Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Andrew Bolster

Researcher at the University of Liverpool, Founder/Director at Farset Labs

Recently the only additions I’ve been making to this blog are presumptious ‘ I’ll be doing this’ messages, and this is no excection.

I’ve been living and working in Athlone, Ireland for the past year and have really learnt alot and very much enjoyed myself, but however much I will miss the place, academia drags on; it sounds like a campaign slogan but I’m back in Queens for ‘TWO MORE YEARS…TWO MORE YEARS’

Anyway, as such i will be moving in to a house in Ebor St in Belfast with my long term partner and my little brother (in this economy who can blame him for grabbing coattails?) .

Now, while that will make for many personal and social changes, those are outside the scope of this blog; what it REALLY means is that for the first time, I’ll have a hackable (within partners aesthetic reasoning) house. Were planning on holding on the the place for 2 years so i can justify the investment.

This is the plan of things i want to set up, and I will be updating this page with some extra links and notes as i make them.

In no particular order

  1. Shared media storage area for the whole house (probably using my MyBook) that will work with games consoles aswell as laptops/desktops internally and externally.

  2. Shared calendars and timetables availiable.

  3. Festival based alarm clock with dynamic alarm times based on respective timetables. (2)

  4. VPN access for all housemates.

  5. Some form of SFF pc in the living room to act as a Skype box attached to big-screen (My partner has ‘attentive’ parents that will be 3000  miles away, and mine will be about 500 miles away, i expect them to be in contact somehow, so it may as well make it as inexpensive as possible…)

  6. Secure wireless (obv)

  7. Centralised logging (syslog/snmp trap) across all ‘applicable’ machines, with some form of visualisation (mrtg)

  8. X10 automation of (at least) lights, could be augmented by basic motion detectors and environmental montiors

  9. Remote webcam (may turn this into a robotics/machine learning/machine vision project with the old eeepc and have a kinda roomba on steroids)

Its a big list and i dont expect to finish half of them, but what gets done will be documented here!