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Hobbyist's OpenVMS system is the brains behind his smart house

  My OpenVMS AlphaServer 800 Hobbyist system is the brain behind my "smart house", my fully automated home control system, doing everything from turning on the lights when I come home in the evening, to setting the mood for movie watching; turning on lights when I enter a room, and back off again after I've left; or providing me a cozy reading environment on my command.
It will send me an e-mail message to let me know that someone has come to the front door of my house when I'm not at home, or allow me to see when my kids have woken up or gotten home, from any Web browser on the planet (with proper security and authentication, of course!). It keeps the house "alive" when I'm on vacation, plus brews me a pot of coffee in the morning before I get up, based on my regular schedule—and turns it off if I forget! And should I wake early, it will automatically switch the coffee pot on for me to start my cup brewing before I even make it to the kitchen, without me having to touch a single button. It keeps my fish tank lit, my kids out of the dark, and soon, will also adjust my thermostat when I'm not home, and turn off my hot water heater when not needed.

I can't imagine living without it now, where the touch of a single button turns off all the lights in the house when I go to bed, or a button in my car turns on the lights, from my garage to my kitchen (but only in the rooms that have reported to my OpenVMS system that they are dark). And when I leave, I can be sure it will turn off all the lights in my house as I'm backing my car out the driveway.

Oh, it's also my family Web server, hosting my personal blog and my custom-created photo gallery, and allows me to do some software development and build Open Source tools that I use.

The majority of this code is DCL, save for the blogging software, which is PHP. You can track this system's uptime at http://uptimes-project.org/hosts/view/602

It's been a solid and reliable tool that is now an essential part of my home. With uptimes measured in the hundreds of days, I truly feel comfortable knowing that when I'm gone, my OpenVMS Hobbyist system is taking care of my home, and when I'm home, that it's taking care of me!

— Aaron Sakovich