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INSTEON: Smarthomes for Everyone: The Do-It-Yourself Home Automation Technology Paperback – 30 Mar 2009


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Five stars for the book--one for the publisher--AMENDED 11 Sept. 2009
By Travis Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. The author is obviously very enthusiastic about this technology and its application, which makes for a pretty engaging read. As a fellow technologist, I particularly enjoyed the fact that he went into the theory behind how not only INSTEON but other competing home automation systems work and why INSTEON is a superior, less expensive, more reliable protocol than competitors. He takes you through the basics of electrical wiring and working with electric through planning your system, ideas for use cases, installation, and a fairly comprehensive (as of the writing) list of available categories of devices, as well as touching on lessons he learned from using INSTEON in his own home.

While the subject matter was very good, the execution was terrible--an outcome I blame solely on the publisher. They actually used gray (dithered) type instead of pure black, screen shots were too blurry to be recognizable until the last chapter, and there were far too many unforgivable spelling and grammatical mistakes (e.g. your vs. you're, etc.). I mean come on people, you're based in a big ten college town. I'm pretty sure you could hire some English major to edit your books for minimum wage. It was extremely distracting and disappointing--so much so that I will probably try to avoid this publisher in the future.

So, to sum it up: I would definitely recommend this book as an introduction if you are considering installing INSTEON or are even just interested in learning about how it works. You'll gain enough of an idea of what's possible to begin deciding how you want to accomplish automation tasks in your home and have a game plan for getting started, although if you're anything like me, you may wince a little while reading.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good Introduction - Poor Publishing 18 Feb. 2010
By Dan Albarran - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As much as I would like to rate solely the content of the book, one must consider the whole package. The book is an very good introduction to the topic of automating your home using INSTEON products. I did feel that the author was a bit biased in his comparison with other products (UPB,ZigBee, and X10) and would have liked to have seen his sources. The competitor comparison reads too much like it is written or contributed by Smart Labs. The book is filled with grammatical errors and the pictures are hard to see. The software screen prints in the book are impossible to read. They are blurry. Many of the photographs are too dark. One wonders where the quality control process was on this job. I have already contacted the publisher about the problem. I haven't heard back yet. The author does an excellent job presenting the basics of using INSTEON but does not go into depth. This is basically a very good beginning INSTEON book directed to end-consumers of INSTEON products. It is not a book for developers intending to integrate INSTEON in software solutions. If the publishing quality was better, I could see giving this book 4 stars.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Very Comprehensive and Informative! 21 Jun. 2009
By Steve Bicker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While my motivation for buying this book might be different from most people; I bought it because I was looking for a business opportunity as opposed to a DIY/homeowner. Nonetheless, this is a very well thought-out book. It is written in a very easy-to-read style but still manages to convey concepts that are somewhat complex. Mr Strebe covers all the bases and compares Insteon to competing technologies, which is VERY important when considering any kind of major technological commitment. I would very much recommend this book for anyone looking at home automation for either business or home improvement.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Book 16 Jun. 2014
By S. Gates - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the late 90’s I played around with X-10, but I have not used home automation since. I picked up Brewer’s book, “Home Automation Made Easy,” but saw Matthew Strebe’s book on Insteon. Strebe has a great writing style, as I had read two of his prior books, “From Serf to Surfer,” and “Firewalls 24seven.”
I picked up both Brewer’s book and Strebe’s “Insteon: Smarthomes For Everyone,” and glad I did. I was not originally sold on Insteon, but Matt builds a good case. He provides some great solutions, and things to look out for. If you are new to Home Automation or getting back into it, this is a great text.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In too many cases, the author who prints his own book has a fool for a publisher! 14 May 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After starting to read this book, it was obviously self-published. The publisher is given as iUniverse, which is a vanity press. If you have ever done research on self-publishing, you would find that illustrations and photos can be the most costly part of the book, which is why the their quality here is abysmal. I agree that there is no excuse for misspellings and typos. Most word processors have built-in spelling and grammar checkers, and it doesn't need more than a college student working at minimum wage (or below) to do the final review.
I Googled "iUniverse," which made interesting reading and explained a lot!
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