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Messages - skyemoor

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Installation issues / 12.04 installation
« on: October 21, 2013, 03:24:40 am »
I'm trying to follow the installation instructions at

- Install Kubuntu 12.04

I've downloaded this over 4 hours (WiMAX link) and am ready to install. Next it says;

- Install Precise Pangolin desktop and update it.

Which starts downloading the current version of Kubuntu 12.04. I'm confused - what version should I be downloading or are there multiple versions I need to be made aware of and tracking?

Is the latter just a desktop?? Do I just install it over top of the previous Kubuntu 12.04?

I'm trying to make a startup disk and want to know what truly needs loading.

Developers / Re: Java DCE Implementation
« on: October 21, 2013, 03:21:37 am »
I'm trying to follow the installation instructions at

- Install Kubuntu 12.04

I've downloaded this over 4 hours (WiMAX link). Next it says;

- Install Precise Pangolin desktop and update it.

Which starts downloading the current version of Kubuntu 12.04. I'm confused - what version should I be downloading or are there multiple versions I need to be made aware of and tracking?

Developers / Re: Java DCE Implementation
« on: October 20, 2013, 01:52:53 pm »

What are you ultimately wanting to do ?


I'd like to add the capabilities/devices that I would like to use in my own home, and I'd like to be able to proactively contribute, instead of just add to the list of desired features and assume someone else will do them. I have several years experience as a system engineer/architect on large scale surveillance and security systems that have some particular high end features I'd like to incorporate into my own home security.  I also want to provide high end HA features to specific situations that others likely would want too. My C++ skills are at the novice level and quite dated. My Java knowledge is also dated, but was at the intermediate level 10 years ago, so I'm assuming code contributions from me are most realistic in Java (unless minor tweaks to existing C++ would do the trick).

For example, some of the high end HA features I'm thinking of include;

HA1 - 'sunrise' alarm clock, which slowly raises the dimmer to full over a course of 20 minutes, then playing a sound file (ocean, waterfall, etc), increasing volume from very low to normal level over the course of (say) 2 minutes.
HA2 - control a ceiling fan by room temperature and occupancy or time. For example, we have many evenings with the windows open that start off warm but end up cool by morning. The idea would be to have the fan turn on when we come into the room when it's warmer than desired, and turning off when we leave, or in a bedtime scenario where motion detection becomes rather useless, turning off the fan when a shutoff temperature is reaching (for example, 72 degrees F).
HA3 - Enable more specific HVAC zoning via Z-Wave thermostat and actuation of dampers, based on actual and/or expected occupancy (by set timeframes modified by family calendar).
HA4 - Enable temperature leveling, which takes air from rooms/floors warmer than desired to rooms/floors that are cooler than desired. We have a very low energy passive solar house, so a couple of south side rooms are warmer than one North side bedroom. In many multistory homes, this same problem exists between upper and lower floors. Just running the large whole house HVAC fan would use much more energy than desired - micro ducts with a small efficient fan would do the trick. This would take precedent in a goal-seeking manner over simple actuation of the HVAC.
HA5 - open/close the insulated shades (or extend/retract deck awning) based on projected solar insolation from weather forecast information (NOAA, radar images, wind direction, etc) and balance that against the house desired temperature profiles and house thermal storage properties. This would be appropriate to non-solar homes as well.
HA6- (long shot nice to have) voice recognition and feedback, in order to directly control devices or to trigger scenarios (e.g., "Set alarm for Julia for 6:45am", "all outside lights on", etc with a voice acknowledgement by the system). Palaver on Ubuntu is at the point where incorporation of this capability might be much closer to reality, at least in baby steps. Might be limited to smartphone initially.
Select security features would include;

S1- video analytics, to enable
  S1.1 -- PTZ camera tracking, which provides greater resolution of the person under observation and affords a wider coverage area
  S1.2 -- distinguish people from pets (or tree limbs blowing in the breeze) in a motion sensing situation
  S1.3 -- set boundaries where normal activity is ignored, but intrusion into particular areas is alarmed at specific times (or per scenarios)
S2 - on screen PTZ control
S3 - two way audio for remote front door dialog (e.g., from phone when not home)

As you can tell, some of these are interrelated, such as the two way security audio (S3) and voice recognition/feedback for device/scenario actuation (HA6), for example. Some seem obviously implementable by 1-Wire (HVAC zoning damper control, temperature leveling fan control) while other are more suited to one of the established HA protocols (e.g., Z-Wave HVAC thermostat).

To be frank, I haven't fully settled on a specific open source HA application yet, so am in the trade space analysis mode currently. I just ordered an Aeotec USB controller and a Z-Wave dimmer switch, so expect Z-Wave to be one of the primary protocols I use, though would like to incorporate some existing X-10 switches and expect to incorporate 1-Wire (or something similar).  The LinuxMCE collaboration with Ago is helpful in that regard.

The skills I have to offer;

- Novice and dated C++ (really only ever limited to occasional integration of C code from Java apps)
- Intermediate and dated Java (and J2EE)
- Advanced and very dated Ada (noted here for background purposes only)
- Modest AI, neural network, and expert system knowledge
- Security engineering and integration (on large scale systems)
- Agile/scrum (on architecture efforts, have been alternate scrum master)
- Using Eclipse on architecture (never tried to code or make a build in Eclipse, though)
- Using Rational Jazz Suite and Software Architect
- Enterprise architecture (from Capability planning, roadmapping, requirements management, traceability  to services, etc, down to interface definition (XML schema/SOAP/WSDL/etc) to full fledged UML/SoaML/SysML (and to some extent DoDAF/UAF) on Rational Software Architect, to include reverse engineering of existing code to create UML diagramming (if I can get my head around building the current C++ codeset)

The projects/programs I've been engaged with include the International Space Station, X-35, many DoD C4ISR systems, surveillance, etc.

At 57 yo, I'm not a Spring chick when it comes to learning new libraries, development tools, etc, but can certainly support system architecture (planning roadmapping, depiction, documentation, versioning), testing, and user-oriented documentation at a minimum. If the Java DCE implementation was operational, I was thinking I might even incorporate some new devices.

As you can no doubt surmise, I'm rather energy/climate conscious, and hence one of my goals is to further improve the energy efficiency of my home. The platforms I expect to implement are very energy efficient, from my Atom-based notebook to some number of (perhaps) Raspberry PIs when additional targeted horsepower is needed (the higher end video analytics might be a challenge in that regard). I've been using Ubuntu at home for roughly 8 years now, so am somewhat Linux literate from a user perspective, though have been very platform independent as a developer/designer/architect.

Given the LinuxMCE vision, roadmap, codebase, and current contributor skillsets, do you see a potential fit for me here? If so, in what manner?

Developers / Re: Java DCE Implementation
« on: October 19, 2013, 10:18:02 pm »
I thought I might be able to take a quick look at the build by running "apt-get install pluto-dcegen pluto-sql2cpp subversion build-essential libmysqld-dev" on my Ubuntu Studio 12.04, though it seems unable to locate the Pluto packages. Does that mean I need to add "" to my list of repositories?

Or do I simply need to wipe my machine and load LinuxMCE as the only way to obtain a sense of what's involved?

Developers / Re: Java DCE Implementation
« on: October 19, 2013, 09:54:45 pm »
I haven't coded in about 10 years, so will have to give serious thought and assessment before committing

In an initial look at the documentation, I see;

"Plug-ins have the ability to get pointers to the in-memory instance of the other plug-ins so they can share memory"

Does this mean C shared memory? My C experience is very limited (went from Ada software engineering to Java development, design, and architecture now doing primarily Enterprise Architecture), so accessing C shared memory is one obstacle to my outdated coding abilities.

I'll have to dig a little deeper into the documentation and the extant Java code (which appears to access the database directly instead of wrapping the C interface, which could simply some things, but make accessing shared memory more difficult).

Developers / Re: Java DCE Implementation
« on: October 19, 2013, 03:50:33 pm »
Is anyone using this, or is there another Java DCE wrapper/interface?

Users / Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« on: October 07, 2013, 01:41:29 am »
Thanks CentralMedia and Esperanto, your input is helpful.

CentralMedia, it looks like you are tracking energy use too? Any other devices that you track energy use of?

Users / Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« on: October 06, 2013, 07:16:06 pm »
Thanks, that is helpful to know. I've looked at USB/ethernet adapters, and from what you note, this seems the way to go. Has anyone actually used one of these successfully?

As I had mentioned, the home has very low energy energy consumption. Our lighting is LED, and throughout the house, I doubt we use 150 watts of lighting at any one time (most bulbs fall in the 6-9 watt range).

We have a 2kW PV array and are net metered, so whenever we are generating more than we consume, it is spinning our electric meter backwards.

We are in an area where our electricity comes primarily from coal. Because of the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, we've decided to use as little of it as possible, and generate our own. Using less power means we need to spend that much less on solar panels, batteries, etc.

If the unit will be on 24\7, then every watt counts. The biggest power consumer we have in our computers is my wife's energy-star Mac.

Users / Low energy MCE configuration?
« on: October 06, 2013, 02:29:05 pm »
I'm looking to control lighting and monitor energy in my low energy solar powered house, and in a manner that uses very little energy. I currently have a Dell Mini Inspiron 1012 (Atom processor, 2G memory) that I am planning on using, as it is extremely low energy for a laptop (and I happen to have one available).

With the very limited requirements stated above, can I even get in the ballpark on such a platform?

I'm a Linux lightweight (have used Ubuntu for about 7 years, have worked with Unix/Solaris workstations in the past), so I know my way around Linux in a minor sense.

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