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1. A Foot in the Front Door > 15. Unplug Your Computer

Unplug Your Computer

Using your computer to control your home makes your home smart. But don’t overlook the benefits of a slightly less sophisticated approach.

You can create an automated home by using different approaches. These approaches vary in terms of the equipment needed and the degree of control and automation they provide. If you simply want to turn on lights or appliances without leaving your easy chair, all you need are a few X10 modules and a wireless Palm Pad [Hack #5] or a minicontroller [Hack #4] . This approach gives you complete control (you push buttons to make things happen), but it provides very little automation (if you don’t push those buttons, nothing happens).

If you want the lights to come on by themselves at certain times during the day or night, you can use a standalone X10-capable timer, such as the Mini Timer (http://www.smarthome.com/1100x.html; $30) shown in Figure 1-19. This box plugs into your wall and you can program it to turn lights on or off, up to twice a day.


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