I guess I'll start this one off with a little background. Last year, I decided to build a control system for my fog machine, a couple of lights and some other things using an Arduino. There was only a motion sensor (two but one didn't work out and was disconnected) I quite literally shoved the USB cable under the front door (along with composite video for a camera) and connected it to an ancient P3 computer. This way, I could control it from a serial terminal, and also play sounds through a speaker system. It was far less than ideal.
Every year I plan to upgrade the system. Eventually I want to get it to the point where it is fully automated. This year's focus is on interface improvements and the addition of a candy dispenser. The second part I think I can figure out. The first is where I have no idea.
I have a general idea of how I want to do it. I have an Eee 701, which will be placed outside and connected to the Arduino via USB. The Arduino will connect to everything else via a GVS shield from Solarbotics (which will be much better than the loose wires of last year). I also plan to connect a webcam and speakers to the netbook. Ideally, I want to have a nice interface accessible from anywhere on the network, possibly web based.
Programming was never my strong point.