Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

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Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:15 pm

I'm sure more than a few of you have read the article over at Ars about the guy restoring the Enterprise Bridge. I haven't read the article yet (brain's fried from trying to study for my CCNP AND teach myself Japanese...), but the photo of what looks like a tablet with an LCARS interface on it got the few remaining synpases in my brain firing.

If money were no object, what sorts of neato cutting edge tech could one use to create a house that was fully aware of what's going on, every interface is an HD or better touchscreen with some badass LCARS interface, and you could use any "terminal" lets say, to access all the features of the house, plus any and all media on the LAN, and even make Skype or Facetime available? Have all the terminals built into the wall, ala Next Gen (or Cardassian, if you're DS9 inclined).

Have speech-recognition software (like Dragon whatever...) gotten to the point where you could issue orders to the main computers? Like "Computer, dim lights and play Barry White" or something.


Knowing the network side myself, there's gonna need to be quite of bit of GigE run, and at least one AP, if not two, plus redundant switches, servers, SANs, etc... But what about the actual touchscreens? Could you tablets as terminals, or would you need a bunch of touchscreen PCs? Could you use VMWare or HyperV, so that everyone that uses one of the terminals get their "dekstop" and the appropriate security permission?
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Re: Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:19 am

i wonder if you could have one centralized system running a terminal server, with all the touch-enabled panels being run by raspberry-pi-esque thin clients. That might work to allow each panel to be an independent display. I'm not a network engineer, though.
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Re: Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:54 pm

That ARS article and this thread just makes me sad that there are no more Star Trek TV shows.

I'm not a hardcore trekkie, but at the same time I think I've watched all of it from the Original series right up to the abrubtly-ended Enterprise. There is far worse sci-fi being churned out on TV these days, so even if it wasn't that popular I'm not sure why they've complete canned the whole franchise. Is it a rights issue or something?
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Re: Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:34 pm

It would be fairly easy to make a house as you describe. It wouldn't be "aware" in the sense you mean though, but it is easy to put touch screens and microphones in every room and wire or wifi them back to a central house computer. A dedicated machine would mean there's no need for a tablet in every room and that would lower the costs involved. Heck, powerline-ethernet networking would even make wiring the house incredibly simple in practice as all the panels would already be wired for power, and that neatly sidesteps the issues of wifi security, wifi congestion, and signal issues.

Centralized programs already exist for controlling house appliances as well, one just needs the appliances. And with the rise of voice-command software for smartphones, much of the work has already been done there as well... put Siri or whatever on the house computer and create some extra software for Siri to interface and modify the existing software for the house systems and you'd be good to go. Siri can already handle many of the tasks like playing music or checking schedules or handling calls already honestly.

Chrispy, they canned Enterprise early because too many Star Trek fans didn't like it, with reasons ranging across the entire gamut. It's ratings weren't great to start with and they only went down as the seasons continued. The perpetual overarching world-ending story arcs the show revolved around certainly didn't do it any favors and eventually turned me off of it, I didn't even watch the final seasons.
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Re: Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:20 pm

Could something like MS Kinects be used as the sensors? Maybe hook in some infrared detectors too. And of course video cameras and microphones and speakers.

Oh, and name it HAL

Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

This type of house would make the NSA's job much easier. :)
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Re: Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:55 pm

Gear Dweebery for its own sake seldom improves anything; I have to say I wouldn't want to live in such a house. One big touch table display, located in the living room, would be fine.
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Re: Stupid Idea, or AWESOMELY stupid idea?

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:59 pm

Kougar wrote:It would be fairly easy to make a house as you describe. It wouldn't be "aware" in the sense you mean though, but it is easy to put touch screens and microphones in every room and wire or wifi them back to a central house computer. A dedicated machine would mean there's no need for a tablet in every room and that would lower the costs involved. Heck, powerline-ethernet networking would even make wiring the house incredibly simple in practice as all the panels would already be wired for power, and that neatly sidesteps the issues of wifi security, wifi congestion, and signal issues.

Centralized programs already exist for controlling house appliances as well, one just needs the appliances. And with the rise of voice-command software for smartphones, much of the work has already been done there as well... put Siri or whatever on the house computer and create some extra software for Siri to interface and modify the existing software for the house systems and you'd be good to go. Siri can already handle many of the tasks like playing music or checking schedules or handling calls already honestly.

Chrispy, they canned Enterprise early because too many Star Trek fans didn't like it, with reasons ranging across the entire gamut. It's ratings weren't great to start with and they only went down as the seasons continued. The perpetual overarching world-ending story arcs the show revolved around certainly didn't do it any favors and eventually turned me off of it, I didn't even watch the final seasons.



I'd avoid power-line ethernet for this use. I'm thinking it would take GigE at a MINIMUM for multiple terminals to be in use simultaneously, with what usage I had in mind. Besides, powerline is damn noisy, and that;s the last thing you want in transmission media.

And by "aware", I was meaning that the house "knew" which occupants were in which room and what A/C temp they like it at, that the fridge was running low, showing what's consuming the most power in the house, etc...

Centralized servers like MS running HYPVER-V or VMWARE was going to be required, along with some SANS storage. I just don't know what kind of Open source equivalents for available, and how far they'd progressed.


This thing will never be FULLY like a Star Trek computer (they kept the main cores in their own smalll warp fields, to enable faster than light processing) (Gawd, it's sad I know that...), but I was trying to outdo all the "Houses of the Future" and "Smart Homes" out their.



The best I'd be able to do in real life, is have ONE computer for ever household member, have them all run VMWare, so I can easily restore the machine for when they inevitably break it, and TWO PCs for me, both with multiple biometric AND hyper complex passwords that NONE SHALL TOUCH BUT ME, lest they incur the nerdiest rant tantrum ever seen.
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