Thursday, September 26, 2019

Smart Home Automation with Linux and Raspberry Pi

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Home Automation is anything that your home does for you that makes living there more enjoyable or productive. A Smart Home is one that appears to apply intelligence to make that happen.

To my friends, family, and visitors, my home is both smart and automated; I can e-mail my light switches, receive tweets from my CD player, and have a personalized TV guide e-mailed to me every day.

To me, my home is a collection of existing open source software, some consumer-level hardware, and small pieces of glue code that make them all interact. The magic happens in the way they are combined, and it’s those secrets that I’ll be exposing in this book.

The most cogent phrase in this field is probably “the devil is in the details.” Home Automation (HA) requires small confirmed tools that do a single, specific, job in much the same way that Unix utility software does one job, and does it well. Consequently, our decision to adopt Linux as the underlying operating system is no accident. Unlike the monolithic approach of Windows, we have large repositories of open source software that perform these individual jobs—SMS handling, media playback, X10 control, e-mail, web servers, speech synthesis, and everything in between is freely available—and, most importantly, interoperable.

Throughout the book I shall reference many different technologies and languages that I consider to be the most suitable to the task in hand. In some cases, this will refer to old technology that is no longer cutting-edge, as those are the devices that have been made to work effectively with Linux through (primarily) developer support. The glue code makes use of Perl, PHP, C++, and Bash. Each has been chosen according to the merits of the language and which modules made the task easier, and not with any presupposed advocacy.

The book begins by covering appliance control, and the whys, wherefores, and how to’s of controlling devices such as your kettle, CCTV, light switches, and TV from a computer. A multitude of technologies including X10, C-Bus, ZWave, ZigBee, and Hue are covered and explained. We continue by looking at other devices that you can build, adapt, or hack yourself from existing technology. The Arduino, for example, can be employed as part of an automated doormat that reminds you to take your umbrella when the weather forecast spells rain, or can remind you that today is the day that the rubbish is collected.

About the Author
About the Technical Reviewers
Chapter 1: Appliance Control: Making Things Do Stuff
Chapter 2: Appliance Hacking: Converting Existing Technology
Chapter 3: Media Systems: Incorporating the TV and the HiFi
Chapter 4: Home Is Home: The Physical Practicalities
Chapter 5: Communication: Humans Talk. Computers Talk
Chapter 6: Data Sources: Making Homes Smart
Chapter 7: Control Hubs: Bringing It All Together
Chapter 8: Raspberry Pi


Author Details
"Steven Goodwin" (London, England) has been involved in science and technology from an early age, building his first synthesizer while still in his teens. Since then, his projects have been wide and varied.

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