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December 2001 Newsletter of the
Front Range UNIX Users Group

Cndnsd Vrsn: 4 PM Wednesday December 5th ACS Room 123- Home Automation


Home Automation for the Off-the-Shelfer and the Do-it-Yourselfer

The next meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users Group (FRUUG) will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, December 5th.

Imagine your alarm clock telling your toaster and coffee pot to start making breakfast, and your dishwasher to do the dishes after you've left for work. As almost everything has a microprocessor in it today, the line between computers and home appliances is getting increasingly blurred, and scenarios like this become closer to reality. Join us for two fun and interesting talks on home automation: what technologies and off-the-shelf components exist today, and if you don't like how they work, how to do it yourself.

  • Gary Koenig works as an IT consultant for McStain Homes in Boulder, designing home techology systems for their model homes. He will talk about the basic technologies and components available to build "smart homes" today, including wiring, the connection center, the home IP network, the home wireless network, audio, video, remote controls, security, intercoms, phones, and firewalls.

  • Jim Elliot will give us the do-it-yourselfer perspective. Not happy with the off-the-shelf alternatives, Jim has designed his own home automation system, with a C++ program controlling interior and exterior lights, heating, security, and the sprinkler system. He will discuss his house from three perspectives: what does the system do, what are the real-world components, and what is the software? He will show us his home through photographs, UML, C++ source code, and schematic diagrams.

Gary Koenig has a B.S. in mechanical engineering and has worked as an aerospace engineer, programmer, systems analyst, IT manager, development manager, support manager, sales manager, system administrator and independent consultant. He has experience in systems software, database development, mathematical modeling, compiler development, graphics software, user interface software, speech recognition, multi-media development, back office systems, sales management software, thin client applications and home technology. He is currently working as an independent contractor for a McStain Homes in Boulder, managing the IT department and designing home technology systems for model homes.

Jim Elliott has been programming for 25 years on mini computers, micro computers, and workstations. Since 1993, he has written I/O drivers, telecommunications applications, and the software controlling his own house in C++. While acting as the software project lead at Aztek Engineering he lead the design of a distributed implementation of equipment in a telephone access network. He has also worked in the fluid flow meter industry at Micro Motion and RAID storage at Array Technology. He received a Masters degree in Computer Science from Southern Methodist University in 1976.

Meeting Location

This meeting will be in room 123 of the CU Academic Computing Center building at Arapahoe and Marine Streets in Boulder. Marine St intersects Arapahoe at 38th St; the Computing Center is on the southwest corner.

See <> for map

Our Last Meeting

Notes and resources from our past meetings are available at

Our Next Meeting

Meetings that we are planning for the next few months include the following:

  • Managing your Storage Area Network
  • The Microsoft .NET Virtual Machine
  • DNS Update

FRUUG Library Notes

Softpro books has donated a $20 gift certificate for a lucky FRUUG member; they're at Baseline and Foothills in Boulder. Enter the drawing at The runner-up will win an O'Reilly t-shirt featuring the charging lions from the cover of their "Java and XML" book.

Our new library books this month include the following:

From O'Reilly & Associates:

  • Enterprise JavaBeans, by Richard Monson-Haefel
  • Java & XML, 2nd Edition, by Brett McLaughlin
  • Java and XSLT, by Eric M. Burke

You may check out books using your business card as your library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out.

Remember that your FRUUG membership entitles you to discounts on your book orders from both New Riders Publishing and O'Reilly & Associates; refer to the FRUUG Web site for details.

Site Map Recruiter Info
February 15, 2009

February 2008: FRUUG Enters Quiescent Phase
After 27 years running, we're suspending operations.

Future Meetings:
None planned

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