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Software choice for newb

Help! I have some X10 lighting throughout my house and I am putting the pieces together to have a complete home automation system by year-end. My ultimate goal is to control my lights, my sprinkler system (for next season), my security system and other goodies. I originally decided on HomeSeer but I am nervous about the pending 2.0 and some of the possible limitations (IE only, plugin support, etc.). In my research I also noticed that one of the reasons HS has such a huge following is that it used to be a much cheaper program. i've read about people with a $39 license that added on and upgraded to as they went along.

My questions are at $150 - $200 is HS worth it or are there good alternatives at lower prices (like HouseBot at $99)? HAL2000 is too much $

Has anyone had good experiences with the Meedio release of HouseBot? Do you know if it supports the W800? They list support for the X10 M26 so am I right to assume that this is the same?

Sorry Dean... I've been reading great things about CQC but I find your sales info to be way over my head so I'm afraid the program would be incomprehnsible to me.

Here's some other info that affects my decision:
My HA computer will be mounted out of the way in the garage so I'd like to be able to program the software from my laptop via a remote software on wifi network or a web server.

I am building a WinXP pro machine with a W800RF32 so I can still use PalmPads when needed, an Ocelot that I will eventually add the sprinkler, thermostat & security system to, and a PSC05 so the Ocelot can control X10.

Thanks for holding my hand!!!
 

smee

Senior Member
remoteshoppe said:
Has anyone had good experiences with the Meedio release of HouseBot? Do you know if it supports the W800? They list support for the X10 M26 so am I right to assume that this is the same?
I don't know anything about the Meedio version of HouseBot, but no, the W800 and MR26A aren't the same. They use a different message protocol to communicate with the computer. So, whatever you use you will need something written specifically for the W800.

It's a great piece of hardware, though, and I really like mine.
My HA computer will be mounted out of the way in the garage so I'd like to be able to program the software from my laptop via a remote software on wifi network or a web server.
I use VNC to connect to my HomeSeer machine about half the time. It works well. I'd use Remote Desktop, but my HS machine is running XP Home, not Pro. (The other half of the time, I switch the monitor over to the HS machine - it's under my desk near my "working" machine)
 
Thanks Smee. Isn't one of the advantages to HS the fact that you can do a lot of the programming over their web interface? What is the advtantage of useing VNC? Are you just trying to confuse me more ;-)
 

smee

Senior Member
remoteshoppe said:
Thanks Smee. Isn't one of the advantages to HS the fact that you can do a lot of the programming over their web interface? What is the advtantage of useing VNC? Are you just trying to confuse me more ;-)
Not trying to confuse you more - just trying to keep a healthy level of confusion going. :)

Yes, there are a lot of things you can do through the web interface. In fact, the interaction with HS 2.0 will be entirely through a web-based interface (or at least an IE-based interface). With 1.x, there are some things you need to do through the "normal" interface.

Typically, I seem to be doing several things on the machine that are easier by VNCing into it - opening multiple text files, Windows explorers, etc. These are not always associated with HS.

I use that machine for things other than HS. It serves as my main file server and runs a couple media servers as well.
 
thanks for the quick reply. I'm a self professed gadget geek but only moderately geeky when it comes to computers so learning some of this stuff has been a chore for me.
 

TonyNo

Active Member
I have been using PowerHome ($69) for a few years, and am still happy. Regular updates (most features requested get implemented) and great support. I have heard that the learning curve is a bit steeper than HS.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
CQC isn't nearly as complex as you might think it is. I would just recommend that you do the quick tutorial, and see how it really works yourself, then you'll know for sure. There's nothing like getting your hands on it.

You can completely work via a laptop with CQC, since it is network distributed from the ground up. So you would never have to go out to the garage except for installation/update purposes, or unless you wanted to do OS level configuration.

But if CQC is too complex, then I don't think that HS would be any better a choice for you.
 
One of the first pages I read on CQC was core compnents>device control where I came along this:
"In this area, CQC is very strong, with a powerful distributed server architecture, object oriented macro language, flexible device driver architecture, multiple driver development languages, network aware development tools, and extensive driver development documentation."

My eyes immediately glassed over, I skipped to the end (buy it) and saw a $275 price for the complete kit and decided it was over my head. HS at least seems to have enough of a community that I could sponge off of to find out specifically what I need to do.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
All those things are true, and it's important to point them out for those for whom those things are important. But you don't have to understand them in order to use the product, just like you don't have to understand a modern engine to use a car. So don't let it scare you off. Like I said, the proof is in the pudding, so just give the quick tutorial a spin. It will only take a couple of hours and then you'll know for sure if it's for you or not, and you'll know how it works.

And we definitely bend over backwards to help users.
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Doesn't CQC have a 30 day trial? Give it a go and write a newbee 1st experience review with setting up CQC. Dean, we'll let you "cheat" and help remoteshoppe along to get going :)
 

AutomatedOutlet

Senior Member
I'd like to make a comment about one thing Dean said:

And we definitely bend over backwards to help users.

I believe him when he says this. The proof of it in my opinion is his very active user forum on his website. He is personally very involved and responds to questions and issues quickly.
 
I'll have to get my system up and running and then I'll give it a go. The only time I have had pc tech issues that I couldn't fumble through easily was in setting up networks which is why I am so timid. The other factor however is the price. The second nature of my post was to find out if there are equally good program at lower pricepoints. I see HS 1.7 around $130 on clearance, Housebot at $99
 
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