European Installation Bus (EIB) Research

Deka and ThamThon started to play with the brand new EIB Installation in our Office. And they really seemed to have fun B-). Well the light was switched on and off several times – if they intended that… I don’t know – but the EIB configuration looked kinda complicated.

Oh, a few words what EIB is:

“Here’s how the “intelligent” home works: The EIB system serves as the automatic controller of devices and systems in homes and apartment houses, and functional and commercial buildings. Sensors, such as motion detectors and thermostats, send impulses over a transmission medium to so-called actuators, for example. Sensors and actuators communicate with each other via four alternate transmission media.”

This is the main controller and the serial interface of the EIB. You can see the serial cable (btw: 13 Euro for 3m serial cable is dailight robbery!) and the Battery.

The switch-modules…

This is the other side of the wall:

There are numerous actuators and switches connected to our bus. But when I left nothing worked so far ;) The problem seems to be that the Software is not that logical – or we just don’t get it ;)

And THIS is a switch… okay… 4 switches… but damn isn’t that a nerds dream! ;)

A complete review and description of the offices’ EIB installation will be available shortly.

Source: EIB Wikipedia Article

IMAP Act 1 Final Scene

After some very disappointing experiences with Mercury, Lotus Domino and Exchange I was almost ready to even use OpenSource Software B-) – Just kidding! But the experiences were very very disappointing. Mercury does not have the needed features, Domino is to complicated and not what I would expect from an IMAP Server and Exchange, wuh… I wasn’t able to test it because: In order to install Exchange you have to have an ActiveDirectory (DC). I do not have that. I tried on a testing machine and the direct effect was: After promoting the Windows 2003 to a DomainController I could not access any file-share on that particular machine with MacOS X. That’s sad because the Exchange would run on one of my fileservers: You see the problem?!

Then I looked at the website “The IMAP Connection” and I found several other commercial IMAP servers. So I took the first one whos website and feature-list looked promising and gave it a shot: MDaemon from Alt-N.

It’s a relativly small Application and MDaemon does not require any 3rd Party Software like a SQL Server or ActiveDirectory or something.

After a quick Installation you get this:

The Feature-List of MDaemon appears like a listing of everything a great Mail-Server needs – even groupware features like calendar and contacts. And as if this wasn’t enough it’s completely configurable via the Webbrowser and the WebMail Feature is well… do i have to mention it? ITS GREAT! ;)

Because I don’t use all the features I cannot give a complete overview of MDaemon… but I’ll do my best with the features I’m useing…

First the most important feature: Encryption and Security. With MDaemon you can encrypt almost any connection. I didn’t had the time to get an official certificate so I used the CA that comes built within MDaemon.

And everything works just as easy as possible: One click and a connection is encrypted.

Of course all the IMAP Features I was looking for are available with MDaemon: Subfolders, Encryption, Server-side Filtering, Spam-Filtering, Antivirus, Archiving…. to just name a few important ones.

And as if this wasn’t perfect enough: MDaemon stores all Messages in an easy convertable and backupable format: Textfiles.

One feature I tried out because I was curious: The WebMail Server called “WorldClient”. And this is how WorldClient looks like:

That does me remember of the Outlook Web Access Feature ;)

and this is how you compose messages:

Actually this WebMail Feature replaces a complete client: Remember that the two pictures above are screenshots of the Internet Explorer. Unfortunatly my server is short on memory – so I’m going to disable that particular feature.

The conclusion: I’ve found the “perfect IMAP” Server for Windows. But there’s always a contra. And the contra is that it’s about $330 for the smallest version (6 users). I only need 1 user… so whats the point ;-(. Until I find an alternative Iam on the trial version of MDaemon…in the worst case I have to swallow the pill and put the 330 bucks on the table.