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X10 discount

On Thu, 31 May 2001, Thorin wrote:

> David,
> Funny, I just added them to my personal spammers list as since I bought some
> gear there a few days ago, they have sent me no less than THREE of the
> HURRY - just X days left to buy more stuff at deep discount.... Not a good
> marketing tactic in my book, but apparently this is SOP for them:

I guess I just have a higher tolerance for "expected spam from a known and
oft-used company".   And you can easily remove yourself from those lists
and stay off.  But since about a third of them contain discounts, I sal
let 'em roll!

> >From their Recruiting pages - it seems that they focus on impulse buyers:
> Web Developer
> Requirements: Experience in advertising that sells to impulse buyers -
> direct action! Excellent understanding of selling and marketing
> communications issues. 2 years web design/selling online experience.
> Comfortable in a fast-paced environment with daily deadlines.

Having worked on commercial websites, I don't see those as bad things.
There are lots of website designers who make sites that are beautiful to
behold but maddening to find/buy stuff off of.

> Otherwise what is your overall impression of the X10 gear?  I just bought a
> ton of it, but I am not as happy as I thought I would be.  The cameras are

I generally use the normal modules, plus some motion sensors, various
handheld controllers, the firecracker kit, and ActiveHome.

I've just set up this cool thing at work where I have a fan and water
sculpture (one of those and-stress things with water and rocks) that are
triggered by my hands in front of my monitor, and turn off after eight
minutes of inactivity.  I was going to hook up my monitor too, but it's a
monstrous 21" Sun monitor and I didn't think it would be good for it to be
turning on and off several times a day.

I also have my linux box at home to turn on my bed lamp (on a different
floor and opposite corner of the house) a few minutes after I was supposed
to get my lazy a** out of bed via my alarm.  Just in case you, see.  I do
other things with it, like centrally controlling all the odd bits of
electronics in my office, I have one on my cablemodem to restart that as
needed, etc.

My overall impression is that the hardware is, in general, pretty well
designed and built, with the possible exception of some of their handheld
IR/RF remote controls.  The X10 specfication, however, is not nearly as
robust as I would like it to be, and is showing it's age.  I don't think I
would trust it to control my house heating any more than I would trust UDP
for sending emails or DC600 tapes to store my company's payrolls.  I do
trust it for lots of things, because as a general rule if you get an
environment together that works, it stays working.

I have not played with any of their costlier items like video cameras or
the like, so please let me know exactly what was not ideal about yours,
and what you are trying to do with them.

> extremely limited and I'm having issues (albeit newbie ones) with the
> ActiveHome & Firecracker gear...
What kind of issues?

> Right Now I have 5 Cameras, Motion Sensors, Remotes, and the controller
> modules all terminating into my NT Server.
> Their MultiView software seems to keep my CPU around 90-100% - not
> impressive...

What's MultiView?

> What pieces are you using - and how has your luck been with multi-floor
> installations?

No problems here, and our house is not particulary small.  There are ways
to fix problems like that (passive and active bridges, repeaters, filters,
etc).  The bridges carry the X10 signals between the phases of the circuit
breaker panel.  the active ones amplify too.

The only "boy that was stupid of them" thing I've had problems with was
when I had a X10 appliance module on my old LanCity cablemodem.  The
cablemodem was built so sloppy that when I turned it off with the X10
module, the back EMF would kick the appliance module back on after a
second.  That happened to be just fine for me, as I would otherwise just
turn it back on myself, but in other circumstances that would have been a
Bad Thing(tm).

DDDD   David Kramer         
DKK D  If Bill Gates had a dime for every time a Windows box
DK KD  crashed...
DDDD                           ...,Oh wait, he already does.

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