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Comment Re:There are reasons X-10 hasn't gone away (Score 1) 170

This web site is interesting...

www.freaklabs.org

A quick look tells me that this is not hobbyist friendly at all. You have to buy a Raven USB stick, but there is no API support, you have to roll your own code to make sense of the 802.15.4 protocol stream before you can even begin to work on the level of devices or events.

Like I said, tell me how to turn my outside lights on at sunset in the Zigbee world. How to I address devices and send commands to them? How do I get status back. X-10 has a flaw in that it's hard to get command confirmation and device state back. So we learn to live with that. But I'm not seeing a compelling case for Zigbee being any better.

Bottom line is the people who write for CE Pro and similar magazines have their own slant on things. And it's a very different slant from Popular Electronics or BYTE or any of the publications that used to show you how to unravel things and make them work your way. And that's what makes HA fun for a lot of people.

Comment There are reasons X-10 hasn't gone away (Score 3, Interesting) 170

The nice thing about X-10 is that the protocol is simple and there are lots of devices that work with it, most of which are relatively inexpensive. It's also friendly to the home hobbyist, and the hacker, since you can buy interfaces that will hook up to your PC via a serial port and write your own scripts, or download free software like Misterhouse.

If I can't turn my outside lights on at sunset via a script, then turn that script into a cron job, don't even talk to me about it. I'll write the interface myself, just give me a clean API I can code to.

We hate it when Microsoft or Apple take the attitude of "No, we won't open up our API and play nice with the open source crowd. At best we will make you join our developer program and sign an NDA. At worst we won't talk to you at all."

When the home automation vendors do it, they're no better. They don't deserve our respect or our help.

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