On the computer front, check out CQC (www.charmedquark.com.) It's built in
object oriented macro/device interfaceing language is very powerful. It
doesn't need any external tools, since it comes with it's own graphical IDE.
It support serial, ethernet, and USB devices, X-10 and IR. It's a secure,
account based system. It's fully network distributed. And it lets you create
your own very powerful user interfaces for control.