In the early days of the internet HTML was invented ( Hyper Text Markup Language). This enabled documents to be written so that a link could be followed to a different part of the document. This was controlled by a source file which also contained defined font sizes for headings and paragraphs etc.
XML (Extensible Markup language) has been invented to allow data representation and is both machine and person readable. Modern systems often produce web pages from databases on the fly so that information is absolutely up to date.
Peter mentioned NEST ( Owned by Google I believe but see note below) make smart boiler and room thermostats which can learn what sort of temperatures you like in your home. They can communicate with your boiler and hot tank, if you have one, by WiFi. It will then make adjustments for the time of day and for when you are out. I understand they can also make changes dependent on the weather. As the units are networked on the Internet you can control your system from anywhere. I did come across a note saying that NEST was not going to supported by Google after August which seemed odd unless they have sold it on perhaps to Samsung (smart things) have access through iOS only.
Michael said his friend Clive had a system for monitoring his boiler system logging temperatures and so on.
Gareth showed a demonstration of his WiFi Camera system from UniFi for home surveillance and replayed some of the history files. His camera is triggered by movement although it is intended for outdoor use he at present has it located in a front window. Normally the cameras are powered over the internet connection and relay back to a NAS or media server or laptop. His camera has no WiFi The picture quality is quite good 1920 x 1080 and sensitivity allows night viewing with IR, but he has to turn the IR off at night otherwise it reflects back from the glass. The free software runs on Ubuntu but is not open source. There is also a Map view needed if you have several cameras inside a building for example on a zone basis. The system can send notifications to your remote location and his system normally generates about 29 GB per day and can be sent with a streaming protocol to a laptop at 400KB/sec. There is a live view for direct camera output and a timeline to search for particular events. As triggered on motion and then records for 35 sec. so it is not generating too much data. there are several protocols available RTSP (Real Time Screening Protocol), RTMP ( Real Time Message Protocol) and RTMPS ( Real Time Message Protocol Secure). Gareth's Dad also has a Ring doorbell which can record video and includes a microphone and speaker so he can talk to a visitor remotely from anywhere; available from Ring.com.
Michael has a similar Ring system. However you have to pay if you want to store video £25 pa. We had some discussion about the privacy issues around cameras viewing neighbours' property, however the cameras tend to use quite a wide angle lens and it is almost impossible not to view other property. It adds another WiFi network and does not extend yours.
Michael also has a Nest system which has good pre-emptive control in the you tell it what temperature setting you need and it will come on early in order to reach that temperature by the time you are coming home. Many of these systems also provide control of hot water tanks too.
Peter said that there are other home automation accessories from KASA, which can include control of sockets, alarms, cameras etc. via the Internet. Peter had brought one of these along not demo it at the venue because we did not have access to their Network WiFi Key. However he had arranged with Sheila to verify over the phone when he turned on a lamp remotely using his iPhone. This worked in about 5 seconds which seemed quite fast. It is possible to set up such a device with a timetable of on/off periods in the KASA software. You can name the devices yourself for easy identification and although you can still operate a socket manually the software still knows the true state of the lamp or other connected device.
Peter has a Honeywell boiler controller and thermostat and he uses it in holiday mode for a set return date. There was a certain amount of talk about central heating and hot water systems and smart meters.
We decided we could have talked about alarm systems and more detailed home automation, auto fridges that reorder for you! - maybe next year. Sue needed a fire detector for her thatched roof!
Quite an interesting evening. Thanks to all our contributors.
We have now had a Committee meeting and the following programme has been generated, but as usual, if anyone would like to introduce a new topic instead we would be delighted to accommodate them.
|ICENI Future programme 2019/2020|
|October 16th||Programming - XML Web Technologies and Go||All|
|November 20th||Slide and Video Evening||All|
|December 18th||Gadgets and Party Evening||All|
|January 15th||Winter Social Evening: Suggestions welcome.||All|
|February 19th||Chrome OS and Linux Apps.||All|
|March 18th||AI - Pattern recognition etc.||All|
|April 15th||Accounting Software||All|
|May 20th||AGM - Cloud Computing||All|
The Social evenings dates and venues are just suggestions at this stage.
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road,
Ipswich IP2 8RE ,
for a map and other details please see the website. http://icenicomputerclub.org.uk
Membership fee currently £15, visitors free.
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)