News and Happenings from the Japanese Linux Pioneer

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Plat'Home Unveils Final Results of 'Will Linux Work?' Contest

Today we reveled the final results of our four 'Will Linux Work?' contest winner's Linux experiments. For the past month our winners have been hard at work testing out their various environments - from the Chicken Sitter to the irrigation control device! We were floored by the type of American ingenuity that came through!

Just to recap, these were the four winning ideas and their results:

1. Steve Castellotti wanted a brain for his boat, but he was not ready for such a high IQ. He connected to Plat'Home's software package repository to download essential components, and he also connected both a 1 TB external hard drive and an iPod as additional USB Storage devices. Now monitoring and tracking on the high seas and in port are easier than ever.

2. Martin Ewing wanted to build a Home Utility Support System, and stick it in his basement in an environment somewhat questionable for a normal PC server. Software utilized during the project included gcc, Python, vim, gnuplot, ssh, and Apache. Ewing says that software developed for the project will be made under the GPLv3. The OMS's combination of compact, robust packaging and nonvolatile flash disk, along with the power of its Linux operating environment, passed the test with flying colors.

3. Colin Duplantis is building a system to control his farm's irrigation system, covering five acres, for watering lawns, providing drinking water for horses and other animals, and keeping a pond full. He had written his own version of irrigation control software. To fully test it will require running it through four seasons, so it is still "in testing," but popping open the hood, installing an 8GB CF card, and reading the manuals was enough to get his system up and running. Being willing to port his homemade irrigation control software to C++ allows him to run everything on the OMS, and interfacing with the irrigation controller via its RS232 interface has allowed him control where, when and how much water flows.

4. Gordon Smith needed someone to guard his chickens, someone reliable enough to stay up all night, someone smart enough to tell the difference between a chicken and a raccoon, and someone to close the door at the right time. His system utilizes an inexpensive webcam with IR capability to see in the dark, along with a computer vision library to count the chickens. To determine when dusk occurs, the server will run simple network time protocol (SNTP) and query another server to determine when sundown occurs each day. A stepper motor controller and power supply from a document scanner are used to open and close the coop door. Welcome home chickens!

For all details on the official results, please visit our website.

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