Digital Lifestyle and Digital Home
This is an ongoing project for me. Since 1995 my life has been operated and managed via the Internet and web-based applications. My schedule, my contacts, and most other aspects of my life are seamlessly managed as a single enterprise. Many CRM and calendar systems have an ego problem. These systems think they are the beginning and the end of the universe. The fact is, most people have more than one repository for this information. At the very least, home and work. In my situation, it is vastly more complex. As someone who “eats my own dog food” and requires more complexity than more systems can deliver, I have been able to develop some excellent applications that support a dynamic and mobile workforce. For example, my data is seamlessly integrated into my home, my work, and on my mobile phone. Therefore, some benefits arise to me “the enterprise”. For one, making and keeping appointments is simple. If I am on the road, I use my phone. At home, I can use a PC, my TV, and soon to be some other in-home devices. At work, I use my PC or my laptop. Wherever I am, and no matter what the equipment, I am able to schedule, view, modify, add contacts, and manage my data.
Additionally, my home has been turned into an intelligent machine and personal assistant. My home helps monitor inbound communications, certain types of interesting activity on my websites, my finances, and changes to my schedule. It communicates with me and my family both electronically and verbally. The house has learned when to bother me and when to stay quiet. It is also capable of knowing when other activities such as a party or unusually quiet activities are taking place. It adapts automatically to these changes both in its communications and our home security. The home’s security is also self-managed. The home automatically sets the security levels; my home has two floors, multiple points of entry/exit, a garage, etc. So at any time, the home is always at maximum security and never has false alarms. When an alarm occurs, multiple actions take place including an alert to a remote monitoring facility that offers me 24×7 security monitoring.
How is this done? To begin, every system in my home is seamlessly integrated. Not with some 5 gazillion dollar proprietary system. It uses Customized Off the Shelf (COTS) technology. I have spent a mere $8,000.00 for a 4000 sq ft home. This could have been for less cost, but the previous owner was apparently not a fan of technology. Every system from the security, to the fire alarms, to the HVAC, to the electrical… all of it is integrated. The house has redundant systems both of which have battery backups for more than a week’s worth of power and each can communicate via data, phone, and cellular communications. Essentially, I have been trying to create and live a digital lifestyle for the past 6 years and believe that I am succeeding. I make improvements to the systems all the time. One day I hope to share this technology and more important methodology. I believe I have made some commercially viable human-machine / human-computer interface enhancements.
Experimentation with Lego Mindstorms 2.0 and Lego NXT and the Vex robotics system. Programming in Easy C. Development of competitive robots. Development of educational curriculum to teach children and lay people. My children are currently programming and manipulating a rover bot to meet “challenges” I create for them. The oldest child is 7. Most of my experimentation is based on roving units with sensors. Additionally, I have been developing small robots for things like card scanners, coin sorters, and laser perimeter devices.
Installation and configuration. Workstation operations. Software development using Real Basic. Direct socket communications. I am very impressed with this OS and have made it through several updates and one version upgrade. All went flawlessly. This is a serious contender for windows workstation replacement. I see why it is the most popular Linux distribution.
Google Applications additions to the Neural Computing Grid
I have added the ability to utilize the geocoding service and will be implementing more service capabilities soon.
Spell Check Addition to the NCG
I am going to be adding spell checking functionality to the NCG. As someone who could really use spell checking, this service will help me maintain a professional image. I am also considering allowing access to this functionality via a web site fueled by donations.
Software re-write. I am going to be updating all of my IP to run on Linux. .Net and related security flaws, Microsoft’s recent treatment of its long-standing programmers, and the Windows Vista fiasco have compelled me to make the change.