getting over to the smart home side of things, admittedly i don’t have a huge amount going on right now but what i do have has grown in scope, sophistication and complexity over recent years. i am slowly building a network around my home. at the heart of this is my wi-fi router; a livebox supplied as part of my orange home broadband. despite this promotional animation which shows a seamlessly connected home, it has been quite problematic, with poor range, and problems serving up ip addresses requiring it to be regularly rebooted. but i do get my broadband for free (long story, but i can summarise it as being a legacy-legacy customer) so i can’t complain. last year i bought a couple of homeplugs which have helped deliver a more consistent, faster connection to my main computer, a home-build media pc.
i built my media pc around three years ago. at that time i considered it pretty state-of-the-art. it combines features of being a blu-ray player, a tv tuner providing access to hd tv broadcasts under the freesat hd banner, dvr providing recording of tv, and a media hub for storing gigabytes of photos, music, video and recorded tv. all this was built around microsoft’s windows 7 operating system. initially i started off using a pre-release test version of windows 7, and i liked it so eventually purchased a licence. one of the most used features in our home is windows media center, which is pretty good for viewing and managing all media via a remote control rather than keyboard and mouse. windows 7 also introduced homegroups, allowing easy communications between computers running windows 7.
so my second windows 7 device is a hp laptop. this was bought less than a year ago to replace my old desktop, my first home build originally constructed in 2004 but upgraded at various intervals. it is used primarily for internet browsing, email and office applications, but i also wanted a machine capable of some graphics grunt, so here i am with a dm3.
apart from speaking to each other to a greater or lesser extent, that is it in terms of the smartness of the system. they handle my home media, but otherwise do not interface with the fabric or content of the home. so as you can see in the diagram at the top of this post, there is a lot of potential in future to get things speaking to each other. there’s a lot of research and planning ahead to make my home a smart home and get to a point where everything is talking to everything else!