thank you for creating the silly zone. I had so much fun playing on your server. It really opened my eyes to what was possible on the internet.
Just checked out your projects and WOW, you like working on the same type of stuff I always wanted to do! Thanks for your inspiration... Mike
I was google'ing for a way to display text and graphics to the drivers behind me with some kind of OLED and Raspberry Pi or something and came across your LED car screen. Then I started to explore your site and I'm freaking out! You must be some kind of genius! All this stuff is the most awesome I've ever seen. Many people do one thing or another, but you put it all together! Holy cow! I get images from Star Trek and Demolition Man (cause of all these future gadgets they have) in my head when I browse your projects. Computer, movie mode! Curtains down. Projector on. Screen down. Lights off. Or the tiny TV icon on the touchscreen that actually displays the current TV image, What The F*ck!!! The live traffic cams on the car touchscreen. The live broadcast of the door + interaction with the postman streamed to your workplace. Holy batman! I can't believe it. I mean, an average guy can do one of two of these things, but all this stuff together, its... unbelievable! I'm so excited, lol, this is the most awesome experience I had on the net for ages! :)
My oh my I certainly do remember X10 technology. I was heavily influenced by a guy named Mike Huggins who had setup a business in London, England. His setup here albeit archived now http://web.archive.org/web/20050212070302/http://www.blackfirs.com/.
I had a setup to bring the washroom lights on 10% dim after 1am...I had very bright washroom spot's !
It's amazing to me that people still use X10 today. It is so unreliable!
I remember my time on the SillyZone from years ago... went by a different name back then. Those were fun times. And I think I finally understand why there were a decent collection of one sort of avatar model, now that I've been "around and in the block" for a while. Dunno if playing on the server had anything to do with it, but... I'm glad to see you still around. :)
I really have to build a water feeder for my cat, and you gave me a great idea.
Also, I love your fluffy "persona" hanging on your workshop wall.
Awesome, glad I could be an inspiration! Woof!
Hello, nice to meet you.
I'm WIZnet Engineer.
Thank you to use the posting WIZnet products.
If you ever need my help, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a new chip called w5500.
Will you use the w5500? I can send WIZ550io sample to you.
Can I share your posts on my blog?
Thanks! Sure, go ahead and share, that's what it's here for!
Hey, love your thermostat, it was just what I was looking for to make my own. I plan building one based off of yours, only implementing a secondary wireless temp sensor to turn the fan on/off along with an esp8266 for Internet control.
Hi there, I just wanted to thank you for publishing your automatic dog water dish. I'm a physician and a hobbyist programmer, but I know/knew nothing about electrical engineering or circuitry... until your post about the water dish inspired me. If I hadn't read your post here, I probably never would have started with Arduino or any other circuits.
I'm still in the process of building my own, but I've already had a few ideas to change/improve upon the dish. The first is to use an attiny instead of a full-fledged Arduino. I've tested this out using the 123D circuit emulator here: http://123d.circuits.io/circuits/512936-avbrand-dog-waterbowl-circuit-with-attiny-instead-of-arduino
The second is to use the capsense library to sense water depth using capacitance rather than resistance so there is literally no contact between bare metal and the water (as done by Dr. Ayer for his Christmas Tree Water Level Alert, http://hacks.ayars.org/2011/12/christmas-tree-water-level-alert.html).
I'm pretty excited about the possibility that a handful of cheap electronics can make something so cool and useful.
Thanks again for the inspiration!
this guy is a pretty cool dude! He's hip, rad, and bombastic!
You go, Av!! Yeea! Yea! yeee
Just ran across this website. Hope you're doing well.
Was a SZ regular many years ago.
Just wanna say thank you for all the carputer work you did especially regarding using the router to power on the laptop. I had a spare netgear doing nothing that with your info I was able to make work flawlessy without hacking up my netbook!
I have been toying with the idea of Car PC for some time. Up until now I have been using a Fujitsu laptop (tablet) and Microsoft Streets and Trips. The bad side was that I only muted Media Player, other wise the latest version even had a wide view of the road showing the entire route and then goes up close when turning. But no more they killed it. Was liking your setup put I am having issues even finding iGuidance. Looks they have not update there stuff for years, is that correction?
Yeah, Streets & Trips is old and busted. There's lots of other stuff out there now that's quite a bit better, such as an Android tablet running various mapping applications.
Av: Are you alive and well? There hasn't been a blog post since...2013!?. Anyhow, lots of good stuff here, wondering if there are any updates about what you are doing with the home ;).
Hehe, yup, still here! Just haven't had time to update the site...
Oh, man! I came here looking for Car PC advice, and I stumbled into nostalgic history. I remember playing RocketJump2, Pull! and the Homer Simpson modded Rock map on your TFC server while you flew around as a crazy invulnerable medic. And who could forget the original invicjam flash? Fantastic. Thanks for the memories and excellent Car PC info.
This is great stuff. Looks easy to build.
Is the software(electricity monitor) used to display the data open source?
Nice projects! ;)
I'm from Catalonia.
Your web and comments are very useful for me because i'm in home automation project development at home.
My main problem was thinking in how to make a useful and easy touch interface.
I have taken good ideas looking at your screenshots :)
Wow. I have just stumpled onto this site as I attempt to read my electric meter. I have some Arduino experience but not to this calibre. I hope to return here many more times.
Thanks! Glad you find my site useful :)
Your music taste is awesome!! I have essentially every song you mentioned or that was featured on your site anywhere.
Hey Alex, Were you behind the music that could be heard from Queen and Dufferin this past Christmas season? I heard it every day as I waited to go to work and upon my arrival.
I'm building a truck pc into my 01 F250. Removed and rebuilding my center console to accommodate all the parts, which gives me a lot of room since the thing was nothing but a big useless box. Added a Liliput touch screen to the mini-itx box. Your software solutions are ok with me. I've used VB so however you reach your solution, if it has a 95+ reliability who cares? Keep up the good work!
Ahh, the Projects link! That's what I was missing. Was reading through some of your other comments and realized that's where the Pop Card was.
Looks like I have some more reading to do!
Howdy. Enjoyed looking your site over again.
What happened to the page about your custom soda vending machine? I couldn't find it...
I recently got a gorgeous little pet snake. It's a Western Michigan fox snake, aptly named "Foxxy", and with all of the things to keep track of with his cage I decided to automate it using an Arduino.
That's the project I'm working on right now. That way I can control when the light lamp goes on and off, when the heat lamp goes on and off, check the temp for the cool and warm sides of the cage, and check the humidity in the tank. Then if the temp gets too high I can either turn on a fan, or turn off a bulb; as well as turning on an extra bulb if the temp drops too low. I'm trying to figure a way to pump a spray bottle if the humidity gets too low (too add moisture to the environment that the heat from the lamps will turn to humidity in the cage), or a fan to run if the humidity gets too high.
I recently started playing with Arduinos, after a couple years of seeing them in use on your site. They're fantastic devices! All of the shields and breakout boards available for different sensors are pretty awesome, and easily allow further operability.
I'm building a breadboarded Uno right now, and looking at getting a Pro Micro to work with the FTDI board.
So much fun stuff. I enjoyed looking over your sample code for your electricity usage meter.
Maybe drop me an email if you have a chance? I had some questions about using Arduino-operated relays; if you have the time.
I was just thinking back to all the hours spent at the silly zone server. Good times.
Great page! -Thanks for sharing all your projects with the world! You've done some pretty amazing projects (all the types of things I've always wanted to do, but couldn't muster the time or energy) -Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see what you cook up next! Hope your dog is doing good better as well. :)
Thanks! Yeah he is doing much better.
spent some time looking over your projects tab, pop card 2 is my favorite. the LED message board in the Subi is awesome
Very cool site, great way to spend a few hours reading all the cool stuff you have done. It's inspiring me to finally get into arduino and see what I can come up with.
Thanks for posting up all your hard work for me to enjoy!
Your car gives me a boner.
Hi....I just saw your video page and came here because of it. :) And I just wanted to say - amazing job! Awesome creativity, keep up the good work and I look forward to keeping up to date with your projects.
P.S - Say hi to your Dad and Olga for us....we miss them. :(
Cheers from Kevin, Alissa and Anna in Whitby
this is interesting stuff; but I cant drag and drop your url into my bookmarks folders. Is this a security effort on your part? I don't think the NSA will start rounding us up and sending us to alaskan gulags for weeks, if no months. No foolin it's a fucked up world. Tried to conceal it from my girls but they saw right through me. Anyway, I love engagin projects; thy keep my mind of the big picture.
Er, no, there's no such thing going on. Perhaps there is something wrong with your browser, or something else is going on. Just press CTRL-D to add a bookmark, this works in any browser.
For the Home Thermo-Stat
What are the electrical components required?
An Arduino, some relays, some transistors and diodes, buttons, switches, an LCD screen, and a temperature sensor. Sorry, I don't have a schematic, I just made it from parts as I went along.
Your power monitor project is interesting..
Is the software available for download? Even the old one not using the touch screen..:D
No, but I did make the arduino source code available. The program itself is super simple, it took me maybe 30 minutes to make it.
AV! These projects have inspired me. I have four multi color LED panels on their way to me now. eBay of course. They are liquidation stock and new. $6 US.
Just need to find my uses for them. I think a clock/thermometer (indoor), a display for info on music and movies playing in my projector room I built and whatever else comes up.
Dude, everything you have done is unbelievably amazing.
Bravo my friend... Very nice projects!!
Great blog, keep it up. Your hydro meter & thermostat were very interesting.
I'm impressed. You've really raiesd the bar with that.
I always enjoy seeing people play and create different things. I have no doubt that if you keep it up, you will find yourself a product to make yourself some wealth.
did you get avtouch from a store or did you write the program?
All of the software featured on this website was written by me!
loving the integration of tech in my favorite car : a subaru
I love the site, I love how you tell people to get off their butts and do it your self.
Thanks for the ideas.
Hey Av, You'll have to add me on the main page man! I played on the old Silly Zone for years. Actually I had a dream about it about a week ago and then I was playing some Team Fortress 2 for the first time in like two years and someone recognized me from the Silly Zone. Blazer was his name. Crazy stuff and small world. I can't ever listen to Haddaway - What is Love without thinking of that SZ radio we used to be able to put on the wall and Invic's crazy light shows. Awesome stuff. I work at Johnson Controls now designing DDC for HVAC systems. Have to email me sometimes.
Been researching car pcs and plan on installing one in my ram after I've restored her more cosmetic parts. Your project is awesome and has been great to read through. Thanks for making the effort to post all this. Bravo!!!
Some of you work was way ahead of its time...dropping by to show some respect :)
Dan from www.todaystoronto.com
thanks. you are truly a hard working person.
greetings from mexico
I love You! :)
This comment is about 9 years late, but I just wanted to say thanks to you (and everyone else) who made the TFC SillyZone possible. I was looking through some of my TFC screen-shots, remembering how much fun it was to play there :)
There is a reason that they have a reset button on the brush bar, it's because Dyson is designed poorly and Dyson refuses to take care of it. Dyson is the most expensive vacuum I have ever purchased and it is not worth the money. Give me back my Oreck.
Actually, since they fixed my vacuum back in 2008, it's worked perfect. I've never once tripped the breaker on the brush bar.
Thanks for making this site.
amazing stuff... i like all of the things you done, hats off to you sir..
i am gonna be doing my car pc soon and your use of a laptop makes me rethink my decision of using a nettop.
anyway. awsome work and good documentation.
Your CarPC is the best. I say it's ahead of it's time
i saw this on yahoo today and it made me think of your thermostat. if the link doesnt show up its called the nest thermostat or something along those lines.
you inspired me to start using my computers speech recognition software but its vary limited. you should finalize a version of your that anyone could use with ease to make it so i can say "computer play an awesome movie" and then LoTR turns on. I enjoyed your awesome automation of your apartment. it made me jealous. and your carputer which is initially how i find your website. anyway keep up with the gadgets and experiments. that's how awesome things get invented.
Thanks! Unfortunately, I don't have the time to work for free, so no I won't be making a program like that. But you could!
Hello, I love your appartment and car, it is just awesome!!! I'm planning a car PC too and this is great inspiration. I also agree that Visual Basic in current version is far from the nightmare Basic once was, actually I think it is not bad at all, although I prefer C# Cish syntax, they are now the same. Also I have one suggestion - Have you tried the latest Visual Studio 2010 + Silverlight SDK? You could jump just right in with your experience and I think silverlight would be perfect for your tablet interfaces with its .NET integration, especially if you have MSDN subscription including the designer tool - Expression Blend.
Silverlight is pretty much dead :)
You have awakened my technological wonder! Your house is like a wonderland of networked symphony and programming! Awesome! I look forward to hearing more. I shall begin tinkering with these ideas!thanks for sharing
If it wasn't for the creativity you built into the silly zone server on TFC, I would probably never been interested in programming or modeling, I love the inventions man keep it up.
Great projects! Nice work.
I wrote a comment here a long time ago. I just want to say thanks, you have inspired me to create one hell of a automation system. Let's just say this system features a RFID scanner , a magnetic card reader and very soon (within a weak) a freaking fingerprint scanner (A Digital Persona 4000B, google it yourself it's awesome!).
I have 2 computers in charge of running the show (touchscreen / home automation server + media center in one) with an interface to my android phone, plus I have a server running web frontend. I even plan on adding tablets to the show. This system features lighting, blinds, locks, heating, TV, even my safe is now remotely controlled. The system is even been integrated with clients onto the entire network so my digital assistant can "spread" herself out to all connected computers through Voice and other means of communication. Hell yeah I'm even working on a MSN bot which allows me to control everything by just talking with a bot.
So thank you very much, this is so awesome and I'm only just started. I'm 16 and living at home and I can only modify my own room for now.
Keep this website up for another 5 - 8 years when I'm finished studying and I promise to give you a link to my house and that freaking crazy setup I have in mind! :P
Wow, sounds awesome. You've got a good future ahead of you if you keep up this type of creative thinking :)
I found your site as I'm interested in a VOP car PC. You have done some other interesting things also. I have forward your site to my son (only 16) he's seriously into programing & will be continuing with it at uni after school.
Thanks for sharing your stuff & your car has given me a few ideas.
Finally! I don't know how many times I've searched to see if the silly zone was resurrected in some form, don't know how I missed this site, but this is the first time I've seen the all glorious Avatar-X!
I ended up searching this again today because Night at the Roxbury was on and this movie always reminds of this server. That and Llamas.
The hours and hours of fun I had on that server are some great memories. I just want to give thanks for the great community it used to be!
someone pointed me to your power meter project after my similar project was posted to hackaday. your AVR code is a lot simpler than mine -- is your meter indoors, by any chance? i had to do edge detection on the pulses to compensate for sunny/dark conditions. anyway, glad other folks are working on this stuff too. my project is described here: http://irmetermon.sourceforge.net
Yeah it is indoors :) Thanks for the link!
How are you connecting the ribbon cables to the Arduinos in your projects? Are you just using stripping the wires or are you using some type of connector?
I'm just soldering the wires right to the pin headers -- but I really should be using those press-fit ribbon cable ends. I just keep forgetting to buy them.
Thanks for sharing, it's cool to see other people sharing their projects and seeing how they do things. -JonC
Hi! You sir, are awesome! Love your projects - you are clearly a very skilled programer.
Just wondering if you have any advice for a young person (14) interested in the field of technology?
I am currently working on a couple of projects, notably one to launch a weather balloon to 35km altitude in order to capture the curvature of the earth. The details are on my website http://operationhelios.com/ (feel free to remove the link if you want, I don't want to spam your guest book).
I suppose my best advice is to simply explore as much as you can! Literally and figuratively. Figuring stuff out breeds excellent skills.
You, my friend, need to get laid. ASAP.
You assume I'm not getting laid? :)
Love the car pc project - very nice job!
I am a regular over on UER, and I just followed back from there to get to your homepage, you have done some AWESOME work with your house! That is really rad!
Also, I love superkeys!
It's been ages and it seems I'm not the only one you made an impression on, I'm amazed that so many SZ "regs" are still around.
The Silly Zone was quite a starting accomplishment for someone your age, at the time.
I don't know if you remember me but I think I was the oldest player on the Silly Zone. If I remember right I was using the name "Boris7" Just saying that name brings back some very fond memories.
Keep up the brilliant work Avatar-X!
I do remember Boris7 :) Nice to see you're still around.
I stumbled on your house recently, and I've been inspired to do something similar! It might take me time to build up to the level you have though.
Just out of interest, what OS do you run on your touch screen machine, and in general?
Thanks :) In general I run Windows throughout. Most of my computers are XP and some of them have been upgraded to Windows 7.
Hello once again! (second time commenting)
Just wanted to know that you and another guy (google "project jarvis") really have inspired me to do my own projects, and I'm really thankful for that. Let's just say that I have implemented a RFID keylock into my door, all lights, tv and heating is now automated. Even my trashcan is about to have a wireless interface! ;) (no joke)
I don't hope you mind me posting a link if you want to follow along on some of my own stuff at www.hsp.dk - If you do, when just remove the link. Just if you are interested.
Anyway, I would also like to ask you a simple question? Could you publish the sourcecode you use for changing to voice output between two soundcards? I'm developing on .NET but originally started with VB myself so it should not be THAT hard adopting.
And good luck with your further projects ;)
Thanks for your kind words! I think I use a software called QuickSoundSwitch (freeware) to do an actual change. Aside from that, it is possible to use the sound API's to actually direct the sound to different cards. I don't even bother with that anymore, I just have two speakers, left and right channel, and simply change the panning.
You have awakened my technological wonder! Your house is like a wonderland of networked symphony and programming! Awesome! I look forward to hearing more. I shall begin tinkering with these ideas!
Thanks from a St.John's University CS student!
Talking touchscreens. You ever looked at NCR 7401's? They're getting cheaper and cheaper all the time.
They were originally designed to be used in restaurant kitchens, but are also used in a variety of other applications.
Kind of a slow computer 1GHz P-III (max), but the cooling is radiant through the chassis and there's no fan noise.
They seem really cool! I'm not sure what I'd do with one right now, but it is good to know that they exist. Thanks!
Very impressive, makes me wish i hadn't sold my subaru wagon for my volvo turbo wagon. lol Jk. Hope to rival your system, I lack the electrical wiring knowledge of yourself though. The car info page is so underrated, maybe for a n/a car but a turbo requires a watchful eye when pushing performance. Scangauge charges 150 up for just displaying that info.
Will follow your advice and tinker =) Might I ask what kind of education you've got?
Also, it seems you don't know about the goatse:
"Not sure on the Goatse reference though...?"
- AV, Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
When you open guestbook/sign.asp, there's a goatse - a man that's widely opening his anus - to the far right.
If you're not known with the fenomenon, simply google it and make sure that the "safe search" filter is turned off.
Whoops! I forgot I had put that there. Thanks for pointing it out.
Formally, I have only completed high school education.
You are living my dream, sir. Carry on with gusto. I will be joining you in a similar endeavor in a few years when I have a permanent home and a disposable income.
Mine will have a music production studio though. :D
PS: lol goatse
Thanks! Not sure on the Goatse reference though...?
I must say that I am vastly impressed by your take on the oversupervising, high-tech'ed, pr0gramDoctored(); house! I'd love to hear more from you - and perhaps reading some soon-to-come tutorials on how to recreate your techfan-heaven home ;)
Since I was a wee lad I've had ideas, simillar to what you present here, for an affordable security-/mainenance system, but I've never actually seen one as.. perfectly performed as yours.
Again, I'd love to hear from you (although, you probably won't achieve any monetary rewards from me - I'm merely fresh student of Computer Science).
Insomniated norwegian student
Brix shat when Goatsee was spotted.
Thanks! I'm not really sure how to respond to your message, but all I can suggest is that you tinker as much as you can. Everything I know about electronics, programming, etc I learned by tinkering.
ME INTERESA LO EXPUESTO LO ENCUENTRO INTERESANTE DESEARIA TENER LA POSIBILIDAD DE CONOCER MEJOR EL SISTEMA COMO TAMBIEN SU PRECIO
Translated: INTERESTED WHEREOF I find it interesting wish I had the opportunity to learn more THE SYSTEM AS WELL AS YOUR PRICE
Wow, I don't even know what to say.
It's me again from 2007, the guy who suggested adding CD drives to Superkeys...
I just installed Windows 7 on my laptop, which has a broken volume wheel, so it's kinda jammed all the way at full volume, lol
But Superkeys doesn't work on 7 :O!
Not even as administrator :'( /cry
Is there anything you could do? :/
Yeah they changed how the volume controls work in Windows Vista & 7. I have a fix for my local hacked copy, but I don't know how well it would work 'in the wild'...
Brilliant. You sir are a god of electronics and programming.
I demand the sillyzone back. It's been like 7 years but I don't care. I want my childhood memories back lol.
hi justin i have a better carpc for you and it works perfect but i didnot have to put converter ac\dc i buy from usa a psu power it is from 12v dc to atx power pc and have 120w for pc i didnot put laptop i put Intel Mini-ITX Board:WADE-8057 or you can put smaller mainbora from intel 12cmX12cm and for os it is a linux ice with nghost car software...screen is 7" lcd vga touchscreen now you give me a idea for usb gps for laptop i have garmin software with maps only i have to by usb gps!!! thanks and i think that you have tu move a laptop out and put mini-itx and just on 2.5" put your software an conect to your wga screen and that is best thig is that you have a smaller borads from intel like 7cmX7cm and have 1.6ghz atom procs and sata and all stuff like normal pc and dont have to cool him out.. think about it and good luck!!!!
Not sure what you're on about, but whatever!
Yea, the sillyzone was great stuff. The place where I first heard Muse:Plug-in-Baby, on the SZ Radio.
I MISS THE SZ!!!!!!!! RAWR!!!!!!!!!!
Great article on the Arduino thermostat. Just curious, what relays did you use with the thermostat? It's hard to make them out in the picture.
I just used some generic 5v relays, I think. Nothing special. Any relay will work, really.
Can't even find the words to describe how great are your projects, it's been a long time since i have seen a so much interesting website.
This gives me inspiration.
On a side note... VB? Oh well, there's people which can draw the Mona Lisa in Paint. I've seen lots of vb crap but your stuff definetively isn't.
Keep up the good work.
Yeah a lot of people give me crap for VB. I wrote an article about it just for you:
hey i see what you did and to be honest its freakin nice (at the very least) but i do have one question whats the website to track your car from your phone??
Well, it's a private site -- I don't really need everyone on the internet knowing where my car is.
Thanks for the input. My meter looks different than yours. Here is the link to the manufacturer: http://www.sensus.com/Module/Catalog/ElectricCategory?id=101
Also, I found out the ambient light (my meter is outside) is causing my circuit to trigger during the day, but it works during the night. I have tried more directive leds with lenses, 940nm leds, 820nm leds and the black part of film as a shield, but no luck yet. I guess I might try using an opamp to detect small fluctuation in voltage. I am currently using a resistive divider. Is there a better way?
I guess I'm lucky -- my meter is indoors. Maybe you could try building a box around your meter? I'm not much on electronics, so I don't really know how to build the best circuit to detect this kind of stuff :)
Nice job on the power monitor. I am building a similar monitor, but I ran into a couple of problems.
I bought an IR detector similar to this one http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049723, but I do not see a significant change in resistance when holding it to the smart meter. Using a remote control or the matching IR emitter does change the resistance from infinity to 0. Also, the smart meter led is very dim compared to a remote. I used a camera to see the difference.
btw, I also live in Toronto and I have the Flexnet 530x smart meter.
Did you run into these problems? What type of IR detector did you use? How bright is your smart meter led?
I just used one that my electronics-expert friend recommended -- nothing special. The LED on my meter is bright enough to be seen with a digital camera or something. Perhaps you need one that has a different wavelength?
Is your meter the same as mine?
Hey Alex, I´m Daniel from germany hamburg, sehr sehr coole Seite, liebe grüße aus Deutschland
Nice work Av.
As others have said, its an inspiration to see that all of this is possible on a small budget and its definitely given me a few ideas for things to try myself.
Great work! , makes me want to tinker with random junk i have laying around ;-) .
How did you get started out then?
Just gotta read and learn and try, don't wait for someone to come along and tell you to do something!
Very cool site! I hope to one day have a set up like yours. Can you recommend any books to help me get started?
Sorry no, I've never read a book on any of this stuff :) Good luck!
Oh... My.... GOD!!!
Your CarPC is just so freaking fucking awesome ! I'm linking to your site from everywhere, your are even one of my idols now ! :D
And for "only" $2500... That's not a lot of money, when you compare it to your new features..
The sync feature with your house (through the wireless in the garage) is just WOAW!
Hey Av! after seeing your awesome car up close, I have decided my next car is going to have a CarPC! thanks for the inspiration buddy!
Hey Av Man- I would have swore i attempted to sign previously, but I suppose not! Long time no see, Great to see all of this, i know i've extensively read and watched everything on your site, Pretty sweet! I like how i got a mention on the sz section as well.. Although you dont play the games anymore, the community lives on.
Wish the best with your endeavors-
Hello, first: GREAT, AWSOME ....
What Software do you have to control anything? Have you made this on your own or is it anywhere to download/buy?
95% of the software you see on my site, I made myself :)
Av, thank you for the great dll for the G15 LCD screen, it's very easy to update the screen (with text and/or graphics!). I love it, thank you very much! The only problem I'm running into is that I don't know what to pass the "Public Sub LCDbuttonPress(ByVal butStates As Long)" routine. It's requiring a value to be passed to it (butStates), but the example project doesn't give an example of using the buttons. Thanks for any help you can provide on this, and again, thank you very much for the dll for VB6! :)
I'm pretty sure the example does show how to use the buttons... look closer. Thanks for the comments!
Hi Av, it's Cell if you remember me, just wanted to stop by and drop a line. Looks like you are doing well, very nice site! Had a lot of fun times back in the day. Good memories :)
awesome site, inspiring
hi i'm trying to do the pc projec in my old jetta
Knowing what you want is always a good start!
I used your G15 dll once before, and stopped using it when i switched to windows 7 and was no longer able to use VB6 for development. I recently dual-booted so that I know have XP as well, so i decided to re-download it and make something else, but now it doesnt work right anymore. when I use the "fast" method of displaying to the screen, instead of filling the screen, it shrinks it to half width and half height, and prints a copy in the top left and top right quadrants of the screen. Any idea what is going on or how to fix it?
I use VB6 just fine in Win7, and my DLL as well. Make sure your monitor is set to 32bpp.
Do you take diagrams or projects; give diagrams or projects or suggestions?
I'm unclear what you're asking me... there's tons of information on my projects on here, but I don't have any diagrams or anything like that. I'm always open to suggestions, but I don't do projects for other people, usually.
Very nice site. Drop me a line sometime. I would love to discuss some things with you.
How about you drop me a line :)
Av, you are quite the man of many talents.
Hi! Your home monitoring and acting experience is a very interesting and complete application. I'm working on a project for environmental monitoring for alpine huts and I would like to use Arduino as central unit. Would it be possible to share opinion with you and to talk about choice criteria for sensors?
thanks a lto,
You are welcome to email me, but there's tons of information on the Arduino available online!
Very interesting site.
just like to say that i love your site and all your projects, im currently studying computing and everytime i begin to lose motivation i find myself returning to your site and looking at your projects, it kinda gives me some motivation/inspiration to continue with my studying so that someday i can do/build the kind of things you got goin on!
I like what you did for your home lighting, Im a DJ and I would love to turn my living room like yours. How much would I have to pay you for you to do mine?
If you read my site, you will figure out how to do it yourself!
very interesting stuff, you are doing a lot of things I have already planned but have no $$ yet.
I would like to exchange e-mails or somehing and chat about a few things!
Keep the good work!
WOW!...I am only 17 right now, but your house has given me some great ideas for my future house...I found this site looking for ideas for my car pc, and found them plus tons of others...
Keep it up,
i would like to know if I would like to purchase some if not all of this gadget and installation how much it would cost me see i was going with linuxmce for all that but i think some of you thing are a little cooler. one thing also is there any way you would write some of those programe for ubuntu software.
Sorry but my software isn't available and generally isn't available. Linux is not a good choice for multimedia and stuff like this either. If you want these apps on Linux I suggest you write them yourself :-)
Congrats on your web page ... I´ve always dreamed of having a CarPc ... since I´m getting my first car soon, I´m thinking about putting my Toshiba Satellite in it, since it is more of a desktop than a laptop (battery life almost gone.. :(
With your tips, it will soon be real for me !
Thanks a lot! :D
Nice setup...also quite nice to see someone who spends as much time playing with electronics as myself. I hack everything with an electronic Heartbeat and actually do Automation for a living... just bought the house I'm in now.. but so far I've got Lutron Lighting Throughout, Homebuilt Vista Media Center with multiple extenders and integrated into um...lol..everything low voltage. For Security a Ademco Vista 128BP Firing Relays for Lights etc... IEI hubmax for the access control on my Entry Exit Doors...and 16CH Homebult Geovision DVR (Camera System) Also Doubling as a Windows Server to keep everything that isn't self contained going....and Finallly a Ubuntu Server for my SQL and Apache... probably missed a bunch but if you're interested I'll upload some pics..... (Currently Building my Auto PC in my Truck, but I'll eventually wind up hosting a Video Tutorial and lots of pics... (only difference so far is I went with a MicroATC case hardwired through an inverter for power with an external 12V 30 AH batt that kinda acts like a UPS...bla bla
What a great site!! You're site has been very inspirational to me. Since viewing your site, I have installed some X10 in my home, wrote some software to control it and send tweets out to keep me informed about my home while I'm away, as well as send MMS messages with a picture when movement is detected.
Not sure what I'll do next - set up an event time to auto-start my Roomba every day? Yep, I think so.
Congrats! I'm glad to see that my site inspired you and you sound like you're enjoying this!
Read about your projects in the paper this morning. Our 11 year old son Daniel has actually started to build some of the carpc stuff, so I was thrilled to see how it could work. And I love the pc digital picture frame, I will get him to build me one. I like that it is reusing things! Any chance you could put a little sensor under toilet seat so it flushes automatically when someone gets up - I could use that for the men in my house!
Haha, that's a great idea and wouldn't be too hard to do :) Cheers!
Excellent! Truly excellent! You seem to have thought of everything. I plan on building a carputer into my next new vehicle, most likely a Ford Explorer, in the near future. You have incorporated just about everything that I would want... With the exception of the box that automatically drops the tire puncturing nails and the smoke generator. (Something to think about!)
Thanks for the great, detailed write-up!
Nice job like your led sign system both in car and wall :) i´m going to be looking into ardino and getting a led sign for my carputer, Where can I get my hands on the camera\gps software and playback system. ? Best regards from Iceland
Woah! Hey Av!
Now that I'm in Toronto, I've recently made use of your TTC schedule app on my BlackBerry. Though, because I am unable to run the files off of the phone, I just use the frame from your simulator example. Even if it uses a little bit of data, it shows up perfect and is just as easy to use.
Excellent projects Av, keep the coming. You've made some great progress.
Great job on the car pc system. Where can I get my hands on the camera software? Or a tutorial? Also a description of the push buttom command/sign setup?
I've always wanted to make a "carputer" but have yet to have a car I can consider a keeper lol.
Wow. What a wonderfully complete CARPC with options that I always thought of being essential to a proper installation. Bravo! Well done! Now maybe you could include some sort of alarm system or pocket pc- initated start/stop/kill commands throughthe internet!
Who says I don't already have it? :)
Cracking website - your car modifications are top notch.
I particularly like the traffic camera feeds, something we could do with over here in England!
Absolutely, bar-none, hands-down the best and most complete car computer implementation I've ever seen. I was an MP3Car reader way before car computers were around and everyone was just getting used to having MP3s. I finally hacked one together myself for my Mini S convertible with a mini-itx based system and an old Liliput touch screen, but your system is the most advanced I've seen so far. What's next, a heads-up display?
Congrats on both building such an awesome system and having the skills to bring all those different parts together to integrate. I wish I had the time and skills to do one again. I'm down in Washington DC but if I were closer, I'd definitely swing by to check it out. Best of luck for the future and keep up the good work!
I'd love to do a HUD, but it's really hard to do and apparently requires some window tinting or something. I'll figure it out eventually!
Cheers and thanks!
Great stuff on your site. Keep it up!
Hey! I really appreciated your computer, car, thermostat, and power meter projects, and I'm really impressed by the integration between them. I am impressed and now tempted to build my own setup.
Have you considered tighter integration of your car and house systems? For example, your "leave apartment" functionality is very cool, but what if you wrote a script that would automatically resume your A/C, heat, or other functions when it detected that your car returned from wherever you were?
Just a thought. I appreciate your work and hope to read much more soon!
I've totally thought about it, but I haven't yet had time to do it. It's totally worth doing, and I appreciate the suggestion! We obviously think on the same wavelength.
dude, everything you do is everything i wanna do!
this is like the most awesome lifestyle project i've ever seen!
just stopped by to say congrats and really keep up your great and utterly inspiring work!
Nice web reading
Hats off to you and your home setup, I would like to try and replicate it someday, with personal mods as any true hacker would do... But anyways, very nice and keep up the great work, I will keep checking back for any updates.
Very interesting site, lots of cool projects. I like the power meter and the led signs, would that everyone could get one. The car computer is very nice and well setup, although it's a pity the lcd has to stick out like it does in the pictures.
I've actually replaced it with a much better LCD in the meantime that's built into my dashboard. Check it out!
Came across your site following a link from Hack-A-Day. Very VERY nice (and through) job on the carputer ! I officially a fan.
you have talent-should go the college route for a while at least.
Why? That's what people who have no talent do! ;-)
But seriously, I hate college. I can learn so much faster and better (and for free!) on my own.
OMG! What you have done is what I have been keep dreaming all these years. Not only all the stuff you have at home but also your CarPC too! I wish I have the time and energy (well, money too) to 'upgrade' my home like yours.
Hope you will share more of your custom software in the future!!
Oh, one thing I did have is using a 12Fxxx PIC to read the IR pulse from my smart meter. The problem is because it is outdoor, sometime I may get false reading from background light. How does your firmware works? Mind to share? :)
Keep up the good work. Nice to see someone from TORONTO publishing something like this!
I'm using an Arduino, and sure I'll share the code, it's not a big deal. I'm lucky in that my meter is indoors in a dark room, so there's no worry about accidental readings.
Hey you expanded the SZ section. I think I've still got old screenshots or stuff archived from the Freakle3 era. I know i've still got a few versions of the Popcorn Song and your TFC scripts manager somewhere.
I'll see if the rest is any good, interested?
Thanks for the offer, but I already have most of that stuff. If you want to create a site somewhere and post it, please feel free! I can link to it.
Great site, keep up the good work!
Hi Alex -- fun site to explore; nice work.
I had a quick look around to see what became of those Edifier speakers (that was you, no?), but I didn't see them. How are they working out for you?
Yeah that was me, the speakers are in place but the site hasn't been updated with that yet...
Thanks for the compliments!
I just wanted to thank you for making UER such a professional site. you are fun and rad!!
Wow some stuff really did change since I last visited your side :D
Awesome work on the CarPC; I do have one question: do you use a SSD or Flash disk for your laptop? I had a normal HDD in my laptop, drove around with it for around 2 km... Drove over a hole in the road and got a blue screen.. The HDD died because the head hit the disc inside :(
Well anyway, awesome apartment, awesome car... Awesome in general :P
As soon as I get my own car (currently I drive the family car) I'm building in an Asus EEE PC or something similar :D
Can't wait hehe
Heya! Thanks for the nice comments.
I thought I might need an SSD, but I've had the laptop hard drive in there for over a year and it hasn't given me a single problem. Guess I'm just lucky.
Nice CarPC setup! I've written some software that uses a proprietary Subaru protocol (SSM) to display gauges and such. I don't know if it will work your model, but it works well with my 2005 Legacy. You can find it here:
Feel free to contact me via that site.
Hey man, awesome site. You've got some real useful stuff here! I just wanted to say thanks for all your useful scripts and programs!
Hey, and if you need a server for testing anything, give me a call!
All i can say is genius! You really know how to work with what you got! I especially enjoyed your car-computer (mainly because i was browsing mp3car.com and saw your install). Does the wake-on-LAN work with the DHCP on the router trying to give an address or is it just because there is power on the hub? Anyway, Love your install, and love browsing your projects. Keep up the brainstorming!
The Wake-On-Lan works because I've added a startup command into the router to send the WOL packet :) Thanks!
Wao I’m really impressed with your car pc project!! It’s amazing :) I’ve always dreamed in having a computer inside my car with wifi, cameras and to have a LED display with messages for the drivers behind me. You have done an amazing job! Consider me a fan of your work. Cheers from Dominican Republic
I've read your site many times and I've noticed that you have a Media Center PC and I'd love to read some info about that computer! I'd also like to know what software you use other than the stuff in your list. Thanks!
I don't really have anything special on that PC... I couldn't find a "media center" software that I liked, so I just use MediaPlayerClassic and browse folders to find the stuff I want.
Service center is charging me $70 for a repair even though its under warranty.
When i took it in to the store that they referred me to, the store told me that Dyson will not cover it even though Dyson faxed over paperwork stating that they will in fact pay for the repair.
He insisted that Dyson will not pay any part of the repair and charged me $70.
Dyson has since confirmed that they are in fact paying for the repair.
I am now refusing to pay the service center. It is outrageous that the local service center is trying to double dip.
Borrowed a neighbor's vacuum while I file complaints with Dyson corporate and the department of consumer affairs.
One dyson rep actually said that if there is a bobby pin found inside the vacuum while the service center is repairing it, they are entitled to charge me for my negligence for not inspecting the carpet closely enough before I vacuum.
The warranty specifically states Blockage. A bobby pin does not constitute blockage especially if the vacuum still has suction.
My problem had to do with the vacuum not standing upright.
Electrolux cleans better than Dyson (consumer reports). It also has a real two year warranty instead of a five year scam.
It cleans well and is durable but lacks the WOW factor of the Dyson. The Dyson looks really good.
Not sure why you're posting this here... I suggest contacting Dyson corporate at email@example.com. There's not much I can do about it.
Wow, I found your site via the youtube clip about your LED message sign and I must say I am very impressed. From your carpc to your home automation to your LED sign, just WOW!
i was looking through an old hard drive and i found the avatar-x coms script for tfc and remembered it used to be hosted here. the site looks different to how i remember (better though!). nice website, peace
Yup, out with the old, in with the new :)
Well, the carpc certainly grabbed my attention and I think that the whole setup is really pretty interesting.
Nice little site. I'll check it from time to time to see if you have added anything else. ☺
I agree with the comment you posted on lifehacker; your digital photo frame is much much better than the one featured. My old VAIO cowering in the corner of the room as I type...
I finally figured out how the dll functions in combinatie with the G15. Thanks once again.
Thank you for the g15lcddll1.zip! I hope i can make it work for me as well as it does for you.
MattDavis just sent me this link and I felt like saying HIIII and those were a damn good 4 years. Thanks for making 'em happen :D
Hey! I used to play a lot on the sillyzone.
I was going through my old hard drive and found a whole bunch of old sillyzone related stuff like sprays and an old unfinished SZ community/fansite that I was working on with Seppuko.
The fansite even had an interview with you!
Let me know if you wanna see any of this.
SZ nick: "D"
Sure, why not :)
Hi. I never got to play at the SillyZone but have been trying to find all the maps to put on my TFC server. That would be awesome if you had a download link to most of the maps...I'd love to run your maps on my server (CPF's House of Pain)
There is a maps download in the TFC section of my site -- but it is only the maps that I made, the sources.
Like wtf? this is so cool !
Please make a version of LogLCD for Vista 64 aswell! :(
Never done any 64-bit programming... I've got no idea where to start. Apparently the DLL works fine under Vista's 32-bit compatibility layer...
Hello Av! I still remember back when I was probing the web for your Server Assistant as well as the AVC system. Now, here they finally are. Also, I was inspired by your automation projects to start my own, beginning with a touchscreen for lights in my house. Thanks for the inspiration among other things!
-Connor (otherwise known as OnlinePirate)
You're about 5 years late -- I released SA and AVC for free back in 2003 :-) Glad you like them.
Interesting to find out that someone else has been building and designing almost exactly the same kind of controls and ideas to the aparment as I have :) From touchscreen controlled lights, cameras and media systems to the voice-operated functions.
Almost every development idea and practices what I am using and even some what I have had planned before finding your site match things founded from your site. Talk about coincidence. Only idea what I have not had that you have is that wrist-watch thing :) Pretty neat that too.
The X10-kinder-spirit sends greets and best wishes from Finland :)
Neat to read that we apparently share a lot of ideas :)
I saw your car pc demo on the google earth that around my home in toronto. u are really doing a cool job, fantastic. Anyway, I really like this system and u are a crazy genius!!
You found it on Google Earth? Bizarre!
wowww wicked man, i almost lost the reason i came here, 3 hours ago! haha or a long time, this is all really neat!, your car, home, screens all very good! Hope to see more of this soon!
It's awesome pal. would you like to teach me how you do it??? i am so pump-up with your cool idea!! please help me with it...can you>>?? i have laptop same as yours. email me...
I'm sure you can figure it out. Good luck!
Its great to see someone working on these fantastic projects. I'm working on a car-computer at the moment as well. - Was considering the LED Display even before visiting your sight. Now I'll have to try it!
I love the traffic web cam integration into your carPC. Unfortunately I live in Anchorage, Alaska, and we really don't have enough traffic cams to provide purpose for that integration.
One project that I'm thinking about is using the new Fusion Brain I/O device that's on the Mp3Car Website. I've done some web application development, and If I could make a webApp out of the Fusion Brain's pre made application, you could control many home appliances and read many of your home's sensors.
I have a wordpress blog that I am currently working on. Please check it out if you have some free time. I am certainly an amateur when it comes to web development, but the blog is coming along slowly... :)
My blog address is www.bnztec.com
Your site looks great. Just out of curiosity, How old are you?
Hi, thanks for your comments and stuff!
I'm about halfway between 20 and 30 at this time. :-)
The Fusion Brain basically just looks like an overpriced Arduino -- I don't understand why you would use the Fusion Brain when the Arduino is cheaper, super easy to use, and more dynamic. I use 4 Arduinos in my home & car, total :)
Wow- what a great car!
at last i can do away with cap locks going off back accident.... thanks av-man!!
god i remember the sillyzone still. im sure u remember the Robo clan which was me but back then i was so young. i first joined the sillyzone when i was 8 when my name was bald eagle 8. i miss the races and i miss that halloween map. i miss the good time that the sillyzone gave me. i wish i still had the hundreds and hundreds of maps but i have reformatted since then and dont have any. btw im 16 now but avatar-x i have not seen a server better than that ever. even after u quit i would still use ur fox mookie as the model. i can't believe i still remember its name.
Great car!! :D
Just wondering what you use for speech synthesis with your car computer. The voice sounded unusually good. :)
It's pretty good, but like all of these "natural" sounding voices, it has a lot of odd hiccups and pauses.
It's "Simon" by Loquendo, a UK Male.
!!!!!!! I remember the SZ server!! Good times! I also used to read the Encounters with Llamas site (still available on Internet archive). I've had TFC since mid 1999, but occasionally, as real life would get in the way, would take breaks that would span a couple years at a time. I actually kinda miss SZ now... but for a while Axl's TFC server was a good one around '04 or '05 or so (I can't remember - server is now defunct as well).
I still DO play TFC.... and no, I'm not l33t at it, yet. I've started to get halfway decent at handheld conc jumping. Most of the time I'll hang out on the jolt.co.uk servers, a dustbowl server, or occasionally find another one to play on.
If you're in the flagroom in well, and you get sniped and can't find your assailant, take a look up on the little red lights above the elevator leading to the attic.... you might find me up there ;P
I used to go on the SZ server too. It was an awsome server that I enjoyed to play on because it was the silliest server on tfc. Do you still remember me, Avatar-x?
Can you please update the list of Applications you use and info on AvKeyLinc. I'm really intrested in those. Also, can you control your automation from the internet? Keep it up!
Perhaps you should email me, rather than using the guestbook!
My sentiments are with the rest, a cliche little comment about SZ. Miss the accordion ;). All those maps you made and regularly hosted were some of the best experiences of my youth. Whatever happened to the old regulars like Sepp and whatnot? I wonder if they're doing their own little thing like you are.
Good luck with your projects, also- do you still have the old llama songs? It's been a long time since I've heard them- give me an email!
Yup the Llama Jams are in the Projects section. Thanks for the sentiments!
What do you do when the power goes out......
Hasn't happened since 2003. But all of my computers are on battery backups, and if the outage lasts past 20 minutes, I have laptops, PDAs, and other battery-powered devices :-)
I am always amazed every time I check your page. It's great to know how wonderful things are going for you.
I know what you mean. It's long gone now, but served as a good proof-of-concept and a test subject for mounting, shock- and weatherproofing etc. All I can say is, that thing can take a lot of punishment and still survive.
Time will tell :)
Great job on the CarPC setup. I used the same camera on my rear bumper, with a bank of 75 IR leds. It worked pretty well in complete darkness.
I think a better approach would be to start with a better camera -- this one's a real piece of junk!
What's the "track" section of car.avbrand.com for?
It's private. That's why it asks for a password. But you can see a picture of it in "part 3" of the car PC section on this site.
Thanks! A lot has changed there! Still, keep it up!
Your Car PC system is amazing! You must have good car security or something because it'll be bad if someone breaks in. If someone breaks into your car, the car should alert you with a text message or something like that. Adding features to the car that communicates back and forth to your cell phone or mobile device would be nice. It reminds me of James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies where he controls his car with his cell phone.
I see what you mean. It's the same with my website. Anyway, keep it up!
I updated the 'touchscreen' section for you :-)
I'm talking about the pages on your site. Like pictures are out of date. Eg. Your desktop, and your living area in your home picture is also out of date.
Well, there's a lot of things that change here, and it's very time-consuming to keep this site up to date all the time...
Me again! Some of your stuff is out of date. Are you updating it any time soon?
What stuff are you referring to, specifically? There's a lot of stuff on my site.
Hey Av, I love you're Car PC! I've just noticed that it isn't on the Car PC page isn't in the sitemap.
Yeah, I'll update it, thanks!
I'm with Guru, you need to automate your toilet. I think the next big step in that apartment is working on the shower, sink and toilet for the complete feel. A shower temperature control you can voice control, maybe? :P
You really have to let me come up to your home sometime.. I'll even bring pastry/ chicken / alcohol /whatever =]
it just looks really neat
The Sillyzone was where I spent the majority of my time with TFC which was my favorite game.
Riding nukes, stacking on that nazi map, skydiving off of the helicopter on that escort map, skeet shooting on that map with the lighthouse. All favorite activities. Also, the skydiving map with the plane and the parachutes in it was the bomb.
I never was part of the 'in' crowd that had access to the crazy-ass scripts and custom models and things, and I apparently left before the light shows went on but I had a blast.
Especially being part of the Crowbar Crazed Communists on Mooncheese. Utilizing only C_ based weapons (Chotgun, Crowbar, Cannon Assault, Centry Gun) we claimed the moon against the intrusion of the capitalist pigs.
If anyone plays TF2 you can add me from www.steamcommunity.com/id/TiCK
Haha, wow, I remember all that stuff. Good times, good times.
Hey Avatar-X. I remeber playing at the sz when i was little. all the crazy shit. i remember waking up in the morning and thinking to myself what am i going to do today, and id jump on my pc and go right to ur sever. i remembered this becuase i was looking at adminop hopping to run my own server but i cant find 3.0 :(
it would be great if you still had that mod. and every thing a few friends of mine were wondering if we could get ahold of it and start it back up. hoping to bring long lost memories back. i know your going to say no. but it's always worth a try. it would be gladly appreciated. but lolz i already kno the answer. i would run the server under your command. and keep in touch with you. but please please. tell me why you took sz down. i would love to see it going again. tfc was my first game i fell in love with and will be the only game. shit i still kno my won id :) .
And i have to say i did imposter you a few times on adminop to get admin and sure enough it worked. but that was years ago. so yeah man. Peace
Oh and btw I cant find 3.0 u have any clue were i can find it?
AdminOp was a mod made by some other guy, can't help you there. As for the SZ, all of the models, maps, code, etc is available on my website under the Sillyzone section. Feel free to do with them whatever you like.
great site keep it up.
Wow, AV, I didn't know you were still around. I miss the Sillyzone so much. Like others have commented, it was a huge part of a my life since I was so young when I was a member of the community. I still talk to my two friends from high school about the SZ every once in awhile, even though they make fun of me for it. I also recognize pretty much every person that has posted saying they were from the SZ, which I guess proves that it made quite an impression on me. Do you still keep in touch with anyone from the old community? Maybe Jeff Raven or someone else? Oh BTW, I have a bunch of the old resources collecting dust on my hard drive. Including when I had that shoutcast server I set up... I made all these little sound bites saying like "This song is sponsored by nuke cola" and stuff like that. I also have a huge collection of 'QOTC's (quotes of the connect). If you want any of that stuff from me or want to fill me in on anything interesting that has happened since then, feel free to email me. Oh and I hope you remember me. =OP
Sure do! Awesome to hear from you again :-)
I'd love to have those old quotes and stuff. I'll email you.
Amazing my surprise when I did a random search for the TFC SillyZone and stumbled across this.
Thanks for keeping some links alive from the good ol' SZ - brought back some great childhood memories!
Keep up the great work, that apartment is awesome :)
Nice job! You've got talent. What programming language did you use for your touchscreen, or basically everything in your home automation? Do you have a favorite programming language?
I used Flash for the front-end of the touchscreen, and VB6 for the back-end and most of the other apps. People may insult VB6 all the time, but it's super-quick, powerful, and doesn't have many limits. It's also easy as pie to make simple and quick apps in it.
Your home automation is amazing! I was wondering, what kind of education was necessary for building your specific home automation configuration? I am a freshman in college interested in electronics and programming, but I'm having trouble picking classes.
No clue. I did all my learning on my own, and for most of the electronics / automation I did it in my spare time (since I don't really use those skills for my career). Personally I'm no huge fan of college and I did not attend it.
Is there anything you would change in your system? something you don't like? something you want? something that is unreliable in your setup?
Sure, there are a lot of little things that have their problems and that I just don't have time (or care) to fix. Stuff also stops working if I stop using it.... wires get disconnected, controllers no longer work, etc. Did you have something specific in mind?
Love the automation in your home! Are the monitors DVI or VGA in your workstation? And do you cut your energy bills by using this system?
The photo is a little out of date now -- at the time they were 3 VGA, 1 DVI. Now I am up to 5 monitors, two are DVI, two are VGA, and one is VGA through a USB Video adapter (it sucks).
The automation definitely helps save energy, as lights are only on in the areas that actually need light at any given time.
dig it thatnks for sharing
Hello! You have a Very good site! I like it! I just wanted to pass on a note to let you know
Hello! You have a Very good site! I like it! I just wanted to pass on a note to let you know
Wow, I stumbled across this site and the stuff you have done to your house and your electronics is amazing! My field is in industrial product design and would give anything to have such a high competency level of electronics and programming as you.
Actually I am doing a project at the moment and seeing your bluetooth speakers mod I was wondering if I could ask you how I would make some speakers and an lcd screen battery powered.
Both the speakers and screen run 12V DC at 1.5 Amps max, basically these need to be battery powered instead of from the mains through an AC/DC transformer.
Is it just as simple as plugging in x2 12V batteries in to each or do I need special circuitry to get the output right? Is there any likelihood of blowing the thing up!?
Any help would be really appreciated, as my electronics knowledge is not really great.
All SLA (Sealed Lead-Acid) batteries are 12V. They are heavy, but they are no-brainers -- they output 12V, and you charge them by feeding in 12V. It's impossible to overcharge them, and they last a good few years.
It should be as simple as just plugging in your circuit directly into the battery. Then, to charge, just plug the charger directly into the circuit also -- this will both charge the battery and power the circuit.
Hope it works!
I have an idea for your superkeys: the functionality to open/close optical drives
It's a good idea, but alas I find myself with very little time these days.
Your BT speaker is awesome! I am eager to see how you did it step by step, when will you post a tutorial？
I need to find some time to update the site. But it's pretty simple, I basically just wired a battery to the power in port from the speaker, and wired the speaker out (left/right) from the BT Headphones into the input on the speaker.
You da man av!
YOU THE MAN!!
is the watch bidirectional?
Yes. The computer both listens and talks... in the video you can hear the computer responding to my questions -- the voice is coming out of the watch.
D: im not on your list of the sz players :'(
Anyways how are ya doing AV? Long time no talk. hows life treating ya? mines been crazy, im even married now, so i dont have much time for games. :'(
Life's great. Sorry you're not on the list, but I can't remember everyone.. Sorry!
can u tell me how to make the touchscreen
Just buy a touchscreen monitor, and write some software. Good luck!
I wish i had a brain like u.................
Why don't you have a RSS Feed for the news on your site?
... Because I do? It's clearly displayed in the Firefox address bar.
I just love the setup, I'm dreaming of making my own one with similar stuff, I can buy anything I need (or already own stuff) <- ermm well not the touchscreen.. too expensive... -> but I can't do programming... I'm only 16 years old and electronics is my everyday hobby so I know I'll make it one day ;)
Great site too! *thumbs up* :D
Hey AV, Awesome site! I love it. I want to do a similar setup for my apartment (if my wife lets me...hehe). But I don't have the "know-how" in programming. What is some similar software that you would recommend, like the VoiceCommander, and Touchscreen, etc. Any recommendations would be great. Thanks!
No idea -- I really did this as a hobby, I didn't even really look at what's out there.
hey nice job!!! I love your site. kinda neat and cool. I just made a bluetooth-two-way-VOIP-phone for 30$ and some other stuff! but suck at web desigining. Any tips?
*shrug* I'm not a designer, I'm a programmer. But it's good to practice and learn by doing, that's how I do it.
Very nice home and Site, Dude. But I´m very interested in the flash of your computer-corner. The first is: can I make the same flash then yours but with my Computer-corner. The second: How do you do this flash xD?
It's rather simple -- just learn how to use Flash. There's nothing too special about that application.
Hey there, I'm a long ago quasi-regular on the old TFC SZ server, although I doubt you remember me ;)
After god knows how many years I stumbled upon this site, and I must say, very nice job on all the crazy crap you do.
Awesome job! What are all the names of the soundtracks you used in "The Demo"?
In order, the music you hear is:
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
Abba - Dancing Queen
Mauro Picotto - Proximus
Enigma - Sadness
(in background) Kurt Bestor - Electric Highway
DJ Dado - Dreamscape
hello ! I have just spent quite a long time surfing around on your site so I decided to spend a few more minutes to let you know that I like your site very much. Keep up the good work !
Hello admin, nice site! Good luck! Oh yes, one extra comment - make sure the pages are not too long, keep scrolling a minimum.
Would you prefer page buttons? I'm a guy who likes stuff to be on one page instead of having stuff split over 10 pages.
I've more or less been doing nothing to speak of. I've just been staying at home waiting for something to happen. Today was a loss. My life's been really bland today, but so it goes.
Can you digg it? http://www.digg.com/hardware/Smart_Home
Can you tell me a joke?
Hello ! I have just spent a pretty long time on your site so I decided to spend a few more minutes to let you know that I find your site very interesting. Keep up the good work !
Nicely Done! I was wondering what you've been doing since the BD days....excellent work
Good work! Keep on delighting us with your house
hey dude... some really nice work. I am interested in the G15 Mod but i have no clue of programming this like it... To bad you cant dl it completely.. still work.
hey, what's up everyone... Im sure only Silky saddam remembers me lol. i used to play on this server all the time till it shutdown... well yeah.. i just wanted to say hi and revisit the memories.
I'v been trying to compile your Server Assistant. But i can't seem to open the project (VB 6.0) I added the components that were in the zip with it. But I'm still getting the error "Object library not resisted" Is there anything else missing.
(Also, i'm sorry if i shouldn't of posted this here)
I'm sorry, but I have no idea what the problem is. The project opens fine over here. I suggest you check the error log.
Just curious, what was the Silly Zone server specs?
Who remembers? The SillyZone moved servers so many times -- server specs werent very important. What really mattered was the amount of bandwidth and the connection speed.
Little question, did you made that voice commander program yourself? And if not, where can i download it?
Yes, I did. It uses the Microsoft Speech SDK -- this makes an application like that relatively easy to create.
great work alex
Nice to see you again, Medo :)
why dont u automate the flush of the toilet, call me sometime guru
Ah, Guru... you're still the same. :) I was considering doing that actually, just for fun.
The Half-Life/Team Fortress Classic Community miss The Silly Zone. I hope you know that. :P Please come back, Avatar-X and Friends.
Ich schau mir so Deine Page an und, sehe das bei Dir voll viele Namen erwähnt werden und die sagen mir sogar teilweisse noch was. Irgendwie geil, ich schweb gerade in Erinnerungen. War echt schön damals!
Sorry, not coming back. Others can fill my place :)
awesome use for custom X10 controls!
Hey man, I wasn't at the Sillyzone around those times since I was like 6 or 7, but I wish I was there. From what I heard, it was pretty sweet. Sorry I wasn't there, I really wish I was though. It must've been really fun and exciting.
Hey, I was reading through the old forum archives and noticed the stuff said about ACFH, which is kinda weird I suppose because I didn't notice it when it was said 5 years ago, but anyways I just want to apologize for using content from the SZ
Water under the bridge. I don't even remember what ACFH is. :)
Damn, it's been a while since I heard the name Avatar-X
Hope you're well, certainly been a long time since I sat on the Sillyzone watching one of your lightshows.
Mabye when TF2 comes out, you'll manage to innovate the shit out of that mod too :P
Doubtful. Firstly, I'm amazed it's not out yet -- wasn't it due in 2001? It's almost as bad as Duke Nukem Forever. And secondly, I don't really play games anymore. But thanks for your kind words!
You are awsome! my new idol!! Reply to my email! i need your help.
Sorry, but I'm not a charity... if you want to have some of this stuff in your home, you'll need to either buy the software products that do similar things, or make it yourself like I did. Good luck!
Hey I remember you and I remember the sillyzone. These things will always be dear to my heart
@ Av, i'm not so smart, your're alwsome!! my new idol!! dammit your're life should be easy!! :D wanna trade =D:P? I've jsut been started to make my own LCD for my computer ^^ but a.....a......its not working xD:P Greetzz, Kenny
Avatar-X, what computer case is that?
I have no idea what you are talking about. A few notes: When you ask a question, it's best to email me, instead of using the guestbook. Also, be specific. There are 5 computers in my home.
In being a more extensive setup, ours is based on being integrated into a full size home, as opposed to an apartment. The ammount of features that we have drawn out in plans and already implemented go down to the smallest things. Such as, the smarthome knows who you are when you walk into any room, and knows what temperature you want that room, taking into account any number of other circumstances. Essentially it's all software which you could easily do. The other big thing, is from what I can tell, you are using some X10, where as we are entirely wiring with DMX and using custom made USB to DMX converts and DMX powerpacks integrated into the house, as well as patch panels that go from any connector, not including ones that carry a current, to a cat-5e connection so wiring the entire house is inter-changeable and distance is not an option. In preliminary deigns, we have a server room which is all automated and where the "smarthome" lives, and from anywhere in the house a "console" can be plugged in and a digital switch via RF is used to switch the input/output signals to the correct machine.
Just the niddy griddy. We try to make it as professional, and built with every possible feature we can think of as possible.
Well, that all sounds very cool. I think the main differences between that kind of setup and my setup is (1) My setup is already finished and working, and (2) My setup was built on the cheap. I use X10 because it's cheap and effective, even though it's not the best technology out there. Individual-room computerized climate control is (in my opinion) a little excessive, and also very expensive. Still, it's very cool to hear about this!
Dammit! WHAT A F*** SWEET HOME DUDE!! YOU ROCKS!!! ffs damn i whant it to, how smart are you? keep up the good work!!! Greetz,
Thanks, Kenny. You want it to what? It's all home made, anyone can do it with a little practice :)
Imagine my surprise to stumble upon your site, AV. After following links originating from Cyberwyre, which I remembered after visiting UER :-p. Been along time since SZ.
I must say I am impressed at all your works, mostly the home automation, seeing as myself and my friend have been working on a system for the past 3 years doing the same thing, except on a more extensive level. I myself am using your G15 dll, works like a charm!
I can't remember how many times over the past 3-4 years I ahve sat here trying to find those lightshow videos on one of my many HD's and searching the web :) .. glad you kept them, I remember all of those, best stuff ever.
Good to see you are still doing what you do best, I will definately keep up-to-date on your stuff, as its so interesting!
--Matt "Shadow00Caster" Rhoades
Awesome to hear from you again!
More extensive than my setup? Do tell!
Thanks for all the great times you provided me while I was growing up Av... you will always be remembered by me for years to come.
nice site keep it up ok
i would like to know how much $ you invested in your appartment XD
nice one, i also want 4 monitors connected to my computer :p
Someday day when I'm a millionaire you are going to be the man I call when I need my pad gadget pimped.
word up dude.
yo, av, Ahmad here ...
so i finally had some free time and decided to check out ur site ... so apparently you too have a LOT of free time too! (to do all this stuff) or are you just bored with "normal" ;)
I used to have a lot of free time, before I met you guys :)
Hey, its been years and i decided to look up the sillyzone. You guys should really bring it back up. even though its been a long time, I still miss the SZ..
There are severs available that are similar to the sillyzone (check out Yaypit and The Monastery) but the original SillyZone is gone. Thanks for your thoughts.
yo av, prolly dont remember me hehe but thats cool, i was just surfin the web and decided to look up "the sillyzone" and i'll be damned..i found somthin hehe, just wanted to say i appreciated that server, i always had fun there, even though i was a pretty much unknown lowbie, but yeah, good times is good times. anywho, just thought i'd drop by and say hi. hello. and good day to you sir.
My dogs breath smells like dog food!
Loving the Sillyzone section. Brings back alot of old memories that were tucked away.
greetings from Germany. Nice work. I can't wait till release for AvKeyLinc :P
Not gonna happen! :)
hi, i`m from germany 4 those who don`t know where that is it`s in europe^^. i must say your Logitech G15 mod is f**king nice. i`ve just bought me a G15 two days ago and must say Logitech rulezzz!!! but is it possible that you might release that mod 4 other people cause a know that somany people would love it or could you maybe tell me with what apps you done that mod thx
sry 4 my bad english^^
Sorry, but my mod only works with my home setup. I don't have time to convert it to work for everyone!
You know I love ya. You're a very talented guy. I set up the Doorbuzzer in my Mom's apartment. Very sweet!
Hello from the west coast, kind sir.
Hi! Good to see some people from your side of the ocean.
You need a life :P
I've got one! Thanks :)
Hey AV, I don't know if you remember me or not, I originally went as Roboman and later became a Monk. I frequented alot during the middle-ages of the sillyzone when all the classic names were there (before everyone upt and left, peh). I eventually got banned by you because of a mis-understanding and I hope these 5-6 odd years later you still don't hold that grudge lol. Anyways just wanted to say that Sillyzone was an incredible experience when it was up, and my 2 years there made TFC so much fun, the community was awesome. I literally grew up there as I was still in grade school at the time. Now I'm going into grade 12 wanting to study Computer Science and programming party because of you. All those cool things you did with the DLL really got me interested in programming and now I know a few languages and have taken courses on c++ lol. Although it might sound wierd, your server made an impact on alot of people. Thanks for the great times and light shows ;) Have a good one.
Aww, thanks so much for your kind words. I barely even remember any of the stuff that happened, certainly not enough to hold any grudges. It was a life-changing time for me too, and I'm glad that I have had a positive influence on your life!
Good luck in your future years, and check back here often as I add more stuff to the database!
Hey, normally I wouldn't mess up someone's guest book, but, I found a problem with your site...
(problem has been fixed, thanks!)
Your system is truly impressive; but what I find most impressive is how much attention you've paid to the interfaces - there are a lot of skilled programmers out there doing interesting things, but it looks like someone could be dropped into your house with no knowledge of the system and still be able to use a lot of things. Plus, it's kinda cool that you're from Toronto; I'm from Stratford myself - hardly a neighbour, but it's cool that you're from Canada.
Thanks for your time!
Thanks for your help in finding the bug, and thanks for your kind words! I'm by no means an expert at interface design, but I'd like to think that I have a bit of a sense for it. Usability, anyway. Yeah, lots of people come by my place and just start playing with the touchscreen, it doesn't take them long to figure it out. And yeah, go Canada!
You probably don't remember me at all. I was part of the silly zone about half way through its life time. You used to call me "gobby". I'm still part of whats left of the community you started. I know it sounds cheesy, but the silly zone was a major part of my child hood (I grew up on the internet!). I was pretty young when I frequented the server, and didn't realize how much it would affect me later. Watching those light show videos brought back so many memories. Thanks for all the great times you created for us. I'll never forget them.
Awesome, im glad you releasing screen shots and videos, its there more to come? :D
I must say i always wanted to be an admin on sillyzone, or wanted sillyzone to come back... Now i want to be in your aparment/condo!
Also have you made you fox skin for HL2 or imported it?
PS: what ever happened to sky? I know it was like 10 years ago and off topic but how did he get banned?
When I closed down my HL server, I pretty much quit that type of gaming. I've never played HL2.
I don't even remember who sky is. The events you describe happened 4 years ago, a lifetime away for me. I have no idea.
I wish my home ws like that! Great concept Av!
I am always amazed everytime I visit your site. Keep coming up with winners :D
You never fail to amaze me Av, even though it has been pretty close to 6 years since those days, I look back and still say "Wow..."
Wow! Great job! Looks like alot of work, but it's definatly worth it. Any chance of releasing the G16 mod? I know alot of people on www.g15mods.com would like it...
Wow... random surfing led me to this site, and I have to say I am thoroughly impressed by your home automation work!! I have always thought this would be such a cool project to undertake, but boy... talk about a LOT of work. Anyway, just had to share my appreciation. Your user interfaces are quite excellent as well!
awesome site, i was looking into the x10 stuff for a while, but then at one of the discountliquidation stores around me i forund black and decker remote controls for x-mas lights, they are ok for controlling lights, the remote fits on my key chain like a car remote, and best of all they were like $10. Keep up the good work, and is it possible to get the touchscreen software? i have a touch screen, but am not very good at programming... I can do the flash interface though...
At this time, none of the software in the My Home section will be released any time soon. It's all custom to my home setup and would be useless to you. It's just not worth my time to make it usable to everyone, just so 2-3 people can use it.
I stopped SA and AVC because I lost interest in half-life. Not wanting to see the work die, I released all of my source code for free.
Are you going to release that Voice Commander? :D
Av, why did you discountinue AVC and SA? It changed my life...
Av, you make me want to kill myself, because I feel like a complete idiot after seeing the kind of crap you pulled off.
Freakin' awesome, man.
thats a shame you winamp app is awesome
is it possible to get your g15 lcd applet for winamp? it looks amasing in the video.
No. The applet is for my home media setup only, it's not easily exportable.
I obviously have way too much time on the Internet to have found stumbled across this without even being told....
Mate, when you perfect the automatic masturbatory device??
Send me one!!
Av nice site, i love all your gizmos and gadgets. God bless IKEA btw.
w00t, and stuff!
Thanks for helping me test the guestbook, guys.
um......rawr and stuff!
I'm the first to sign (I think)!