Running Homeseer on a Mac

submission by: John Lamont – background – On a PC considering that finding Homeseer as a house Automation controller for my X10 modules throughout the house, I’ve been in device heaven. Flicking on/off/dimming lights as well as with some Hawkeye’s, fundamental movement detection is possible.

Then I acquired a wireless Oregon scientific weather condition station for the Fry’s miss-price of $60 while on a trip to California. A black-bezeled prior design to this: considering that this hooked into a PC I gotten Ambient’s online weather condition station (VWS): . then the heating was automated. utilizing four interior wireless temp sensors, averaged every 2 mins I might set-up homeseeer events to manage my heating. Homeseer used excellent versatility in realtime automated manage with the magic of handbook overrides by pressing a remote control.

Buying a Mac tiny then I found Apple macs. What drove me to this was having a young household wanting to surf as well as email while we withstood Windows XP problems (virus, attacks, malware etc). This was around service pack 2 release. Anyhow I gotten a Mac tiny as well as fell ‘in love’ with its durability, parental controls as well as plesant GUI. It assisted that I worked in a business that did UNIX, so I understood the declares of security, stability as well as scalability would be true.

Time went by as well as I moved a lot more apps from the noisy PC (5 year old home-built Athlon XP 3200). extremely swiftly I moved email, browsing, picture administration as well as video development to it. then the rest of the household were tooled-up with seperate accounts as well as all of us Fast-User changed between accounts on the one mini. The youngsters got some gmail accounts while I authorized their email friends as well as web sites as well as all is risk-free as well as snug. Oh as well as it ran near silently.  Despite the youngsters utilizing PC’s at school, utilizing a mac at house has not held them back. keep in mind exactly how you coped (mostly) with warm institution milk…

Macs bring a whole different ecosystem. It is somewhat a lot more costly than Dell hardware, however then the service events i’ve needed have been flawless. The software application is mainly very first rate. The interface is a great location to work, is productive, however no mac equivalents of Homeseer as well as VWS exist. There was Perceptive Automation’s Indigo:

But this didn’t cut the mustard with bad conditional event control. likewise a mac-equivalent of VWS was a lot more elusive. So I put-up with the fans whaling away until…

MS Windows on a Mac then Parallels shown up for Intel Macs:

I gotten a pre-release copy of it for £30 as well as packed it onto my MacBook pro (2Ghz Intel Core Duo- Yonah, 1GB ram, AirPort, Bluetooth etc). Incidentally they have transferred to the somewhat quicker Core 2 Duo.  The installation went smoothly as well as it ran well, It ran as a normal online OS emulator (Virtual PC) did, within its own window on the mac desktop eg:

Click photo For larger Version

From this you can see the iMovie app over the Parallels PC window as well as Itunes below on its own.  The present release candidate of Parallels has some great features like ‘coherence’ mode where MS apps as well as OS X apps co-exist together, without the MS apps restrained to the MS desktop. This is the magic sauce that is just amazing to see as well as experience. I’ve not got a new application out of this, its just bringing the very best apps I utilize together, into one office as well as the all interplay. part of the magic sauce is in the basic things like mouse shift from an OS X to MS app, once again seamless with only a minor flicker as the mouse guideline modifications from the mac to windows shape. Networking is seamless whether the mac is linked with ethernet or WiFi. part of the set up is a Parallels toolkit within Windows that enables you to allow different hardware eg. USB devices, DVD drive etc It likewise does bit things like sync the PC clock to the macs. Its greatest element though is to set up Windows motorists for mouse control, to have sophisticated screen resolutions when resizing Windows, networking motorists to speak to macs Ethernet as well as WiFi ports, shared directory configuration etc The present Parallels beta is here:

Picture of Parallels running in coherence mode:

Click photo For larger Version

In this mode you won’t see the windows Telly-tubby backdrop. instead MS apps occupy windows on a typical OS X backdrop as well as each app type maintain their individual interface properties. This is amazing to see. Of program there is a tiring full-screen mode whereby the whole screen modifications to show only the Windows interface as well as if you want to switch back to OS X, ALT+RETURN takes you back. Amazingly some people are gob-smacked to see a mac running XP in full screen. however the coherence mode is slick, elegant. Can OS’s be flirtatious ?

Features of note for this RC release are :

aforementioned coherence mode

drag ‘n decrease between OS X as well as MS

A cloning app (I believe like ghost) so when you’ve installed your apps cleanly, clone the picture then after 12 months when XP bogs down, open the clone picture as well as restart with a fresh as well as quick XP session pre-installed with your apps at day 1. Not checked this.

USB 2 support, much improved. Both Homeseer as well as VWS need serial connections to their gadgets as well as I utilized Keyspan Serial-USB adaptors. worked out-of-the-box!

Transporter which land-grabs a present PC session as well as ‘transports’ it into Parallels for running on your mac. Not tested.

You can set up Solaris, Linux, Windows 3.1! (Ha….I need to dig out the 9 floppies! as well as put them into the….) as well as Vista


Installation The set up sequence was as follows:
Download Parallels (free 30 day trial available)
Install your own copy of XP
Run the included Parallels Windows toolkit to set up motorists for mac hardware, they are unsigned, however work…flawlessly (sorry)
Hit explorer’s update button then stiback as well as take-in a series of 24 as the patches/security update XP. hi look at IE7…funky as well as pseudo-mac-like !
Installed similar revisions of Homeseer (incl its plugins) as well as VWS applications
Then I cheated. since my configs of Homeseer as well as VWS are so certain to me as well as the apps litter their xml as well as other set-up data in all kind of nooks as well as crannies. So I made a decision not to rebuild as well as redefine the apps within parallels. This would take as well long. eg. In homeseer each gadget (>100) would requirement defining, similar for events as well as so on for its plug-ins. VWS was likewise uncomfortable to clone. So I COPIED my Homeseer as well as VWS program directories from the PC to the mac. indeed I understand this is heresy, however I desired a quick fix. I ran each app on its own to confirm its connections to the world:

1. Homeser to iirc a CM12 mains/computer module with the Keyspan Serial-USB adaptor as well as got a connection. sent some x10 codes as well as lights flashed, got some Hawkeye triggers. I felt queasy,,,it was flawless. then stop Homeseer.

2. started VWS, inspected I was getting the sensor readings from the weather condition station once again with one more Keyspan Serial-USB adaptor. Every sensor flashed from red to eco-friendly as they sent their updates to the station, Check.

Then I ran both PC apps in tandem. I produced the VWS gadgets in Homeseer as requested, directed to the ideal VWS data data as well as all the weather condition values then packed into Homeseer, updating as created as well as sensed by events. Flawless.

Performance comparisons & testing Wile the mac only has 1GB of RAM it is managing to run Homeseer 10-20% quicker within Parallels on-top of OS X. at first I was freaked out at exactly how this might be, I believe maybe its not just Parallels as well as Intel magic sauce at work. One crucial consideration I need to remind visitors is that the Windows set up inside parallels is of program fresh XP, with SP2 as well as most current updates whereas the set up on my PCi is 3-4 years old as well as so will be clogged with the normal detritus of 7×24 operation as well as patching with only a regular auto-reboot to stay fresh.

So far i’ve done 36 hours of testing as well as it works…near flawlessly. indeed there was a bit fettling needed after I stop Homeseer as well as then restarted it, somehow it dropped the serial (through USB adaptor) connection to the CM12 module as well as wouldn’t speak to it. This was remedied by eliminating as well as inserting the USB cable. Homeseer restarted as well as linked without any problems.

Final thoughts I have been running homeseer 1.7.44 for many years with DooMotion movement plug-in 2.0.57. This not the present release of Homeseer 2.0 which has been out nearly a year as well as was rewritten in MS .not fundamental Visual. A great deal of early adopters discovered problems so I have been delighted to stay on this release.

VWS Web edition is 13 p20.

Homeseer’s interior web site was visible as well as controllable from my Power Mac G5 browser without any problems. with my MacBook Pro’s WiFi connection. Parallels is one of two major OS emulators that run on the mac utilizing intel’s virtualisation technology. Behemoth VMware is introducing its own Windows-on-a-mac app called combination as well as understanding VMware it will be industrial grade virtualisation. competition is good.

I started out testing Homeseer as well as VWS a few days back in a rather chance-yer-arm way, hoping it would work expecting it to fail. After-all there are so lots of inter-dependancies that come when running windows on a mac as well as whenyou run Serial-USB adaptors on top – its a recipe for flakiness. setting safety worries aside, i’d sum-up that Parallels is a sensational piece of software application that achieves not just windows virtualisation on a mac, however does it so in a style that fits with the feel of OS X without altering the Windows UI. If you need/want a Windows app on a mac then this technique would be a leading competitor to do everything for you, as well as with style.

Caveats as well as Looking ahead I have not tried to upgrade either Homeseer or VWS apps, so who understands if my ‘cheat’ will catch me out.

As I expect to migrate to new Mac pro at some point, I was thinking about utilizing this as my Homeser as well as VWS workhorse since I requirement my MacBook pro to be mobile. An alternate workhorse would be to utilize the upcoming Core 2 Duo Mac tiny ( must utilize draft n WiFi). This (or the present model) would supply a extremely very low-power compact, near silent (& headless) system for Homeseer as well as VWS.

I hope my interest as well as shock of exactly how well this configuration worked does not cause a mac vs windows spat (cos that’s history with OS X, I joke!) or promt the mac nerds to shout “traitor” – since life is so short. I likewise hope it does not come crashing down around my ears after I have flogged the PC !!!  As ever your mileage may vary. John.

[Update] inspect out Indigo house Automation software application for the Mac

Mac tiny   :   Parallels Desktop

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