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A Periodic (P)review Of Leaping Forward

By: Johan

Wednesday, March 29

Bluetooth to Linux to Mac with Wake on LAN

I got bored with the usual routine of coming home, grabbing my Powerbook and then having to boot it up, waiting for everything to come to live. The same counts for at the office where when I open up I normally boot up all machines individually.

Here's the neat solution I will implement when I move into my new place.

My current Win XP box will become my 24/7 on home server, running stand alone, no keyboard, monitor etc. But instead of Windows, it will run some flavour of Linux. I want to run Asterisk@Home on it and maybe a simple webserver for my Phidgets web services or a firewall. It will also run an app that looks out for my phone via bluetooth.

And that's where the solution is. When I come home it will detect I come in range. That's when the Linux box will send it's magic packets to the Powerbook and Mac Mini to wake them up from their sleep. From what I've read, Apple for some reason decided to not enable the WOL technology fully, Macs can only be woken up from sleep, not from full power down (in contrast to PCs). But luckily, a sleeping Mac Mini draws only 3W anyway.

It can even then tell the Roomba Robo-vac to stop vacuuming and crawl back to its homebase. Fully automatically and wireless!

Enter the premises, everything boots / wakes up, and by the time I take off my coat everything is ready to rock. From there Applescripts can launch whatever I normally would do first. Viola! Embrace technology!

I'll report back when it's up and running in a few weeks...


Anonymous Al said...

I reckon you should go for an RFID implant rather than Blue tooth, having BT turned on your phone all the time is going to a) Kill your battery and b) Be a security risk

Besides having a chip implanted is more gorky :)

March 30, 2006  
Blogger Johan said...

Yeah, well no thanks :) And RFID only has a reach of a few CM (DIY jobbies) which sucks a lot.

As far as battery life goes, It's being charged every day anyway so that's no issue.

And for the scurity risk...

The Linux box finds the phone by its unique ID, line a network card's MAC address. Unless they copy my phone it won't get triggered. And even then, it only boots my machines.

From the phone's perspective, I would set it to require authentication or set it visible only to trusted entities. Don't think that will be an issue. But good to think about nontheless.

March 31, 2006  
Anonymous David said...

I think what Al meant about a security risk, is the risk of getting bluetooth viruses on your cell phone. When you have bluetooth enabled and you come within range of another bluetooth-enabled cell phone and that phone or device has a virus that propogates via bluetooth..... well you get the picture.

April 02, 2006  
Blogger Janneke said...

So what about my dishwashing clone, is she automatically “crawling” back from the kitchen to her home base (the bed probably) as well?

You should actually have something similar to the Disco Bar (http://thediscobar.blogspot.com) which will start mixing one of our favourite drinks (SoCo, Sex on the Beach or Paradise Punch) when you’re on your way home!

I bet you suddenly will be able to work “part-time” and leave the office before 11pm! :D

April 03, 2006  
Blogger Johan said...

Yeah that Disco Bar is well cool. My LED program isn't quite there yet (ahem).

And as far as the housekeeping clone is concerned, I'm sure there will be room for both of them, her as well as the Roomba and other geek kit.

April 03, 2006  

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