Linux Home Automation for the Masses
The /usr/local/minerva/bin directory contains a number of useful scripts that can be re-used in a number of places. This directory also contains the Bearskin scripts.


This provides a spoken status of the Minerva including the weather, todays events, the network status, and so on. You can trigger this manually with,

status default
It uses the scripts hdate and htime covered later.

The external network is tested with ipcheck, and uses the sites dictated by /usr/local/minerva/etc/ipcheck.conf.

To add day-specific announcements in the status report (e.g. the dustmen come today), then script a script in the /usr/local/minerva/etc/daily directory. The subdirectory 1 or for Monday, and so on. Simply add a script in the appropriate directory called status including code such as,

echo Its rubbish day
Using echo instead of announce allows it to be use on the web pages as well.

Dependencies: Festival (for speech)

hdate and htime

These two scripts write the date and time, respectively, to stdout. Where these differ from the standard Unix variants is that these output the information in a humanistic form. So, instead of intrepreting "12:42" as "twelve forty two", the computer will say "Eighteen minutes to 1 pm".


This makes vocal announcements through the soundcard. It is used extensively by Cosmic as well as the status script, above.

When called, this script will lower the volume of any CD playing, make a 'chime' sound to forwarn you, and then make the announcement. Once complete, the volume will return to normal.

There is a script called announcefile which will read the contents of a file to the speech synthesizer, instead.

Dependencies: Festival (for speech)


This will pause any and all media currently playing, such as MP3s and CDs. This only applies to those media which have been started through the Minerva Bearskin abstractions.


A simple script to add Minerva-specific users to the system. This creates the necessary files in /usr/local/minerva/etc/users.


This install the components of a new applet into the system. The base install does this automatically, but for new functionality from MinervaHome.net (and that from independent third parties) this is the easiest way to include new applets. It will install the Bearskin, Zinc, and applet components if they exist.


This makes a cup of tea. Sort of! It switches on the X10 device named "kettle", waits for the amount of time specified in /usr/local/minerva/etc/kettle.conf, announces the fact that the kettle has boiled, and then turns the kettle off again.

If your kettle is not plugged into an X10 device called "kettle", you can change this with /usr/local/minerva/etc/kettle.conf, also.

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