I boxed everything up today, poked some holes in the cover so it could breathe and tested everything one last time before plugging it in. The app autostarts about a minute after plugging it in so it truly is a headless device.
The box is rather large, but I wanted plenty of space. Putting stuff in boxes is often the hardest part for me. I typically have to drill extra holes to get everything aligned and screwed together. This time, I used the time-honored tradition of "measure twice, cut once" and it turned out pretty well. The next one will be in a smaller box and will use the Raspberry Pi Model A.
Why do this?
When I decided to do this project, I mostly wanted to learn a little more about the RPi and to prove a point (again): if you can think it, you can do it.
At some point the "doing it" gets easier and the "thinking it" gets harder. There are so many people thinking and doing ("makers") that by the time you think of something, someone else has probably already done it - and maybe they're even selling it! For example, Belkin makes a relatively inexpensive system called WeMo that does the same thing as this project a little more elegantly and for about the same cost. I just saw a really cool Siri/Raspberry Pi system on Life Hacker that handles lights, garage doors, etc. using off-the-shelf components.
But, regardless of the utility or the uniqueness of these little innovations, the fun is really in the learning and testing and experimenting and just playing with the technology. It's way more fun than watching TV (with the possible exceptions of Big Bang Theory or Modern Family) and playing video games (with the possible exception of Pong.)
I believe that the next big thing is the "Internet of things" so I try to nudge it along whenever I can. So, what's the next project? Maybe one that has to do with things!