Chat with your home

HomeZIX once again demonstrates unparalleled powerful and flexible C# scripting feature: Control home automation via Yahoo Messenger. SMS on cellular phone, too.

After showing the ultimate flexibility of our HomeZIX's C# scripting feature on serial devices and PocketPC programming, now we take it to a new level: Making HomeZIX work with Yahoo Messenger including SMS on your cellular phone! For the first time, it is so easy and convenient, at virtually no cost.


Here are the steps to make it work.

Register a new YM ID.
Program HomeZIX scripts, and run HomeZIX.
Download and run the FREE YahooZIX, a gateway connecting HomeZIX and Yahoo messenger.
Enjoy.


1. Register a new Yahoo Messenger ID.
This section assumes that you are familiar with Yahoo Messenger. Otherwise, check out the link here: http://messenger.yahoo.com

Besides the normal ID that you are using to communicate with your friends and family, you will need to create another ID for your home automation, just like another friend sitting at home, ready to serve you. We'd like to call it: A digital friend at home. After creating the new ID, you will have to add that to your normal ID. It is a good idea to try manually first to make sure you can chat with your digital friend back and forth.

Tips:

After creating one account, you should go to its preferences to configure it to:
Automatically sign in: so that if for whatever reason it gets kicked out, it will automatically log back in.
Allow users to view your webcam (if you intend to use this feature.)
Configure your computer so that it will NOT go into hibernate or standby mode after a period of inactivity.
To run multiple versions of Messenger on one machine (e.g: to test two IDs), create a DWORD registry value named "Plural" at HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareYahooPagerTest and set to something other than 0 (zero).
2. Program HomeZIX scripts
This section assumes that you are familiar with HomeZIX's basic operation and C# language. Please check out www.automationvista.com for more details.

In our demonstration, we populate two devices: one X10 switch and one Zwave dimmer. We drop in an Advanced Script and then go to the C# code editor. Right click on the code window and open the source file. (Click here to download.)

Navigate to the "ProcessMessage" function:

This is where HomeZIX processes your messages from Yahoo Messenger. It is totally up to you to design what HomeZIX should do when you command it with your syntax. The power is in your hands. In this demonstration we program it to do: if the remote user types: "hello", it responds back with "Hello sir. What can I do for you?". To turn on the X10 switch, remote user should type "Switch on". To set the dimmer level, the user should type: "Set dimmer level 50%", etc..

After programming the ProcessMessage function, click the "Compile" button to make sure that it compiles ok. Click OK all the way to go back to HomeZIX's main window and switch to "Run" mode by selecting "Manage" ->"Run" on the menu.

3. Download and run YahooZIX
This is our free program which acts as a gateway between HomeZIX and Yahoo Messenger. When you chat with your digital friend at home, YahooZIX grabs your messages, forwards to HomeZIX to execute, and sends back information (if necessary) to you. Please note again that we put power in your hands: What messages you send and how HomeZIX should react totally depend on how you program the script. There are two exceptions:

When you send a special text to your digital friend "I will be on SMS", YahooZIX will send back a greeting message to you after 10 seconds. This is necessary because when you sign in to mobile (to use SMS), it is difficult to initiate conversation from the phone. By sending a greeting message to your phone, you now can easily reply to it. So don't forget to type "I will be on SMS" before doing so.

When you send a special text to your digital friend "Show me the webcam", YahooZIX will activate the webcam and invite you to view it. This is necessary because when the digital friend signs in automatically, webcam is not enabled by default.

4. Enjoy
Make sure you setup everything correctly:

Login your digital friend account
Program and run HomeZIX
Run YahooZIX (don't forget to click the "Start & Minimize" button.)

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