Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Technophile

Have I mentioned that I love technology? All kinds of technology. Computers. Home Automation. Communications. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside when I think about building another gaming computer from the motherboard up. I will willingly volunteer to install a friend's home theater system without hesitation for free (okay, maybe beer and pizza). When I design a new home theater system, I draw out schematics for the new design. I tell you, I get geeked out!

I remember wowing my friends with my home theater design in my home in Wisconsin. In my master bedroom on the 2nd floor, I could turn on my 42" plasma hanging on the wall with full surround wall-mounted speakers, and using the Pronto remote control I'd programmed myself, turn on the DVD jukebox in the media room down in the basement, and pipe the audio and video signals via RG6 cable on a piggy-backed signal using an RF modulator, a coax amp and splitter, back up to the A/V receiver in the master bedroom where I could scroll through the movies loaded in the jukebox, remotely load a DVD and play it all without leaving the comfort of my bed.

Of course, things have changed since then. I want to figure out how to set up a movie server where I can rip my DVD collection to terabyte hard drives and stream A/V via my wireless network to any TV in the house. Not sure exactly the best way to do it but when I have time, I'll be doing this.

I also have a bit of a dilemma with that huge entertainment center that I did a while back in the new house. It covers the thermostat on the wall controlling the central AC and heating for the first floor of the house. I'm getting a bit tired moving those huge units around to get at the thermostat (and am afraid to put my wine glasses on the wracks because the movement will surely break them). I want to figure out the best (and most affordable) way to get a IP accessible thermostat installed that I can then access via the wireless network and ultimately access via my iPhone. Yes, I want to use my iPhone has a home automation remote control. Doesn't that sound cool? It does to me. The options I've found so far for a thermostat solution are over $400 so I'm going to keep looking. But rest assured...this will happen (I want to put my wine glasses in that entertainment center!!).

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