[sf-lug] controlling external electronics? for a little science project

Matt Price matt.price at utoronto.ca
Tue May 13 20:07:42 PDT 2008

hi folks,

my 9-year-old has an idea for an invention..

maybe she's not the first one to have invented it exactly, but i'd like
to encourage her.  she wants a reverse alarm clock, that does the
-turn out her light at bed time
- play from a selection of boring speeches after lights out, to lull her
to sleep
- wake her in the morning with a less boring speech.

now, it strikes me that most of this could be done pretty easily with a
simple python script on her xo-1.  but to turn the light out she needs
to open a circuit external to the computer.  now i imagine even this is
pretty easy to do; that there exist generic usb connected electronics
kits, that let you perform arbitrary simple actions (like flipping a
switch) with signals from the computer.  but if this is so i have no
idea how to do it.  anyone know anything about this sort of thing?  

as usual i appreciate al the help...


Matt Price
matt.price at utoronto.ca

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