I'll have to admit I've always wanted to have a house full of contraptions. Despite managing to snag a RaspberryPi from one of the first batches available, it took me a little while to realise that it was not after all a very small and cheap linux computer but in fact a vital building block for wonderful and pointless projects around the house. If Wallace was alive today rather than in a quasi-1950s Britain he'd most certainly be involved with the Internet of Things, reading MagPi, creating connected devices in real environments, and enjoying the renaissance of small-scale projects and innovations similar to the 1980s home computer era.
In that spirit I managed to negotiate some time to myself during the Christmas break of 2012, emptied out my box of assorted cables and mysterious bits of electronics and got to work. After many hours unsuccessfully trying to get the Kinect to talk to the RaspberryPi, I changed tack and created a number of fun installations that are still active in our house. Ambient Goal Awareness lets us know (loudly) whenever Arsenal scores or concedes a goal, the snack cupboard proclaims when it is opened, and there's a handy button in the kitchen if you want to know the time of the next bus to school. Automated breakfast-making is still a year or two away, but the kitchen's becoming more interesting as new gadgets are added.