Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reaking Havoc

Decades ago I was at COMDEX (the Computer Dealers Expo) in Las Vegas and I saw one of the earliest implementations of home automation that you could actually purchase. Over the years I have forgotten almost everything about the product I saw that day, but I clearly remember thinking it didn't go far enough. I thought though it was a good start, it needed to be voice activated and it wasn't. I envisioned my own product and what it could do and how it could work. Of those long ago musings the only thing I really remember is the name I had for my product: HAVOC, the Home Automation Voice Operated Computer.

Well it is now decades later and home automation is everywhere. I own an Amazon Echo and, if I wanted to, I could have it automate nearly every aspect of my home, that is if I wanted to spend the money on expensive wireless devices to replace cheap standard ones. For the most part, I don't want to do that.  But, that doesn't mean I am not always looking for something to automate, just for the heck of it.

OK, that is not quite the truth; it is not "just for the heck of it." I write software for a living. I've done so for over 30 years. I have lived in a small corner of Microsoft development for over 25 years and made a good living at it as there are a vast number of companies who do the same. So if it is Microsoft WinForms for your desktop computer or Microsoft WebForms for your website, I am all over it. But I like to grow as a developer and sometimes that means leaving my comfortable corner and venturing out to something else, or simply expanding the environ of my small corner, making it a little bigger. So, I have a real reason for doing this, it expands my toolkit for the work I have chosen as a career.

A few months ago I started looking at automating something I have been thinking about for a few years now and it is slowly morphing into a Havoc, though the acronym is not quite what I envisioned more than 20 years ago..


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