Linux

Plat'Home's Linux contest winners will inspire you

Have you created any DIY Linux projects? Linux server manufacturer Plat'Home sponsored a "Will it Work?" contest, looking for the most creative ideas for how to use Linux. Check out the winners.

Plat'Home, maker of eco-friendly and small Linux servers, sponsored a contest recently, in which entrants were challenged to come up with projects that used Linux. CNET.com's Dave Rosenberg reported on the successful results of the "Will it work" contest. The winner received a $600 OpenMicroServer to test their ideas. The winner:

Gordon Smith of Lakewood, Colo., wanted to do a Linux project and also had a chicken coop. Obviously, they go together. His system is built around an inexpensive Webcam with infrared capability to see in the dark, along with a computer vision library to count the chickens.

To determine when nocturnal predators come out, the server runs simple network time protocol (SNTP). A stepper motor controller and power supply from a document scanner are used to open and close the coop door. The combination should make sure the door closes after all the chickens are home to roost. I love the image of raccoons trying to outsmart Linux.

Other winning ideas were a system to control a farm's irrigation system, a Home Utility Support System, and an on-board computer for a trimaran sailboat.

There's obviously a lot of creativity and innovation in the open source community. Have you created any pet projects using Linux? Anything a little outside of the norm, like the winning chicken surveillance system? I'd like to hear about the, and I'm sure other TechRepublic members would too (and of course, offer their expert opinions).

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

6 comments
rmlounsbury
rmlounsbury

Really? A chicken coop controller won? That could be one of the dullest and most pointless projects that I could ever imagine winning such a prize. Disappointing.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

self programming AI, got an atack of stage fright and deleted itself from the competition. Presumably your entry wasn't successful?

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I think it rates fairly high on the pretty-darn-cool-o-meter. It was a great DIY project- Something that did something truly practical and useful for the creator. Way to go Gordon.

bfpower
bfpower

It's cool because it embodies one of the things Linux promotes - people bettering themselves and their environment by using creativity and technology.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I can see a server to automate the chicken coop or any other time opened/closed space being of interest to farm folk if not people creative enough too now extend the idea further for there own needs.

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

I know there are some mad scientists in the basement out there. Do you have a project you want to share, or any ideas you want to bounce off other TR members?

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