automating, building and graphing the world


I'm currently using Homeseer* to run the automated parts of the house and am getting more and more annoyed with the underlying Windows OS crashing, locking up or doing just plain weird stuff. So, as a consequence I have decided to have a look at the Linux operating system. Hopefully this will prove more reliable, and if I believe the Linux crowd it will.

[*Update: I'm now using Homevision - a hardware controller]

The first step was to decide on a distribution to use (Linux comes in various prepackaged guises - see I didn't have a clue and to be honest wasn't best placed to decide.. but hey we all have to start somewhere. I basically picked, what I regard as, the default option... Red Hat, for no other reason other than I had heard of it somewhere , somehow.....once..

Red Hat have (had) just released 7.2 so I downloaded the iso images and burnt the 2 CDs.

At this point I needed a machine to test it on... apparently laptops are quite hard to get working with Linux, and for some unknown reason* I decided to convert my laptop running windows to Linux. We're not talking dual boot here either, if I was going to learn it would have to be all or nothing. I put in the first Red Hat CD and rebooted. During the install I removed all existing data and repartitioned the disks.. there was to be no windows on *this* machine.

What really surprised me was that the install went very smoothly, well nearly.. I had, under windows been using a wireless network card, it's quite bulky and I hadn't noticed the 3Com wired card underneath. This actually turned out to be a plus point!. Wireless networking just wasn't working at all... I looked at the side (PCMCIA) slots and noticed the 3com card... It was worth giving it a go so I plugged in the adaptor and network cable. Hey presto! Networking! The next stage was to find what I could about using wireless networking under Linux.

Red Hat's site search engine is dire, I hate it.. the same search at different times produced different results. An absolute nightmare.. in the end I got about 30 references for wireless networking.

In the end all it took to get wireless networking running was a slight modification to the wireless.conf file and I was away.

The next stage has been to try and locate some HA software that will run under Linux. I've downloaded ppower and mister house .. the only problem I see with misterhouse is that I'd have to learn Perl... a task and a half if you are also learning to use the OS too..

I'll let you know how I get on.

* actually this is not true, using the laptop would allow me to learn linux in the living room.. (so my wife Jennie wouldn't get lonely :) )