sparcalarms, was Re: [rescue] Perverse Question

Eric Josephson ericj at
Tue Jun 10 07:16:01 CDT 2003

On Tue, 10 Jun 2003, Lionel Peterson wrote:

> > I use my LX'es as alarm clocks and they'll definitely
> > handle mp3s.
> I'd love to see a small write-up on this... Think of the possibilities
> - why, if we could interconnect all our appliances, and maybe come up
> with a portable programming language that would allow you to write
> once, run anywhere, well, you could be on to something...

You mean like p-code or zil?  It's been done.  Never caught on, though.

> I'd be curious about the snooze bar function, what kind of display, and
> if they are NTP-syncronized, if they controll anything else, etc...

It's nothing fancy, just a set cron jobs.  They're headless.  I've
scheduled 'saytime' on the hour, but they're primarily just alarms,
so there's no need for a display.   I suppose it wouldn't be difficult
to build an LED display with a serial interface, but I just use a WWV
clock if I want to know the time.

The 'mute' button on the speaker box serves as the sleep bar.  It's reset
automatically by setting the volume on the device file.

They're on ntp, of course.

They don't currently control anything, though I've considered adding
passive IR sensors for the front door and living room to detect
'awakeness' and 'visitor' states, etc.  The coffee maker already has
a timer and doesn't really need ntp or a portable VM.

The next improvement will be to reconfigure saytime to parse caller id
messages from a modem.

Eric Josephson <ericj at>

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