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Housebot

mdesmarais

Active Member
Hi-

I saw the discussion on the Starting from Scratch thread, and thought I'd add a new topic rather than continue to hijack that one. ;-)

Dave, I'm currently evaluating HB for my budding needs. I'd be very interested in the database connection you mentioned.

I had also noticed the lack of traffic on the forums. . . I wondered if it was because of the recent turmoil with getting bought, mergeed, sold, etc? Did it used to be livelier?

Thanks

Markd
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I'm also wondering if there is some more detailed Housebot info someplace? I looked at everything on the site and still don't feel like I know exactly what using Housebot would be like to use.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Best bet is to install the trial software, it's very user friendly, and it has a great help file. I really liked the application when I evaluated it several months ago.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I knew somebody was going to say that. I'll put it on the eval list right behind HomeRunner, Homeseer 2.1, MainLobby, Adaptive Home Logic, xPLHal, StarCom, etc. etc.

By the time I get through all the evals everybody will have a new rev out and I'll have to start all over again!
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Housebot is asn't big of a package tho (eventho it does a lot), so I would move it up the list, especially since it is one of the cheaper ones :(
 

mdesmarais

Active Member
electron said:
Housebot is asn't big of a package tho (eventho it does a lot), so I would move it up the list, especially since it is one of the cheaper ones :(

What were your impressions of strengths/weaknesses? Are you going to use it, or was it an eval for the sake of knowing what is out there?

thanks

Markd
 

lazyone

Member
Electron - where you ever able to get your Elk M1 connected to Housebot. I saw a thread over at the Housebot forum where you were considering converting your My.Elk script.
 

roussell

Active Member
Back near the end of Meedio, the Housebot forums had dried up to almost nothing. When Scott got control of Housebot back, forum activity went way up, but has since dwindled back to almost nothing. I'm currently re-evaluating Housebot alongside Mainlobby, alongside my existing setup of MisterHouse and Xlobby while at the same time working on tighter integration between Xlobby and MisterHouse through xAP. There is no doubt in my mind that out of all of the commercial packages available, Housebot gives you the most bang-for-the-buck( It's 60 bucks, come on!), it is missing one or two things that are crucial for me like streaming video to the client and xAP support. I would like to see more forum activity, but I have to admit that when I post a question, it always gets answered; maybe they're just a quieter bunch. :(

I know Scott is working on a new version and has already pushed out a few updates to the product since reacquiring it from Meedio, so there's little fear (anymore) that the app will continue to grow.

Terry
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
It's a great package, I love the user interface, and it supports vb scripting, which is easy to learn (and the same language Homeseer supports). I had it working with Caller ID announcements, TTS, and I did get parts of my.elk converted (but my hardware blew up before I got a chance to finish it). It definitely isn't perfect, but it is a very power application. It also has built-in touchscreen support (they call them software remotes), but it has been a while since I have used that functionality.

I will definitely take another look at it once I am back up and running.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Seems like there would be a lot of overlap with PowerHome. And since I have to have PowerHome to manage Insteon anyway, and since it does such a good job with my weather station data and X-10 to Insteon translation tasks, I'd have to ask what functionality I would be gaining with HouseBot? Would it make sense to run them both?
 

acheslow

Active Member
FYI, Richard Naninck has a pretty nice VB Script to integrate HouseBot with an Elk M1. I just got the script from Richard last week but ended up also buying CQC so I haven't done anything with it since then. It looks pretty comprehensive and should be a good alternative for anyone who wants a lower cost alternative to CQC.
 

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roussell

Active Member
acheslow said:
I just got the script from Richard last week but ended up also buying CQC so I haven't done anything with it since then.
Wow Alan, I'm surprised to see you going to CQC over Housebot. :( I really, really wanted CQC, just couldn't get the wife convinced in time for the discount... You're right though, Housebot is an awesome, less-expensive alternative to not only CQC but several of the other HA packages.

Is Richard Naninck on CT? He is a great resource for Housebot, I got a script to control my Pinnacle Showcenter from him.

Terry
 

roussell

Active Member
upstatemike said:
I'd have to ask what functionality I would be gaining with HouseBot? Would it make sense to run them both?
I think the biggest gain would be the software remotes, they run on my PDA/Phone (Cingular 8125) and touchscreens... They have that polished GUI feel that we love so much these days. :( Other than that, I'm not really sure, I haven't looked too deeply at Powerhome, other than for Insteon management. (Housebot relies on the SDM). I guess I need to add PH to my eval list too. :)

Terry
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Per several other touch screen related threads, I still have a problem with using touch screens with a PC based system rather than OEM screens like the ones from HAI. My main problem is that I want a surface mount, 1-wire solution that I can move around as easily as a security keypad if I should decide to re-arrange things.

I am even willing to give up on surface mount for a desktop unit instead but it MUST be 1 wire only. (That includes power, graphics and video feeds from door cameras.) It also can't require the host PC to be anywhere near it cuz any PC has to go in the basement.

So I guess I'm saying that I need to solve my touch screen problem first before I can even consider HouseBot, MainLobby, or any other PC based system.
 

roussell

Active Member
I hear ya USM, I'm looking for the same thing. I was almost considering trying several of the ebay lilliput touchscreens, each connected through a custom single cable that carries video, touch, and power to multiple video cards installed in a "touchscreen server" with linux and multiple desktops using a custom front-end or firefox as the front end with advanced ajax/dhtml. It would give the one-cable requirement and only cost about $200-300 per screen after the server, but would require a decent bit of time to develop.
 
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