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Where To Start With DIY Home Security? 825

secretrobotron writes "I'm a recent university graduate from a co-op system which has kept me on the move every other semester, so I've never really had a permanent place to live, and I've never had the opportunity (or the capital) to buy expensive things. Now that I'm working, those restrictions on my life are gone and I'm living in an apartment with things I don't want stolen. I would love to build a DIY home security system, but I don't even know where to start since Google searches reveal things like, which help only to an extent for a curious newcomer. Has anybody out there successfully built a home security system on a budget? If so, where did you start?" Related query: When similar questions have come up before, many readers have recommended Linux-based Zoneminder (last updated more than a year ago); is that still the state of the art?

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall