1-Wire is a low speed communications bus. OWFS is the 1-wire filesystem for Linux. Combine the two with a WRT54G and you’ve got a cheap wired/wireless network enabled data collection platform. 1-Wire devices are really low cost, only need one wire plus ground, are bus powered, and can even be wired in a branching pattern instead of a normal straight run. OWFS lets you check the status of the devices like they were parts of your filesystem (it’s built on FUSE). So, you can do really easy data collection just by writing some file management scripts.