Monday, May 02, 2005

Home Control System

More childhood reminiscing. The house I grew up in was controlled by a computer. A Model 100, to be precise. My father programmed it to receive commands from little momentary switches placed strategically throughout the house. Those commands would then send signals to the X-10 devices that most lights and the family room TV were plugged into. The commands went something like this: Three clicks would turn off everything downstairs (good for when you’re about to leave and don’t want to hunt down all the lights that have been left on). Three clicks, pause, three clicks turned on the family room TV (this was the Heathkit TV my father built, which had no remote – well, there was the converted calculator, but that just changed the channel). Three clicks, pause, one click turned on the light by the sofa. I think 3-2 turned on the overhead light.

All that was just in the family room. Each bedroom had control panels (store bought, though, not homemade). I remember figuring out how to turn the lights in my sister’s room on and off from the safety of my own room. I also remember wondering why some light switches were square buttons while others were, well, switches.

I miss being able to turn off my lights from bed. How primitive! When will the world catch up with my childhood?

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