Misterhouse (MH) is a Perl based Home Automation control system that runs on most systems that support Perl (www.perl.com), including Windows 9x/NT/2k as well as most flavors of Unix, including Debian & Red Hat Linux. MH is free, and has excellent support in the form of an active mailing list, plus contrary to what it’s website states, it isn’t just for geeks.

MH has the ability to respond to X10, Voice, Web and socket control requests, and respond in any manner you can program. There is a fully featured API for talking to just about any HA device you can imagine, including CM11/12’s, firecrackers, HomeVision, Weeder PIC modules (whatever they are) and even 1-wire networks if you have a DS9097U com port adaptor.

You aren’t limited to it’s internal API set though, you can write your own Perl scripts, or even launch a completely separate program. Control of MH is primarily through it’s web interface (www.misterhouse.net:8080), though you can in theory activate voice recognition through Microsoft’s Voice API, or ViaVoice on Linux, though neither is actually very good. If you have an X10 remote control, you can program MH to respond to that.

MH has the ability to interface with software other than the Voice recognition mentioned above. It can interface with Outlook to set reminders, or program your VCR, and can send instant messages via AIM or Jabber.

MH is US based, so you can understand it’s bias in that direction when it comes to downloading Weather reports, TV guides and displaying Caller ID information. Though I have re-written the caller ID module and constructed a data file for UK caller ID using a Hayes Accura modem.

You can tell MH where you are, so it can initiate events based on Sunset & Sunrise. You can tell it when your holidays are, so you can change it’s events to match.

MH can seem daunting to the new user, but this is my second stab at using it and it seems so much easier, even though nothing has changed, so my advice to those who feel like giving up, don’t it’s well worth it.

Approximate Price £FREE (released under the General Public license)

Available From Misterhouse

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