Command Assistant Help File

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This is the Help "file" for the Python Application whose main page is: *[ tbd ]

Help file for Command Assistant application ( Documentation for Verxxx ). You can also get a lot of information about how the program works by looking at the GUI and its explanation: Command Assistant GUI Images.

Application Features

  • Highly configurable.

Download and Install

There is really no install program. Currently the application is intended for those who have at least a little familiarity with Python coding and can just insert the downloaded code into their development environment and run it. Code at russ-hensel/Smart_plug Application For most of you it will not run due to dependency problems. You will need to add them. Pretty much read the error messages and install the missing code. I use Anaconda Spyder so my preferred tool is conda ( conda install pyHS100 ). If conda does not work or you do not use it use pip. pyHS100, a library for smart plugs is pretty likely to be missing ( pip install pyHS100) . Depending on your installation there may be more.

Much of the application is configurable through the file, but the default should give you an application that runs, including a default database. You probably will not be able to talk to your smartplugs, because the parameters do need to be told what and where ( tcpip address ) they are.

So to tell the application about your plugs. You should know the address of each plug. If not you might want to use an application like advanced ip scanner ( google it ). The smartplug gives up very little information on my scans, but run the scan with the plug plugged in and out, and the address that appears ( or disappears ) it the address of your device.

With the edited parameter file saved, restart the application. Not working? Double check or email me.


Some operations work the same way in both applications

  • Install: see section above.
  • Debug: see section below.
  • Edit the parameter file: *Change Parameters: Use the application button <Edit Parms> ( after configuring for your editor ) or any text editor suitable for Python ( no tabs ) on the file See also: The section below, Configuration Files For Python and SmartPlug GUI Images SmartPlug GUI Images
  • Edit the log file: This is a standard python logging file. Useful for debugging and general tracking of the application. You can set the level of the logging using the parameter file.
  • Backup the database: Just make a copy of the database using your file manager. It is all in one file, but you can make multiple databases.
  • Add a new device or change device data: edit the parameter file, device_list. Restart the application. <Restart> will do it
  • Quick Restart of the application: As perhaps after a parameter change. Use the <Restart> button. See also: SmartPlug GUI Images
  • Make a graph: Use the graphing application or Live Graph ... see sections below. See also: SmartPlug GUI Images.
  • Switch databases: Use browse control on GUI. Please do not change while db operations are active.
  • Get Help: Press the <Help> button. Depending on how it is setup in you may see this page.
  • Work with text in message area: See buttons to the left of the area.

How to Use the Parameter File

See: Configuration Files For Python You need a text editor suitable for .py files to manage the parameter file ( ) This includes most text editors. I particularity like:

  • notepad
  • geany

You can also use the editor that comes in many python development environments, the simplest of which may be Idle. But there are many many others. If you are reading this you probably have some experience.

Once you configure an editor in you can edit from the <Edit Parms> in the GUI ( see below )

When editing there are couple of gotchas to watch out for.

  • Python cares about capitalization, use the capitalization indicated in the default files and the example code.
  • Python also cares a lot about how lines are indented. Do not change the indentation from the sample files, and always indent using spaces ( not tabs. most text editors will use spaces automatically for .py files, even if you use the tab key )

Editing of the file

  • Edit so the program finds your devices.
    • See above in Download and Install
  • Enable your favorite editor to work with the application.
    • self.ex_editor = r"D:\apps\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" # use r" or the backslashes will not work, or you can use forward slashes instead they may be wrong but they work.
  • Lots of other settings:
    • Read the comments in and change as desired. If a setting does not work let me know.
  • If you mess up.
    • Re download and get back to the original file.


see: tbd


There are several application outputs that may be useful for debugging.

  • Watch the GUI
  • Check the Python console.


  • tbd main page for this project
  • see categories below as well