The Blog of Ian Mercer.

New Home Automation Server

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It's time to replace my ageing home automation server with a new PC. You can tell that the old one is dying because it's started to slur its words as it announces various events of interest like a car coming down the driveway, or the fact that it announces an event 10 minutes after it happened. I think the hard drive is provably failing again, seems to be a design fault of that old small form factor Dell where it cooks the hard drive.

Anyway, being somewhat conscious of the power consumed by my main machine (a dual-proc Xeon 3.2GHz), I've been waiting anxiously for the Pentium M or Core Duo chips to reach the desktop. Motherboards for both have been around for sometime and there's the odd news story about a manufacturer in Japan actually shipping complete systems but until now there's been very little over here beyond the bare components and a DIY assembly job.

Recently however I found someone who is making Core Duo desktops to order and I've ordered one up. Here's their web site: http://www.gcworkshop.com/parts/intelcoreduopc.htm

I'll let you know how it works out.

Related Stories

Cover Image for Home Automation

Home Automation

I've been working on home automation for over 15 years and I'm close to achieving my goal which is a house that understands where everyone is at all times, can predict where you are going next and can control lighting, heating and other systems without you having to do or say anything. That's a true "smart home".

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Digital Twins are never identical

Digital Twins are never identical

Digital Twin are an online representation of a real world object, a copy of its properties in the digital world and a way to send updated and commands to it. In effect I've been making them for years but now they have a trendy name.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
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Home Automation Sensors

An overview of the many sensors I've experimented with for home automation including my favorite under-floor strain gauge, through all the usual PIR, beam and contact sensors to some more esoteric devices like an 8x8 thermal camera.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Why smarthomes are hard

Why smarthomes are hard

Why automated learning is hard for a smart home. The perils of over-fitting, under-fitting and how the general unpredictable nature of life makes it hard to build a system that learns your behavior.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Collinearity test for sensor data compression

Collinearity test for sensor data compression

One way to reduce the volume of sensor data is to remove redundant points. In a system with timestamped data recorded on an irregular interval we can achieve this by removing co-linear points.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
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Event blocks

Home automation systems need to respond to events in the real world. Sometimes it's an analog value, sometimes it's binary, rarely is it clean and not susceptible to problems. Let's discuss some of the ways to convert these inputs into actions.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Logistic function - convert values to probabilities

Logistic function - convert values to probabilities

Another super useful function for handling sensor data and converting to probabilities is the logistic function 1/(1+e^-x). Using this you can easily map values onto a 0.0-1.0 probability range.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for ATAN curve for probabilities

ATAN curve for probabilities

In a home automation system we often want to convert a measurement into a probability. The ATAN curve is one of my favorite curves for this as it's easy to map overything onto a 0.0-1.0 range.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
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Home Construction Advice

Several years ago we did a major remodel. I did all of the finish electrical myself and supervised all of the rough-in electrical. I also put in all of the electrical system and water in our barn. I have opinions ...

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for T-Mobile home internet

T-Mobile home internet

I'm testing a T-Mobile Home Internet device as a backup to XFinity and a way to offload half our monthly traffic to avoid the XFinity 1.2TB cap

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Probabilistic Home Automation

Probabilistic Home Automation

A probabilistic approach to home automation models the probability that each room is occupied and how many people are in that room.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Multiple hypothesis tracking

Multiple hypothesis tracking

A statistical approach to understanding which rooms are occupied in a smart house

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for A state machine for lighting control

A state machine for lighting control

An if-this-then-that style rules machine is insufficient for lighting control. This state machine accomplishes 90% of the correct behavior for a light that is controlled automatically and manually in a home automation system.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Home Automation States

Home Automation States

Understanding the many different 'states' a house can have is critical to creating great home automation

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Graphing gigabytes of home automation data with tableau

Graphing gigabytes of home automation data with tableau

Some interesting charts from the gigabytes of data my home automation system produces

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for iBeacons for Home Automation

iBeacons for Home Automation

My investigations into using iBeacons for home automation

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for iBeacon meetup in Seattle - January 2015

iBeacon meetup in Seattle - January 2015

My notes on the iBeacon meetup in Seattle held in January 2015

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Home Automation Systems as a Graph

Home Automation Systems as a Graph

Using nodes and links to represent a home and all the devices in it

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for N-Gram Analysis of Sensor Events in Home Automation

N-Gram Analysis of Sensor Events in Home Automation

Using n-gram analysis to spot patterns in sensor activations

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Xamarin Forms Application For Home Automation

Xamarin Forms Application For Home Automation

Building a Xamarin Forms application to control my home automation system

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for The Internet of Hubs (and things)

The Internet of Hubs (and things)

Maybe it should be called the Internet of Hubs instead

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Showing home status with just a single RGB LED

Showing home status with just a single RGB LED

Multicolored LEDs can convey a lot of information in a small space

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for A wireless sensor network using Moteino boards

A wireless sensor network using Moteino boards

The diminutive Arduino boards include a powerful transmitter/receiver

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

JSON Patch - a C# implementation

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for The home as a user interface

The home as a user interface

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

A RESTful API for sensor data

POSTing data to a home automation system from Arduino devices

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for The Internet of Boilers

The Internet of Boilers

An experiment to measure every aspect of an HVAC / boiler system

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

VariableWithHistory - making persistence invisible, making history visible

A novel approach to adding history to variables in a programming language

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for A Quantified House - My Talk to the Seattle Quantified Self Meetup

A Quantified House - My Talk to the Seattle Quantified Self Meetup

My talk to the Seattle Quantified Self meetup

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Integrating an Android phone into my home automation system

Some new features for my home automation using an Android phone

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Before there was the web there was BeebTel

Just thought I should mention that I built a web-like system before the web existed

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

My first programme [sic]

At the risk of looking seriously old, here's something found on a paper tape

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
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The Internet of Dogs

Connecting our dog into the home automation

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for GreenGoose Review

GreenGoose Review

A review of the now defunct GreenGoose sensor system

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Home power meters revisited

Home power meters revisited

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Finally got the 1U Atom Server racked up

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Timelapse video using the GoPro HD Hero

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Home Automation Calendar Integration

Home Automation Calendar Integration

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Web site crawler and link checker (free)

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Smart home energy savings - update for 2010

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for A smart power strip

A smart power strip

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for What does a Smart House do at Halloween?

What does a Smart House do at Halloween?

My favorite home automation features for Halloween

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Home Automation Top Features

Home Automation Top Features

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for Weather Forecasting for Home Automation

Weather Forecasting for Home Automation

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

I should have created Four Square ...

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for How can I tell if my house is smart?

How can I tell if my house is smart?

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Asian Gadgets

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

A great video explaining the Semantic Web

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Interesting Twitter Posts March 15th-

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Twitter links for Week beginning March 8th

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Home Automation Block Diagram

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Elliott 803 - An Early Computer

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Facebook, social gaming and points

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Useful Twitter links Feb 8-Feb 15 2010

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

World's Smartest House Demonstration

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Looking forward to the new year and our new datacenter

Historical note about moving my servers into a datacenter

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

When will people learn to backup?

A rant about RAID

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Future proof your home with a new conduit system?

Running conduit can be expensive but maybe you don't need one to every room

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Balloon Boy was much ado about nothing - Twitter

Some of the more witty comments on Twitter about the Balloon Boy hoax

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Shortened URLs should be treated like a Codec ...

Expanding URLs would help users decide whether or not to click a link

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Tagging File Systems

Isn't it time we stopped knowing which drive our file is on?

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

WMPnetwk.exe started using 50% of my CPU

Uninstalling Windows Media Player - the end of an era

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Introducing Jigsaw menus

A novel UI for menus that combines a breadcrumb and a menu in one visual metaphor

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Amazon Instance vs Dedicated Server comparison

Some benchmark performance for Amazon vs a dedicated server

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Agile Software Development is Like Sailing

You cannot tack too often when sailing or you get nowhere. Agile is a bit like that.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

AntiVirus Software is the Worst Software!

When your anti-virus software starts stealing your personal data, it's time to remove it!

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Second Drobo Update

At this point things were looking up for my Drobo

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

It's all about disk speed

Why disk speed is the most critical aspect for most modern PCs and servers

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Comcast woes and a new monitoring utility

Monitoring a cable modem using its HTML management interface

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Core duo desktop machine runs cool

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
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Giving up on Internet Explorer

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Dell upgrades - a pricey way to go

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for World's Smartest House

World's Smartest House

Over 15 years of experimentation with home automation

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer
Cover Image for World's Smartest House Videos

World's Smartest House Videos

A collection of videos about my smart home efforts

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer