Haloween Project - Remote WiFi Control via Laptop

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.

What is your question? What is it that you want to access from anywhere on the network? The laptop? What about it?

Very specifically, I want to be able to play sounds from the laptop, view a webcam feed, and send commands to the Arduino from other computers on the network. I’m thinking I’m going to have to do some programming, at least for the last part. I believe there are remote webcam applications, though, so I guess I can try looking for one of those.

The easiest way would be to use vnc from your remote computer to the laptop, and control it like you were actually there.