AvBrand Exploring Technology
AvBrand Exploring Technology
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From on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 at 12:52 AM

I have a leddar sensor from leddar tech, and I want to run it with a rasberry pi or arduino to give me speed readings....can you help?

From willie on Sunday, January 28th, 2018 at 8:10 AM

dude, your projects are freakin' R A D.
keep it up; i want to see more.

From Mozar on Monday, July 10th, 2017 at 2:33 AM

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.

From on Thursday, April 13th, 2017 at 11:55 AM

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

From on Sunday, March 6th, 2016 at 10:44 AM

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! :)

From on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 at 9:39 PM

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 !

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, October 4th, 2015 at 12:12 PM)

It's amazing to me that people still use X10 today. It is so unreliable!

From on Saturday, July 25th, 2015 at 4:07 AM

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. :)

From Walker on Saturday, April 4th, 2015 at 1:24 AM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 at 6:15 PM)

Awesome, glad I could be an inspiration! Woof!

From on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 at 7:21 AM

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 jeongsk@wiznet.co.kr
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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 at 6:14 PM)

Thanks! Sure, go ahead and share, that's what it's here for!

From on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 at 3:29 PM

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.


From on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 at 4:23 AM

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!

From shiroi on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 8:20 PM

this guy is a pretty cool dude! He's hip, rad, and bombastic!

You go, Av!! Yeea! Yea! yeee

From on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Just ran across this website. Hope you're doing well.
Was a SZ regular many years ago.

From daxsi on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 8:40 PM

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!

From on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Nice work

From on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 10:15 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 10:17 PM)

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.

From Quadratic on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 at 6:28 PM

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 ;).

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 9:39 AM)

Hehe, yup, still here! Just haven't had time to update the site...

From Jason on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at 2:50 AM

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.

From on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 9:32 PM


This is great stuff. Looks easy to build.
Is the software(electricity monitor) used to display the data open source?



From on Sunday, March 30th, 2014 at 4:05 PM

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 :)

From on Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 10:35 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 4:44 PM)

Thanks! Glad you find my site useful :)

From on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Your music taste is awesome!! I have essentially every song you mentioned or that was featured on your site anywhere.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 4:44 PM)


From on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 at 2:42 PM

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.

From on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 2:29 PM

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!

From on Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 9:35 AM

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!

From on Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 9:33 AM

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.

Take care,


Maybe drop me an email if you have a chance? I had some questions about using Arduino-operated relays; if you have the time.

From Krazycalvin on Sunday, December 29th, 2013 at 5:28 AM

I was just thinking back to all the hours spent at the silly zone server. Good times.

From on Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 1:39 AM

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. :)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 2:02 AM)

Thanks! Yeah he is doing much better.

From rescueme1060 on Sunday, December 8th, 2013 at 7:58 PM

spent some time looking over your projects tab, pop card 2 is my favorite. the LED message board in the Subi is awesome

From on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 8:49 PM

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!

From Haxsys on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Your car gives me a boner.

From on Sunday, July 28th, 2013 at 6:55 PM

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

From on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 6:03 AM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 9:05 AM)

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.

From Sandy on Friday, July 19th, 2013 at 4:55 AM

Hi Avbrand,

For the Home Thermo-Stat

What are the electrical components required?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 9:04 AM)

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.

From on Friday, July 12th, 2013 at 12:48 PM


Your power monitor project is interesting..

Is the software available for download? Even the old one not using the touch screen..:D


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, July 12th, 2013 at 2:29 PM)

Hi Ron,

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.

From on Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 at 7:07 PM

I'm speechless

From XcorneliusX on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 9:24 PM

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.

Thanks AV!

From James on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Dude, everything you have done is unbelievably amazing.

From on Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Bravo my friend... Very nice projects!!

From on Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Great blog, keep it up. Your hydro meter & thermostat were very interesting.

From on Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at 10:56 PM

I'm impressed. You've really raiesd the bar with that.

From on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 7:16 PM

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.

From god on Sunday, July 8th, 2012 at 4:56 AM

did you get avtouch from a store or did you write the program?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 3:59 PM)

All of the software featured on this website was written by me!

From on Thursday, July 5th, 2012 at 7:42 AM

loving the integration of tech in my favorite car : a subaru

From Omaga on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I love the site, I love how you tell people to get off their butts and do it your self.
Thanks for the ideas.

From on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 11:27 PM

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.

From Doug on Sunday, May 20th, 2012 at 11:42 AM

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!!!

From Dan on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Some of you work was way ahead of its time...dropping by to show some respect :)

Dan from www.todaystoronto.com

From on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 8:48 PM

thanks. you are truly a hard working person.
greetings from mexico

From cecilie rangå on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 at 11:16 AM

I love You! :)

From on Friday, March 16th, 2012 at 6:47 AM

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 :)

From JK on Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 12:31 AM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 4:40 PM)

Actually, since they fixed my vacuum back in 2008, it's worked perfect. I've never once tripped the breaker on the brush bar.

From on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 at 3:52 PM

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.

From Garry on Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Your CarPC is the best. I say it's ahead of it's time

From on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 7:26 PM

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.


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, December 9th, 2011 at 5:58 PM)

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!

From on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 3:19 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, November 26th, 2011 at 12:58 AM)

Silverlight is pretty much dead :)

From on Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 5:06 AM

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

From on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 12:21 PM

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.

thank you

From Kory on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Great projects! Nice work.

From on Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 12:11 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 9:52 AM)

Wow, sounds awesome. You've got a good future ahead of you if you keep up this type of creative thinking :)

From on Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 at 8:12 AM

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.

From on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 11:49 PM

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!

From on Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 12:35 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, May 16th, 2011 at 3:40 PM)

Yeah it is indoors :) Thanks for the link!

From R on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 10:10 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 10:17 PM)

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.

From on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Thanks for sharing, it's cool to see other people sharing their projects and seeing how they do things. -JonC

From on Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at 2:26 AM

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).

Thanks, Liam.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, April 18th, 2011 at 8:10 PM)

I suppose my best advice is to simply explore as much as you can! Literally and figuratively. Figuring stuff out breeds excellent skills.

From elaine on Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 9:34 PM

You, my friend, need to get laid. ASAP.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 at 10:53 AM)

You assume I'm not getting laid? :)

From on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Love the car pc project - very nice job!

From on Monday, January 31st, 2011 at 9:09 AM

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!

From on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Hello Avatar-X,
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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 12:00 PM)

I do remember Boris7 :) Nice to see you're still around.

From on Saturday, January 1st, 2011 at 7:58 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 11:59 AM)

Thanks :) In general I run Windows throughout. Most of my computers are XP and some of them have been upgraded to Windows 7.

From on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 at 3:28 PM

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 ;)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 11:59 AM)

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.

From Anonymous on Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 7:42 PM

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!

From Radio2600 on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 11:22 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 11:57 AM)

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!

From on Saturday, November 27th, 2010 at 6:49 AM

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.

From on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Hello again.

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.

Jørn-Egil Jensen

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, November 25th, 2010 at 10:07 PM)

Whoops! I forgot I had put that there. Thanks for pointing it out.

Formally, I have only completed high school education.

From on Monday, November 22nd, 2010 at 5:55 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 12:00 AM)

Thanks! Not sure on the Goatse reference though...?

From on Saturday, November 20th, 2010 at 9:10 PM

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).

Jørn-Egil Jensen
Insomniated norwegian student

Brix shat when Goatsee was spotted.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 11:59 PM)

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.

From on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 at 4:00 PM


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 7:39 PM)

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.

From on Sunday, November 7th, 2010 at 12:22 AM

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? :/

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, November 25th, 2010 at 10:07 PM)

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'...

From on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 2:59 AM

Brilliant. You sir are a god of electronics and programming.

From on Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I demand the sillyzone back. It's been like 7 years but I don't care. I want my childhood memories back lol.

From on Sunday, October 10th, 2010 at 7:53 AM

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!!!!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, November 29th, 2010 at 1:14 PM)

Not sure what you're on about, but whatever!

From on Monday, August 2nd, 2010 at 3:49 PM



Yea, the sillyzone was great stuff. The place where I first heard Muse:Plug-in-Baby, on the SZ Radio.

From on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 at 10:26 PM

I MISS THE SZ!!!!!!!! RAWR!!!!!!!!!!

From on Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 9:55 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 11:45 AM)


I just used some generic 5v relays, I think. Nothing special. Any relay will work, really.

From Zmaster on Monday, July 12th, 2010 at 4:21 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 6:08 PM)

Yeah a lot of people give me crap for VB. I wrote an article about it just for you:

From on Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 9:08 PM

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??

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 10:58 PM)

Well, it's a private site -- I don't really need everyone on the internet knowing where my car is.


From nab on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 2:45 AM

Hi Av,

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?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 10:57 PM)

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 :)

From nab on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 11:55 PM

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?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 3:31 PM)

Hi Nab,

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?


From on Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Hey Alex, I´m Daniel from germany hamburg, sehr sehr coole Seite, liebe grüße aus Deutschland

From Ben on Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 11:44 AM

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.

From Ralph on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Great work! , makes me want to tinker with random junk i have laying around ;-) .


From Kale on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 12:13 AM

How did you get started out then?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 10:33 AM)

Just gotta read and learn and try, don't wait for someone to come along and tell you to do something!

From Kale on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Very cool site! I hope to one day have a set up like yours. Can you recommend any books to help me get started?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 4:53 PM)

Sorry no, I've never read a book on any of this stuff :) Good luck!

From on Sunday, April 11th, 2010 at 8:01 AM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, April 11th, 2010 at 10:50 PM)

Thanks :)

From on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 3:43 AM

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!

From on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 3:16 PM

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-
Heddy kase

From on Sunday, March 7th, 2010 at 5:40 PM

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?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 11:50 PM)


95% of the software you see on my site, I made myself :)

From Eddie on Saturday, February 27th, 2010 at 5:22 PM

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! :)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 11:49 PM)


I'm pretty sure the example does show how to use the buttons... look closer. Thanks for the comments!

From on Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 3:24 AM

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 :)

From on Sunday, February 7th, 2010 at 10:39 PM

awesome site, inspiring

From on Sunday, February 7th, 2010 at 1:12 AM

hi i'm trying to do the pc projec in my old jetta

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 12:54 PM)

Knowing what you want is always a good start!

From on Saturday, February 6th, 2010 at 1:52 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 12:54 PM)


I use VB6 just fine in Win7, and my DLL as well. Make sure your monitor is set to 32bpp.

From on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 5:16 AM

Do you take diagrams or projects; give diagrams or projects or suggestions?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, February 6th, 2010 at 1:12 AM)

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.

From on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Very nice site. Drop me a line sometime. I would love to discuss some things with you.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 12:56 PM)

How about you drop me a line :)

From insanedArk on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 at 2:03 AM

Av, you are quite the man of many talents.

From on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 at 12:13 PM

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,

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 12:56 PM)

You are welcome to email me, but there's tons of information on the Arduino available online!

From on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Very interesting site.

From Kamadaki01 on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 PM

hi there
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!

From on Friday, November 13th, 2009 at 4:35 AM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 at 12:40 AM)

If you read my site, you will figure out how to do it yourself!

From on Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 8:32 PM

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!

From on Sunday, October 25th, 2009 at 3:53 PM

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,

From on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 12:52 AM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 at 11:42 AM)


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 :-)

Good luck,

From on Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 12:28 AM

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

From on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 1:29 AM

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

From on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 1:46 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 11:56 AM)

Congrats! I'm glad to see that my site inspired you and you sound like you're enjoying this!

From on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 at 11:32 AM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, September 20th, 2009 at 12:09 AM)

Haha, that's a great idea and wouldn't be too hard to do :) Cheers!

From Rick on Sunday, September 13th, 2009 at 1:46 PM

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!

From on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 4:29 PM

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

From shiroi on Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 10:28 PM

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.

From Isc on Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Excellent projects Av, keep the coming. You've made some great progress.

From on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 1:55 PM

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.

From Tom on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 12:42 PM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 9:43 PM)

Who says I don't already have it? :)

From Andrew on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Cracking website - your car modifications are top notch.

I particularly like the traffic camera feeds, something we could do with over here in England!

From on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 7:15 AM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 9:42 PM)

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!

From Carlo on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 4:25 AM

Great stuff on your site. Keep it up!

From on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 3:06 AM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 9:42 PM)

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.

From duhart on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 2:47 AM

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!

From Chuck on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 2:09 AM

Nice web reading

From Alex S on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 1:47 AM

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.

From on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 9:15 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 9:41 PM)

I've actually replaced it with a much better LCD in the meantime that's built into my dashboard. Check it out!

From on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Came across your site following a link from Hack-A-Day. Very VERY nice (and through) job on the carputer ! I officially a fan.

From on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 7:22 PM

you have talent-should go the college route for a while at least.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 9:40 PM)

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.

From on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 6:50 PM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 PM)

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.

From on Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 2:06 AM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 2:00 PM)

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.

From on Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Great site, keep up the good work!

From on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 2:30 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 9:50 PM)


Yeah that was me, the speakers are in place but the site hasn't been updated with that yet...

Thanks for the compliments!

From on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 3:57 AM

Hi A-V
I just wanted to thank you for making UER such a professional site. you are fun and rad!!

From on Sunday, June 7th, 2009 at 4:09 PM

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

Take care,


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, June 14th, 2009 at 12:47 AM)

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.


From Nate Waddoups on Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 10:27 PM

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.

From on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 8:08 PM

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!

From on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 7:43 PM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, April 18th, 2009 at 3:00 AM)

The Wake-On-Lan works because I've added a startup command into the router to send the WOL packet :) Thanks!

From on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 3:04 PM

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

From on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Hi There!

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 9:42 AM)

Hi Tom,

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.


From on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at 11:17 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 5:07 PM)


Not sure why you're posting this here... I suggest contacting Dyson corporate at james@dyson.com. There's not much I can do about it.

From on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 6:19 PM

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!


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 11:26 PM)

Thanks :)

From william on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 at 2:27 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, January 18th, 2009 at 12:56 PM)

Yup, out with the old, in with the new :)

From on Sunday, January 4th, 2009 at 12:59 AM

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. ☺

From Gary on Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 at 2:37 PM

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...

From on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 9:22 AM

I finally figured out how the dll functions in combinatie with the G15. Thanks once again.

From on Saturday, December 20th, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Thank you for the g15lcddll1.zip! I hope i can make it work for me as well as it does for you.

From Venom on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 at 3:53 PM

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

From on Saturday, December 13th, 2008 at 1:01 AM

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"

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 at 3:54 PM)

Sure, why not :)

From on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 6:33 PM

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)


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 7:04 PM)

There is a maps download in the TFC section of my site -- but it is only the maps that I made, the sources.

From Jny Mris on Friday, November 21st, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Like wtf? this is so cool !

From on Sunday, November 16th, 2008 at 5:23 PM

Please make a version of LogLCD for Vista 64 aswell! :(

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 6:27 PM)

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...

From on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 at 6:58 PM

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)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 6:26 PM)

You're about 5 years late -- I released SA and AVC for free back in 2003 :-) Glad you like them.

From on Saturday, November 8th, 2008 at 1:59 PM

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 :)


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, November 10th, 2008 at 1:40 AM)

Neat to read that we apparently share a lot of ideas :)

From on Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 3:08 AM

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!!

Ethan Jiang

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, November 8th, 2008 at 1:50 AM)

You found it on Google Earth? Bizarre!

From Mike on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 2:21 AM

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!

From Eric Brown on Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 8:29 PM

geekily cool

From on Monday, September 29th, 2008 at 9:17 PM

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...


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 at 11:19 AM)

I'm sure you can figure it out. Good luck!

From on Friday, September 19th, 2008 at 7:19 PM

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?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, September 21st, 2008 at 7:50 PM)

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 :)

From Heather from Mp3Car on Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Wow- what a great car!

From on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 at 5:56 PM

at last i can do away with cap locks going off back accident.... thanks av-man!!

From Robobald on Friday, August 15th, 2008 at 11:14 AM

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.

From Sebastian on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 9:04 PM

Great car!! :D

From Nick on Monday, August 11th, 2008 at 12:40 AM


Just wondering what you use for speech synthesis with your car computer. The voice sounded unusually good. :)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, August 11th, 2008 at 11:25 AM)

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.

From [Wings]TFAirlines on Sunday, August 10th, 2008 at 4:30 AM

!!!!!!! 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).
Confession time....
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

From on Thursday, August 7th, 2008 at 3:54 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, August 8th, 2008 at 1:34 AM)


From Tom on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 at 8:51 AM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 at 3:29 PM)

Perhaps you should email me, rather than using the guestbook!

From on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 3:48 PM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 3:50 PM)

Yup the Llama Jams are in the Projects section. Thanks for the sentiments!

From on Monday, July 21st, 2008 at 2:25 PM

What do you do when the power goes out......

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 3:50 PM)

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 :-)

From on Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 12:29 PM

I am always amazed every time I check your page. It's great to know how wonderful things are going for you.

From Lex on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 8:29 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 at 1:30 AM)

Time will tell :)

From Lex on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 3:38 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 6:36 PM)

I think a better approach would be to start with a better camera -- this one's a real piece of junk!

From Tom on Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 12:41 PM

What's the "track" section of car.avbrand.com for?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 at 1:12 AM)

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.

From Tom on Sunday, June 29th, 2008 at 5:34 AM

Thanks! A lot has changed there! Still, keep it up!

From Timothy on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 8:48 PM

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.

From Tom on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 3:39 PM

I see what you mean. It's the same with my website. Anyway, keep it up!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 4:42 PM)

I updated the 'touchscreen' section for you :-)

From Tom on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 11:20 AM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 12:10 PM)

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...

From Tom on Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 12:37 PM

Me again! Some of your stuff is out of date. Are you updating it any time soon?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 4:20 PM)

What stuff are you referring to, specifically? There's a lot of stuff on my site.

From Tom on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 12:59 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 1:23 PM)

Yeah, I'll update it, thanks!

From Cosmic_Bard on Saturday, June 21st, 2008 at 8:02 PM

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

From on Sunday, April 27th, 2008 at 7:26 PM

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

From on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 at 7:37 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 at 1:54 PM)

Haha, wow, I remember all that stuff. Good times, good times.

From on Saturday, April 5th, 2008 at 8:08 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, April 7th, 2008 at 9:35 PM)

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.

From on Saturday, April 5th, 2008 at 3:34 PM

great site keep it up.

From on Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 at 1:47 AM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 at 11:55 PM)

Sure do! Awesome to hear from you again :-)

I'd love to have those old quotes and stuff. I'll email you.

From on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 3:47 PM

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 :)

From Sam on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 9:49 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, January 26th, 2008 at 8:11 PM)

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.

From Brandon on Sunday, January 6th, 2008 at 6:44 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, January 6th, 2008 at 9:34 PM)

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.

From Tom on Friday, December 21st, 2007 at 10:24 AM


Is there anything you would change in your system? something you don't like? something you want? something that is unreliable in your setup?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, December 21st, 2007 at 10:51 AM)

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?

From Tom on Friday, November 30th, 2007 at 2:18 PM

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?


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, November 30th, 2007 at 3:45 PM)

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.

From kdurk on Thursday, November 29th, 2007 at 10:51 PM

dig it thatnks for sharing


From on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Hello! You have a Very good site! I like it! I just wanted to pass on a note to let you know

From on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Hello! You have a Very good site! I like it! I just wanted to pass on a note to let you know

From on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 at 6:31 AM

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.



/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, October 28th, 2007 at 5:08 PM)

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!

From Trevor on Friday, October 26th, 2007 at 3:18 PM

I have an idea for your superkeys: the functionality to open/close optical drives

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, October 27th, 2007 at 5:07 PM)

It's a good idea, but alas I find myself with very little time these days.

From on Friday, October 26th, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Your BT speaker is awesome! I am eager to see how you did it step by step, when will you post a tutorial?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, October 27th, 2007 at 5:07 PM)

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.

From Trevor on Saturday, October 20th, 2007 at 10:03 PM

You da man av!

From on Friday, August 31st, 2007 at 6:46 AM


From on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 at 9:57 PM

is the watch bidirectional?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, September 1st, 2007 at 12:31 AM)

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.

From on Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 at 2:48 AM

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. :'(

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, September 1st, 2007 at 12:30 AM)

Life's great. Sorry you're not on the list, but I can't remember everyone.. Sorry!

From on Monday, August 27th, 2007 at 7:44 AM

cool man.....
can u tell me how to make the touchscreen

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, September 1st, 2007 at 12:28 AM)

Just buy a touchscreen monitor, and write some software. Good luck!

From on Monday, August 27th, 2007 at 7:37 AM

BRAVO MAN...!!!!!
I wish i had a brain like u.................

From on Thursday, July 26th, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Why don't you have a RSS Feed for the news on your site?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, July 26th, 2007 at 11:23 PM)

... Because I do? It's clearly displayed in the Firefox address bar.


From on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 at 1:07 PM

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

From on Thursday, July 12th, 2007 at 2:25 PM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, July 13th, 2007 at 9:16 AM)

No idea -- I really did this as a hobby, I didn't even really look at what's out there.

From on Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 at 4:52 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, June 4th, 2007 at 12:23 AM)

*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.

From on Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 at 10:02 AM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, June 4th, 2007 at 12:23 AM)

It's rather simple -- just learn how to use Flash. There's nothing too special about that application.

From on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at 6:21 PM

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.

From Travis on Monday, May 28th, 2007 at 12:08 AM

Awesome job! What are all the names of the soundtracks you used in "The Demo"?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, May 28th, 2007 at 10:29 AM)

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

From on Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 at 7:02 AM

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 !

From on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 at 3:06 PM

Hello admin, nice site! Good luck! Oh yes, one extra comment - make sure the pages are not too long, keep scrolling a minimum.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 at 6:04 PM)

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.

From on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 at 12:01 PM

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.

From Brandon on Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 at 7:02 PM

Can you digg it? http://www.digg.com/hardware/Smart_Home

From on Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 at 8:04 PM

Can you tell me a joke?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, April 26th, 2007 at 12:26 PM)


From on Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 at 9:05 AM

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 !

From Brom on Monday, April 23rd, 2007 at 12:34 AM

Nicely Done! I was wondering what you've been doing since the BD days....excellent work

From ozzysong on Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 at 3:22 PM

Good work! Keep on delighting us with your house

From Red marien on Saturday, March 17th, 2007 at 12:54 PM

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.

From DaMan on Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 at 6:38 PM

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.


From Speed on Sunday, February 11th, 2007 at 11:39 PM

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)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, February 12th, 2007 at 12:19 AM)

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.

From Drak on Sunday, February 11th, 2007 at 1:21 AM

Just curious, what was the Silly Zone server specs?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, February 11th, 2007 at 2:32 AM)

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.

From Chase on Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 at 5:41 PM

Little question, did you made that voice commander program yourself? And if not, where can i download it?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 at 6:06 PM)

Yes, I did. It uses the Microsoft Speech SDK -- this makes an application like that relatively easy to create.

From on Friday, February 2nd, 2007 at 12:53 AM

great work alex

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Friday, February 2nd, 2007 at 12:55 AM)

Nice to see you again, Medo :)

From Guru on Saturday, January 20th, 2007 at 7:48 PM

why dont u automate the flush of the toilet, call me sometime guru

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Monday, January 22nd, 2007 at 2:25 AM)

Ah, Guru... you're still the same. :) I was considering doing that actually, just for fun.

From on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 at 12:37 AM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 at 2:16 PM)

Sorry, not coming back. Others can fill my place :)

From on Sunday, December 31st, 2006 at 1:23 AM

awesome use for custom X10 controls!

From CaLeB- on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 at 12:12 AM

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.

From DEATH on Saturday, November 11th, 2006 at 2:45 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, November 12th, 2006 at 3:38 AM)

Water under the bridge. I don't even remember what ACFH is. :)

From Robert "Hunter_Killer" on Sunday, November 5th, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, November 5th, 2006 at 1:57 PM)

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!

From on Saturday, November 4th, 2006 at 6:19 PM


You are awsome! my new idol!! Reply to my email! i need your help.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, November 5th, 2006 at 1:56 PM)

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!

From DEATH on Sunday, October 29th, 2006 at 1:38 PM

Hey I remember you and I remember the sillyzone. These things will always be dear to my heart

From on Friday, October 27th, 2006 at 7:59 PM

@ 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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Saturday, October 28th, 2006 at 10:45 AM)

Good luck!

From on Thursday, October 26th, 2006 at 6:27 PM

Avatar-X, what computer case is that?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, October 26th, 2006 at 11:37 PM)

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.

From on Thursday, October 26th, 2006 at 3:44 AM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, October 26th, 2006 at 3:07 PM)

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!

From on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 7:24 PM

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,


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 7:30 PM)

Thanks, Kenny. You want it to what? It's all home made, anyone can do it with a little practice :)

From on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 3:54 PM

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

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 7:30 PM)

Awesome to hear from you again!

More extensive than my setup? Do tell!

From Cell on Thursday, October 19th, 2006 at 7:31 PM

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.

From on Friday, October 13th, 2006 at 5:09 AM

nice site keep it up ok

From on Sunday, October 8th, 2006 at 3:49 AM

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


From on Friday, October 6th, 2006 at 2:50 PM

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.

From on Thursday, October 5th, 2006 at 7:36 AM

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" ;)

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, October 5th, 2006 at 8:26 AM)

I used to have a lot of free time, before I met you guys :)

From on Wednesday, October 4th, 2006 at 1:42 PM

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..


/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, October 4th, 2006 at 6:10 PM)

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.

From Bryce(The_Shibby on Monday, September 18th, 2006 at 5:41 PM

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.

From GreyDeath on Tuesday, September 12th, 2006 at 11:14 AM

My dogs breath smells like dog food!


From Zeppelin on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 2:25 PM

Loving the Sillyzone section. Brings back alot of old memories that were tucked away.

From JohN on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 12:21 PM

Hallo AV
greetings from Germany. Nice work. I can't wait till release for AvKeyLinc :P

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 5:29 PM)

Not gonna happen! :)

From on Monday, September 4th, 2006 at 8:53 AM

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^^

greetings VeGe

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 5:28 PM)

Sorry, but my mod only works with my home setup. I don't have time to convert it to work for everyone!

From Jeff (aka fedge) on Sunday, September 3rd, 2006 at 11:28 AM

You know I love ya. You're a very talented guy. I set up the Doorbuzzer in my Mom's apartment. Very sweet!

From on Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 at 4:29 PM

Hello from the west coast, kind sir.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, August 31st, 2006 at 12:47 AM)

Hi! Good to see some people from your side of the ocean.

From on Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 at 4:28 PM

You need a life :P

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, August 31st, 2006 at 12:47 AM)

I've got one! Thanks :)

From on Sunday, August 20th, 2006 at 9:35 PM

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.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Sunday, August 20th, 2006 at 10:47 PM)

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!

From on Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 at 9:34 PM

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!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, August 17th, 2006 at 6:47 AM)

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!

From on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 7:53 PM

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.

From on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 6:35 PM

Awesome, im glad you releasing screen shots and videos, its there more to come? :D

From on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 12:04 PM

gr8 site

From on Monday, August 14th, 2006 at 10:00 PM

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?

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 9:04 AM)

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.

From Tyralus on Monday, August 14th, 2006 at 3:11 PM

I wish my home ws like that! Great concept Av!

From on Saturday, August 12th, 2006 at 5:40 PM

I am always amazed everytime I visit your site. Keep coming up with winners :D


From Bob[RNS] on Friday, August 11th, 2006 at 12:15 AM

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..."

From on Thursday, August 10th, 2006 at 4:33 PM

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...

From Jonathan van Clute on Saturday, August 5th, 2006 at 4:47 AM

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!


From on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 at 10:11 AM

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...

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 at 2:42 PM)

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.

From Cur7 (again) on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 at 9:58 AM

Are you going to release that Voice Commander? :D

From Cur7 on Thursday, July 27th, 2006 at 9:36 AM

Av, why did you discountinue AVC and SA? It changed my life...

From Crown on Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 at 8:36 PM

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.

From InSaNiTy on Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 at 10:46 AM

thats a shame you winamp app is awesome

From on Monday, July 24th, 2006 at 8:09 PM

is it possible to get your g15 lcd applet for winamp? it looks amasing in the video.

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 at 4:51 PM)

No. The applet is for my home media setup only, it's not easily exportable.

From Nzero on Friday, July 14th, 2006 at 3:52 AM

I obviously have way too much time on the Internet to have found stumbled across this without even being told....

From Turbo McZutek on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 9:59 PM

Mate, when you perfect the automatic masturbatory device??

Send me one!!

From on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 5:19 PM

Av nice site, i love all your gizmos and gadgets. God bless IKEA btw.

From SeeThirty on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 11:50 AM

w00t, and stuff!

/images/response.png Response from Av (on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 11:56 AM)

Thanks for helping me test the guestbook, guys.

From nightbird on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 11:48 AM

um......rawr and stuff!

From on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 11:47 AM

I'm the first to sign (I think)!

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