How not to automate your house


Senior Member
This is a video of a guy who spent alot of money automating his house the WRONG way. If you don't laugh at this video then you may want to spend a little more time here at cocoontech before starting any more projects.

He must be using HomeSeer
rule # 1: never automate the bathroom lights!

funny stuff, I assume this is not a real setup, or at least the problems were faked, correct? I can not believe that he spent so much money on his home theater, and did not get equipment which either has discrete codes for all important functions, or a serial port.
I only assume that this is a joke. Although if it was fake then he is a pretty good actor. Did you see how he started turning red and was at a loss of words we everything went wrong. His site said that he showed that video at a conference which is very hard to beleive.

I liked the part where the IR detectors were mounted on the moving parts of the shades. So in order to stop he had to aim it at one side of the wall and then the other.

And who was that guy in the video that was with his little daughter. So much for security :lol:
I think this is more "real" than many of us want to admit. Why do you think there are so many posts about WAF factor. It's slamming all the high tech gear we have and just how easy it has become to control it. Not! Like the 300 channels on TV :lol:
I definitely recognized some of those 'scenarios' :lol: But 4 seconds to turn on a TV? That's pushing it :D
electron said:
I definitely recognized some of those 'scenarios' :lol: But 4 seconds to turn on a TV? That's pushing it :D
I've heard this complaint several times over the years from users on the HS BB. Don't forget back when we all started how overwhelming this technology was and still can be.
Here's some bio info on the guy from his site:
Steve Kirsch, 42, was chairman and founder of Infoseek Corporation, a leading Internet navigation service. But Disney acquired Infoseek on November 17, 1999. That meant that Steve was out of a job, looking for work. In other words, he became one of the "unemployed in Silicon Valley."

Failing to find suitable work at reasonable pay, he started Propel.

Prior to Infoseek, Steve founded Frame Technology in 1986 and Mouse Systems in 1982. He has been involved with the Internet since 1972 when he worked with the "father of the Internet" Vint Cerf and others at the first ARPANET node as a systems programmer while attending high school. He has BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT
So it sounds like he's relatively tech saavy, and that the video was done tongue-in-cheek to me.... but is representative of actual problems he had whenhe first set it up, hopefuly it's working correctly buy now.

My guess, having a tech background, the guy dove into the process and picked all the equipment himself, having regular old electricians and such (not custom automation installers) install everything for him and thought he could figure out all the logic himself. Looks like it didn't work... I bet if one of us had unlimited rsources and tried to do everything at once without first learning what does and does not work, we'd end up withthe same results. I myself had many preconceptions about what would be cool and great to have whenI started and now know that I'd be a fool to automate certain things, or autmate certain things via a specific technique.

He could probably hire some pros to come in and selectively replace equipment (using what he already has as a good base) and have the system 100% reliable. Judging by all the junk in the house (ladders, boxes, etc.) he hadn't even moved into the house yet. Hopefully all his issues are resolved by now.

I just saw this video. Pretty damn funny. I nearly lost it when he showed us his "high tech" flat screen. But I'm starting to think that this home automation installation is dated at least 5 or so years judging by the looks of the projector, big fat remote (pronto's are WAAAY smaller and have been out for a while now), and flat screen tv. This guy seems very tech savvy and just wanted to automated everything, then think about it later whether it was a smart move or not.

PS, anyone know where I can get IR's like that? I've been looking for one for my aftermarket car radio. I have a PAC SWI-X which translates my steering audio controls into an ir signal, but I'd rather have the ir transmitter attached to the radio then poking out from my console.
Are you talking about the stick on emitters? You can get them anywhere, including Automated Outlet, I use them myself, they work pretty well.
it's very tiny, it's made to fit on IR windows, so it should fit. I'll see if I can take a picture later today. Here are some pics from google: