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1. A Foot in the Front Door > 16. Add a Brain to Your Smart Home

Add a Brain to Your Smart Home

You don’t need a computer to use X10, but you’ll be missing out on many great techniques if you don’t have one. Take your automation to the next level by letting your computer pilot your home.

At the most fundamental level, the only thing you need for an automated home is a few X10 modules and a way to send X10 commands, such as a Palm Pad [Hack #5] or a minicontroller [Hack #4] . For some people, a simple setup that enables you to push a button on your nightstand to turn off the lights in the next room, or have the lights come on automatically when you enter a room [Hack #7] , is more than enough. And it’s even fun, at least until you discover that it’s pretty limited.

But that’s so 20th century. You still have to push a button to control the lamp, so all you’ve really done is relocate the lamp switch from the room next door to your nightstand. That’s not automation: that’s remote control. Sure, it’s a bit more sophisticated than using The Clapper (http://www.chia.com), but only because X10 doesn’t make you clap your hands together to trigger it.


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