It all started out simple enough.

About 12 years ago I was at Fry’s and I decided to by a X-10 home automation system, which uses the wires in the buildings electrical system as a network, and allows you to turn on/off various devices. Of coarse the version I bought had an interface to a computer. I bought it, because I just needed a side project, I was a bit bored at the time and I heard that this type of activity would keep me out of street gangs. Soon after, I met Heather and I am please to announce that the entire kit was put in my desk drawer never to be seen again.

A house, the arrival of Ryan, and Heather and I are decorating the house for Christmas. For two nights, we would wander the house, plugging in and then unplugging all of the X-mas decorations. As I pondered the pain in the arse that this process was, I remembered the little X-10 devices I had in my desk drawer. So I broke them out, set them up, and basked in my brilliance and the amazement of my lovely wife.

Not only had the X-10 devices saved me from a live of crime, but now…. they were useful. One button and we turned everything one. And by everything, I mean there is a lot. My mom loves the Christmas store. Ryan gets so excited that he can turn “christmas on” every morning in December.

So, I then decided to post my electrical skills in facebook. To this, my friend Randy posted some nonsense about turning it on/ff with my phone. Well, of coarse “I could”, but really the challenge was… Could Heather. This is to say, could I find a way to make it less geeky and does not require linux command line knowledge. Typically, when I start talking Linux command line people start to doze off…. Heather is not yet comfortable with Linux command line. Anyways…

Challenge Accepted!!!

A quick Google search and I found a free product called home genie which has an X-10 interface AND an app for my phone. I did a quick download, install home genie on my server, and mucked around a bit under the hood, and Tah Duh…. I have success. I can turn lights on and off with my phone, and in under one hour of work. So, now Heather has worldwide remote control of some house lights, I don’t have X-10 switches lying around in my desk drawer anymore. This is all very nice. Which, bring us to the point of the matter.

So, the other night, Heather and I are watching “The Big Bang Theory”. It was the episode where the four guys spend the afternoon hooking up a lamp to an X-10 device and turned the light on/off from around the world.

Heather just lost it….

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