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Author Topic: Plug Computing  (Read 21772 times)

anthonylavado

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Plug Computing
« on: November 21, 2010, 03:26:48 PM »

Hey all
Just figured we'd group whatever discussion is taking place on Plug Computing, and what solutions people are using.

I'm personally running a PogoPlug v2 Grey that I picked up from my work when it was on a steal of a sale. I've got PlugBox Linux from PlugApps.com, a natively compiled Arch Linux ARM distro. I just picked up two CM17A Firecrackers from a fellow who was selling them nearby. I hooked it up with a cheap Serial - USB adapter from my work with a Prolific PL2303 chipset, works like a charm.

It's approximately four feet away from my CM15A, which picks up the RF without any issue. I have my P4 which runs AHP and all my mobile plug-ins set to Wake On LAN, so it's available if I need it.

My next step is to pick up X10 Commander for my iPhone and set it up with Brandt's shell script.

I'm also looking into playing around with Julius like in Brandt's video involving his Synology NAS. My units are in the corner of my finished basement, near the breaker panel. We have VoIP and separate lines run for Digital Cable, so I can use the house's RJ-11 or Coax as needed. 

What else is everyone doing with their devices? I don't care if it's a GuruPlug, Sheevaplug, PogoPlug, Seagate Dockstar, or TonidoPlug, let's hear it!
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Tuicemen

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 06:00:28 PM »

anthonylavado  :)+
 I'm to interested in what others are doing with these.
I'm looking into adding one of these to my off grid cottage so I can start my furnace and various other devices from home before I start my trip there.
Maybe have it pluged into a x10 outlet so it only comes on at a certain day/time.
The more detailed your posts are will help me decide which way to go!
 >!
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anthonylavado

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 06:40:13 PM »

Maybe have it pluged into a x10 outlet so it only comes on at a certain day/time.
That's certainly possible. My PogoPlug runs on a standard two prong power cord, so I could stick it into an Appliance Module, and turn it on/off with a timer as needed. Because my main Windows Computer is Wake On Lan, I can turn it on over the network (as long as the internet is up).

The PogoPlug generally stays on all the time when plugged in. From plug in to powered on and ready is generally very quick, less than 15-20 seconds on average for me so far. I'm using an extra spinning disk that I have in an enclosure, because I can leave it plugged in and have it wake from sleep with USB access. If you went with flash media (any good USB stick will do), then everything will start on with the one switched PogoPlug. If you're not getting complicated with media serving and file sharing, even a 2gb stick will do wonders.

Since I run the CM17A Firecracker with it, I need a transceiver, which in my case is the CM15A I have next to it. If you used something like a CM11A, you wouldn't have to worry about that extra step. Heyu can upload timers to a CM11A, so you can have it switch on your PogoPlug as needed (say, at the start of cottage season). Once on, it would just wait for you to access it remotely (web page, like Domus.Link or X10 Commander from an iPhone/Android Phone) and you can have pre-set schedules to take care of tasks for you like you mentioned.

Very very interesting possibilities in this realm.

I'm more than happy to write a PogoPlug guide for Heyu, and then perhaps Brandt can also detail his setup with the Sheevaplug (different distro of Linux, but the same principles).
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Brandt

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 08:20:46 PM »

I bought my Sheevaplug new off ebay from a 3rd party because I didn't want to wait X number of months for GlobalScale to ship.

I then fiddled with it for a couple weeks having trouble deciding how I wanted to boot it.

Then I found that NewIT has really simple methods explained in detail on their website.

You basically set the bootloader parameters to dual boot (either off the internal flash, or external SD card if inserted).

Then you buy one of the SD cards recommended by NewIT, and flash one of their matching SD card images on the card (in linux using the 'dd' command). From there you just insert it into the Sheevaplug and boot!

From there you do the usual dist and package update/upgrades.

It is running Debian Squeeze.

Mainly being used for Heyu, but also running lighttpd for it's light web server front-end.

I also have flite and festival installed for TTS, plan on compiling either Julius or Pocketspinx for voice recognition.

Going to buy a USBUIRT to go along with the powermids I just bought, and compile LIRC and try to use my iPhone as an X10 and IR remote.

Have been working with Melloware to get X10 Commander and Lightswitch to work with Heyu. Also I help develop domus.Link PHP front end for Heyu, and plan on developing my own iPhone and Android apps in the near future.

In my spare time, I work full time and am finishing up my BS in computer science  rofl oh and i'm a dad to a 5y/o girl too  >!


-Brandt
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 08:23:39 PM by Brandt »
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mmauka

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2010, 06:16:55 PM »

I am just getting started but have used openwrt on routers before. I purchased
a couple of Seagate Dockstars and installed openwrt.

Text to speech works with USB speakers plus Festival light (flite).

IP camera server works with USB webcam plus mjpeg-streamer. Zoneminder running
on an Ubuntu PC manages the camera. The camera has a built-in microphone but it
is not working so far.

Installing this in my garage will require a USB WiFi dongle since I have no
plans to run Ethernet there.

I plan to use X10 motion/windows/door sensors to trigger Zoneminder camera
recording. The video motion detection built-in to Zoneminder produce false
triggers (for example, clouds passing over) so motion/contact sensors should
work better.

Another Linux platform I saw today is the Chumby and its Best Buy offspring.
They run Linux, color LCD/touchscreen, speaker, and WiFi. The $99 Infocast 8"
is good deal but it is a Black Friday sale price so it may be hard to get.
Sounds ideal for a bedside lighting/security screen.

I could use the smaller 3.5" Infocast in place of the dockstar. It has WiFi and
speakers built-in. I wish I saw this before buying the dockstars. There is so
much low cost consumer gear running Linux that is it hard to keep up.

This web site contains useful Chumby/Infocast information such as internal
headers to access extra digital I/O lines, I2C, internal USB ports, etc. Bunnie
Huang is the Chumby and Infocast hardware designer.

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/

mmauka
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Brandt

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2010, 07:04:20 PM »

In my experience using a wifi dongle on the same usb hub as a whole house X10 RF receiver causes problems with the X10 RF receiver rendering it useless.
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anthonylavado

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 06:27:38 PM »

I also have flite and festival installed for TTS, plan on compiling either Julius or Pocketspinx for voice recognition.

@Brandt:
I had guessed you'd be running Debian or similar I stead of the stock Ubuntu that comes with the Sheevas.
For voice, what were you using before on your Synology NAS? Flite and Julius, right? I also assume you were using Optware/UnSlung?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 10:47:27 PM by anthonylavado »
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Brandt

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 10:42:25 PM »

I also have flite and festival installed for TTS, plan on compiling either Julius or Pocketspinx for voice recognition.

@Brandt:
I had guessed you'd be rubbing Debian or similar I stead of the stock Ubuntu that comes with the Sheevas.
For voice, what were you using before on your Synology NAS? Flite and Julius, right? I also assume you were using Optware/UnSlung?


Yup!
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mmauka

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 05:38:07 PM »

The Best Buy 8" LCD Infocast  is now down to $80. Linux 2.6, WiFi, touchscreen,
2 USB ports. I am tempted but have been working with OpenWrt for a while so do
not want to switch development environments.

I haven't tried plugging in WiFi to a dockstar yet but it should work. I
suspect using an unpowered hub with a WiFi dongle will not work. WiFi and USB
cameras usually draw close to 500 mA so they will not work on unpowered hubs
esp. if other devices are plugged into the same hub. Low power devices such as
keyboards, mice, and flash drives work fine because they draw about 100 mA.
PC USB ports usually have a 500 mA limit. The dockstar can supply 500 mA on
each of its 4 USB ports.

I am not sure how much the CM19A draws. I assume the CM15A draws no USB power
since it can run from AC power.
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anthonylavado

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 03:16:34 AM »

Mainly being used for Heyu, but also running lighttpd for it's light web server front-end.
I also have flite and festival installed for TTS, plan on compiling either Julius or Pocketspinx for voice recognition.

@Brandt
I just got my JMTek sound adapter and have everything running nicely under PlugBox/Arch Linux for ARM, and just need to go the last few steps.

1) Any particular preference on either Flite or Festival? Then Julius or Pocketspinx while we're at it?
2) After the required engines are compiled, are you just using custom scripts to pull the information/process the commands you want?

I've picked up a copy of Smart Home Hacks, so I will be going the whole nine yards with the whole house announcement system.
I just have to grab the requisite pre-amp and power adapter from The Shack when I go shopping in Buffalo next sunday.
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Brandt

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 11:43:41 AM »

Quote
@Brandt
I just got my JMTek sound adapter and have everything running nicely under PlugBox/Arch Linux for ARM, and just need to go the last few steps.

1) Any particular preference on either Flite or Festival? Then Julius or Pocketspinx while we're at it?
Flite seems to run faster, festival you have to wait a few seconds before you hear anything. Julius I was able to get up and running fairly quickly. You down load their quick start package for linux, but everything is compiled for Intel, so you need to compile your own stuff for ARM and copy them into place. I had trouble with Pocketsphinx seeing my microphone.
Quote
2) After the required engines are compiled, are you just using custom scripts to pull the information/process the commands you want?
Yes you write a custom script known as a dialog manager.
http://www.voxforge.org/home/docs/faq/faq/what-is-a-dialog-manager

Unfortunately I failed to backup /usr/local/bin when I had all this setup on my NAS when it crashed I lost my dialog manager script and weather speaking script :-/

Quote
I've picked up a copy of Smart Home Hacks, so I will be going the whole nine yards with the whole house announcement system.
I just have to grab the requisite pre-amp and power adapter from The Shack when I go shopping in Buffalo next sunday.
In that book they don't mention something very important for that "hack" only use the unused telephone lines, meaning they must be disconnected from the Network Interface Device (NID) on the side of your house!

<Edited by Tuicemen for easier reading>
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 01:02:48 PM by Tuicemen »
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anthonylavado

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2010, 11:59:57 AM »

@Brandt:
Thanks for the heads up. About the NID, I figured as much. I know it won't be am issue since we use VoIP and I have the cordless phone system hooked up directly to the cable modem :-)

I'll report back later (read: after work ;-))and let everyone know how things have progressed.
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Brandt

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2010, 12:26:23 PM »

Instead of the telephone lines, you could try dave_x10_l's suggestion of using the wireless audio senders from X10
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Brandt

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 01:05:55 AM »

I think I'm going to switch to wireless speakers instead of the telephone line. That way instead of needing an accessible telephone line, an appliance module, and an adapter I would only need an appliance module.

Also I haven't been able to get flite or festival to synthesize without crackling.

The workaround is to install the sox package and then create a wrapper script.

(ill post it later)


For me I've decided to go with pre recorded audio files generated from my Mac using the "say" command and output it to an aiff file the transferring to my sheevaplug.

I'll blog about it and post here.
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Deemar

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Re: Plug Computing
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 03:15:07 PM »

I'm very interested in hearing about everyone's uses with the plugs. I've wanted to buy one for years but I can never think of how I'd use it. The only residence I have is my house and I have my desktop set up with Heyu and a CM11A. I forwarded port 22 for SSH so if I'm away I can always remote into the command line via SSH from either my laptop or my Android phone.

I just cannot find a reason to use a plug for anything.
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