Why Home Automation?

Convenience, Hospitality, Safety, Security, Savings

Your Macintosh can help provide many of the same benefits you get by
hiring a live-in maid, and many more services that you just couldn't pay for.


If you already know what X-10 is and why, CLICK HERE to go directly to the pieces and parts of XTension.

Why ?

Imagine your Mac working round the clock to help secure and control your home;
remembering your personal schedule, and preferences such as lighting and music.

Home automation is simpler and more affordable than ever before.
The things you need are available from your local Radio Shack as well as Home Depot and many web sites.

Our software makes it even easier to do things which you thought you could never do, but there is a catch !

You have to decide just how
you want your house to behave !


Every home is different, and just like you have to instruct your maid in the operation of your home, you have to instruct your Mac in your personal preferences. You can pay someone to do this for you, or you can do it yourself. But the most valuable thing about a home automation system should be that it can be easily changed to suit your changing preferences and life style.


What kinds of things would you want a home servant to do:

  • Wake me at 7AM weekday mornings. If I am not out of bed by 7:15, you must be more insistent.

  • Wake me at 8AM on Saturdays, 9AM on Sundays, and don't be insistent for an hour in each case unless I tell you different.

  • After I'm gone, make sure that any appliances or lights that I've left on are turned off.

  • I will return home each weekday and I expect the lights to be on, the house temperature to be 74. I want the drapes drawn in the Den, the hot tub ready (unless it's raining or cold), the stereo playing my favorite, and please tell me if I have Email waiting.

  • While I am gone, I want you to take note of anyone who might try to break in, and send me a page and call the alarm service if anyone does.

  • While I am at home, I want you to take care that I don't leave lights on where they're not needed, and make sure that each of the different garden areas get water according to how much they need.

  • After I've gone to sleep, make sure that any lights I've left on are off, check again that there isn't something like the hot tub still on, watch for any intruders inside and out, and of course, be there whenever I get up in the middle of the night.

  • By the way, you get no pay. Your only reward is knowing how well you serve me without complaint.

Having such a servant would be beyond the means of most ordinary people.
But with XTension and your Mac, it can be a reality for you.

These things are easy to do with XTension and your Mac.
There are many examples and plug-in help from Sand Hill,
and none of these require any tools other than perhaps a screwdriver.

Even in the simple maid example,
turning things off when they're not necessary or
when you're gone, can provide an extra measure of safety in your home.

Not only will your coffee pot not burn down the house,
but you won't cause a pile-up on the freeway when you remember you left it on :-)

Remember also that all these electrical devices use power
and any time you can avoid leaving something turned on, it means real savings.

The really nice thing is that all of this can be done a little bit at a time.
You don't have to automate your whole house at once, and you don't have to buy everything at once.

The message is that it's easy, affordable, uses even your old MacPlus, and most of all, it's fun !

You won't believe how useful your Mac can be.

And, as important as any other feature, you won't find better customer support...!

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Last modified: May 8, 2002
Michael Ferguson, webmaster@shed.com