January 4, 2005
"Home Hacking Projects for Geeks": The Smart Home Hands-On Training Kit Disguised as a Book
Sebastopol, CA--Take a geek and a PC, add a soldering iron, a home, and a
copy of Home Hacking Projects for Geeks (Northrup and Faulkner,
O'Reilly, US $29.95), and you'll give new meaning to the words "home
improvement." From fearless neophytes to tool-wielding masterminds, the
home hacker in any geek will find new inspiration and plenty of hands-on
guidance to take on a variety of home-transforming projects once relegated
to the world of sci-fi.
This fun new guide combines creativity with electricity and power tools to
achieve cool--and often even practical--home automation projects. Never
again will you have to flip a light switch when you enter a room or use a
key to open your front door. With a few off-the-shelf devices, some
homemade hardware, and a little imagination, you can create your own
According to the authors, Tony Northrup and Eric Faulkner, Home Hacking
Projects for Geeks is a hands-on training kit disguised as a how-to book.
But, unlike a typical training kit, the book offers no theoretical
scenarios or lab environments; each project presents a workable, practical
way to improve one's home. "No matter what your current skill level is,
you can learn from the projects in this book," they assure readers. All
of the projects are specifically designed not just to gratify a geek's
need to tinker or even to improve a home for the sake of improvement, but
also to make things easier for the people who live there.
"If you're reading this book, you're probably a geek, but chances are not
everyone you live with would wear that moniker with pride," Northrup and
Faulkner explain. "The end product of these projects should not
intimidate even the most technophobic person--your family will never have
to touch a command line or even a keyboard."
Home Hacking Projects for Geeks covers a wide range of projects, from
the relatively small but energy-conscious automating of light switches, to
building home theaters using Windows or Linux-based PCs, to more
complicated projects like building home security systems that rival those
offered by professional security consultants. Each project includes a
conceptual diagram, a "What You Need List," and a small "Project Stats"
section that describes the relative difficulty, time involved, and cost of
The thirteen projects in Home Hacking Projects for Geeks are divided
into three categories: Home Automation, Home Entertainment Systems, and
Security. The book includes projects such as:
Remotely Monitor Your Pet
Make Your House Talk
Remotely Control Your Computer's MP3 player
Create Time-Shifted FM Radio
Watch Your House Across the Network
Build a Home Security System
If you've ever thought with envy that the Jetsons had it made, or looked
around your house and mused, "I bet I could make that better," then you're
ready for Home Hacking Projects for Geeks.
Home Hacking Projects for Geeks
Eric Faulkner and Tony Northrup
ISBN: 0-596-00405-2, 336 pages, $29.95 US, $43.95 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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