« on: March 15, 2009, 11:57:06 am »
Back in 2004 I started a personal research about HA softwares. The topic has been always fascinating to me, and moreover at that time I started to have plans to renovate an old house to live in so I wanted to make up my mind on the best possible choice.
I started with Misterhouse, but as I was living in a small rented apartment I did not make any special arrangement with lighting (just some CM11 devices). System was indeed nice, WAF factor was not so bad.
Several factors pushed me to keep on searching for more HA project, with the idea to choose one that could be a possible base to build a business upon. I found a lot of project, but basically they were kind of "home breed" and therefore not really suitable.
Reading Misterhouse mailing list I stumbled on a post of a guy (that turned out to be Tinia/Bulek) stating that Pluto was switching to Open Source, then I gave it a try.
Learning curve of Pluto isn't a breeze, expecially if you don't have robust linux skill and expecially if you choose to start with hardware that does not fit exactly. So I had to fight a bit to get my VIA EPIA M10000 hybrid to work, but in the end it has been a pleasant fight. Pluto was covering definitely better the multimedia aspect and it overall seemed way more powerful to me, so I started to write a rude GSD to drive a Weeder I/O board to control some light and a simple surround system. This increased dramatically WAF factor, so I was allowed to buy a new server and switch VIA hybrid to simple MD.
The idea was then to get as much confidence with system as possible, to study some C++ and OO programming and afterwards to start with some "under the hood" approach with the codebase. Unfortunately Pluto momentum started to progressively fade, and it seemed to me that I was putting a lot of effort basically on a dead horse. So I put everything in kind of "suspended mode".
Reading from time to time Pluto Forum I found out in summer 2007 that project was forked, and this pointed me here. I joined the forum and as soon it was released I switched my Pluto system do LMCE 704.
In the mean time renovation works for my house were already started, but it was not too late to make some change to wiring and lighting system in order to set up an infrastructure relying on LMCE.
Now I'm living in my new house since last july, my LMCE 710 system is still a small one (1 hybrid and 1 MD) but nevertheless in my spare time I wrote a rude and dirty GSD driver to integrate my lighting and electric shutter system (heavyly based on Dan Damron Insteon driver structure).
I've plenty of thing still to be done on my system (improving GSD, implementing anti-intrusion and video surveillance, integrating telephony, integrating different remotes, integrating LCD devices, integrating iButtons, speech synthesis ...) and no time to get them done.
To be honest in this particular economic situation I don't really regret not to have spare time ... but also I hope to find a better balance between my family and my job that allow me to exchange back something to LMCE, that is probably the best way to thank those great guys that are doing such an incredible work.