It’s been a big year for home improvements–I’ve painted two rooms, replaced the carpet in both, added a new light fixture, torn off a deck, and replaced a fence. Somehow, after all of that, I still feel behind–I need to re-do my back yard and add a new patio before The Dark and Cold sets in for the year.

Before that happens, though, I’m planning on spending some time updating the electronic side of the house. My home asterisk server is getting long in the tooth, and lately it’s been bouncing incoming phone calls. My config files are almost 3.5 years old, and the old thing’s getting kind of crufty, plus NuFone seems to be going through one of their annual crisises.

On top of that, my wife’s perpetually worried about our 4-year-old sneaking out of the house without us noticing–we’ve already caught her playing in the middle of the cul-de-sac once, and since she has no real fear of cars (or strangers, or getting lost), we’d like to add some sort of warning system to know when one of the exterior doors have been opened.

You know what they say–when all you have is a big pile of computer equipment and a credit card, then everything looks like an excuse to buy more hardware and write some code…

So, I have a small mountain of X10 and Insteon hardware due in later this week, and I’m going to set up door monitoring via a bunch of cheap RF door sensors. I’m planning on monitoring everything via Indigo running on an old Mac, and then announcing open doors via auto-answer on VoIP phones using Asterisk. Sounds easy enough, right? I can’t see any indication that anyone has ever done any Indigo-Asterisk integration work, but it doesn’t look all that hard. Along the way, I guess I’m going to have to completely re-write my Asterisk dial plan, because it’s really too crufty to live.

While I’m at it, I’m planning on adding a couple “smart” light switches, just to cut down on the number of basement and garage lights that get left on for days at a stretch. I figure they’ll pay for themselves, eventually…

Hopefully all of this’ll give me something to talk about at MindCamp this year.