CUUG. Calgary UNIX Users Group. Dedicated to Unix & Open Systems

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September General Meeting

Home Assistant

Home Assistant: Introduction and Initial Experience

Speaker: Christian Falkenberg-Andersen, retired M.D. and tech enthusiast

Home Assistant is an open source home automation setup that is extremely versatile, though their documentation may not be as straightforward as you'd like. This talk aims to help people who want to learn about it and possibly start using it.

Christian Falkenberg-Andersen will provide an introduction to the ESP8266 microprocessor as it is extensively used in ESPHome, along with the YAML markup language used for Home Assistant. He will demonstrate examples of what is possible with Home Assistant the way he has set it up in his own home, and will also give an example of how to implement a custom sensor into the Home Assistant environment (one for which Home Assistant does not provide template code). Helper functions for Home Assistant will also be discussed, as they are very useful to make the automation routines more sophisticated.

If the technology gods smile favourably upon us, then Christian will include a live demo-setup as part of the presentation.

Christian Falkenberg-Andersen was born in Denmark and emigrated to Canada at age 14. His parents lived on a farm and solving problems on the farm is likely where an interest in tinkering started. He completed a bachelor of science, majoring in biochemistry (University of Calgary) and taking a course in instrumentation for scientists sparked a very strong interest in electronics. Subsequently he got a second bachelor of science degree (in electrical engineering) and postgraduate master of science degree in biomedical engineering (studying the nerve conduction of a compound action potential traveling down a nerve, and using FFT to calculate the distribution of nerve conduction speeds for the axon). During his work on his master's degree he entered medical school and received a doctor of medicine degree. Subsequently he qualified for practising medicine with specialty in family medicine. He has recently retired from working as a solo family physician since 1999 in Market Mall. Currently, his activities include a lot of tinkering with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino single board computers, as well as 3D printing. Sewing, cycling (electric-assist bike) and kite skiing round out his activities.

Place 800

800 - 6 Ave. S.W.
Plus-15 Conference Room

There is $2 parking after 16:00 one block north-east of the meeting location, in the underground parkade at McDougall Centre.

5:30 PM, Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

As this is our first in-person meeting in two and a half years (!), we would appreciate it if you could RSVP to "office" at "" if you would like to attend, so that we can get an approximate number of expected attendees. We look forward to seeing you in person again!

2022 Board of Directors

At the June 2022 Annual General Meeting, the following people were elected to the Board of Directors for 2022/2023:

  • Alan Dewar (President)
  • Greg King (Secretary-Treasurer)
  • Christopher Aziz
  • Alex Chow
  • Dick Miller
Read all about them.

Membership Renewals Due

It is annual renewal time for CUUG memberships. Membership fees remain at $50.00 (no GST), and cheques can be made payable to Calgary UNIX Users' Group. Our mailing address is as follows:

Calgary Unix Users' Group
Box 878, Station M
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2J6

Invoices have been sent by email. If you have not received yours, please contact office at CUUG.