Plat'Home, the maker of small, tough, eco-friendly servers that I've blogged about before, ran a contest this summer about ideas.
It was dubbed the "Will Linux Work? Contest" and solicited ideas about how to use Linux, how to abuse Linux, how to push the limits.
Part of it was marketing, sure. But it focused on Linux users' ideas--with the best ones winning a free Plat'Home OpenMicroServer
worth $600 to test their ideas.
So which ideas won and how did the actual testing go? On Tuesday, Plat'Home released the results of the experiments.
First, there was the "chicken sitter."
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. … Read more