Linux Toys: I and II

Linux Toys Linux Toys II

There is a set of two books: Linux Toys and Linux Toys II which offers a geek way to computerize your home. Both books describe a few open source projects which can be used by home users for some purposes: automation, entertainment, hosting for data, movies, pictures etc.

From the first part of the Linux Toys I’d like to emphasize (in respect to smarthome) Music Jukebox, Temperature Monitor and Home Video Archive projects. But note that there are many newer and better open source applications to do the same things (the boos was published at 2003).

Since Linux Toys II is newer then Linux Toys (November 2005) it contains a few interesting modern projects such MythTV and Icecast. It might be useful to read a chapter 7 – “Automating Home Lights and Gadgets with X10” for automation fans. The rest projects are related with smarthome but not so strongly as I’d like.

Anyway, for me those books were useful to give some ideas and hardware supported by Linux. You can get all information directly from the open source projects used there. And those information will be fresh. For example, I found DigiTemp software and a bunch of 1-wire and iButton hardware to build weather station based on Linux in the Linux Toys. There is a simple example which can be extended into profession solution.

Weather Toys by Tim Bitson

Weather Toys

If you have ever wanted to build your own weather station, then Weather Toys by Tim Bitson is for you. The book covers all aspects of the weather measurement: from the basics of weather monitoring to the use of 1-Wire devices in the automation projects based on your 1-Wire weather station.

I’d like to notice that the book doesn’t cover development under Linux (it says only about Windows and Mac). But since all examples there use Java it won’t be difficult to build and run them under Linux as well.

For more information about this book and more examples, please, visit Weather Toys official site.

MythTV Hacks

MathTV Hacks

MythTV, the open source Linux PVR software, is going to be a standard de-facto. The new book – “Hacking MythTV” may enunciate this thesis. You can buy it on Amazon just for £s;13.59.

For whom who’d like to get some MythTV hacks immediately have published an extensive guide on how to export and convert recordings from your MythTV PVR to other devices. The guide is an excerpt from the “Hacking MythTV” and covers following topics:

  • How to browse your recordings outside MythTV and make sense of them based on filename alone
  • MythTV’s Recording Profiles,
  • Specific details on Export for Burning to DVD, Video CD, iPod, and More
  • Configuring Third-Party Components as Post-Processing Jobs and;
  • Wireless Networking in MythTV

Personally, I’m interested in using VDR. But I’m going to buy “MythTV Hacks” as well.
[via PVR Wire]