home bear numbers stuck on them – a memory of my decade old plan to map the switches and control some devices automatically.

 Switching on lights in a room when someone is present, switching it off after a while when everyone has left. Using the fan to maintain a nearly constant cool temperature (instead of power hungry AC. Switching on mosquito repellent occassionally, increase frequency if the screen door is left open longer.)

 We have a borewell, an underground tank that is refilled by a tanker that we pay for when the borewell is dry. The overhead tank must be kept filled, with either source – when electricity is available. Borewell should be turned on early morning, when water has accumulated and is not being pumped out by everyone else. The pump must be turned off if the borewell runs out of water (happens before summer), during/after summer, it sometimes goes dry. The underground tank’s pump must be operated only if there is enough water. We need to be alerted to call for the tanker when water is low, or alternatively the monitoring system sends SMS to the water tanker guy. We have mosquitos and assorted insects in the garden – to keep them out, we need screened windows and doors. The door does not have a spring because our cat doesn’t have a separate door – she can open the door, but if it remains open for more than few min, we should be warned.

 The neighbourhood is not very safe, small things are stolen if gate is open and unattended. I need to be warned when the gate opens or closes, and if it remains open for too long.

 I don’t want to have to turn on the porch light every night – an ambient light sensor should manage that for me. Hot water for bath and also for tea/coffee should be synchronized with my alarm automatically so when I have to wake up early, the devices rise before me 😉

 And someday, I wish to implement easy, non intrusive inventory system to create shopping list automatically, perhaps even order groceries online when the services are available in my town.

 Though I rarely watch TV, I’d like to be reminded of any shows I wish to watch, and the TV be turned on as I enter the room. Perhaps, the patterns for mute and unmute are detected by the remote clone sitting near the TV/Sat Receiver – and carried on automatically to keep the obnoxiously loud adverts under control.

 And I’d like to have my fave music play as the alarm while the lights gently increase their brightness as i wake up. Oh, I need to wake up from this daydream 🙂 let’s see how much of this is really achieved now that the technology is becoming more and more affordable and available. I am very excited, much like a kid who is waiting for a Christmas present 🙂

Written by hiway

August 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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Some People Never Learn…

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Written by hiway

August 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm

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I am The Hiway

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Made this badge/ comic/ intro to my twitter account while checking out http://www.toondoo.com

Written by hiway

August 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm

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We must save our Earth, instead we shave our Earth… #photo

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Written by hiway

August 2, 2009 at 2:50 am

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