25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius Paperback – 1 Feb 2007
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From the Publisher
Want to have your martini freshly shaken, poured, and waiting for you next
to the perfectly warm and bubbly hot tub when you come home from a hard
day's work? This book is for YOU!
From the Back Cover
TURN YOUR HOME SWEET HOME INTO AN AUTOMATED, EVIL GENIUS
Your home may be your castle-but can it cook your dinner? Well, with the
help of 25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius, you can teach it
to do just that, along with dozens of other affordable, enjoyable things
that will transform your humble abode into a wickedly automated living
But fear not-you don't need an engineering degree to complete the projects
in this book. That's because technology maven Jerri L. Ledford skillfully
provides you with a firm understanding of the basic wiring, networking, and
equipment demands for home automation. She then leads you step by step
through each application, offering clearly worded and heavily diagramed
guidance that will truly satisfy your inner Evil Genius.
With the help of just a few household tools, you'll be able to bring
info-age automation to:
Indoor and outdoor lighting
Security and surveillance
Remote monitoring of kids and pets
And many more!
Plus, you'll gain access to discounts from a variety of home automation
product manufacturers, to make your projects even more economical. With 25
Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius, easy living is now
Top customer reviews
Also all devices detailed in each product are American; admittedly you could buy them over the web but still not very satisfactory...
Anyone want to buy it off me???
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Fortunately you don't have to read for long to discover that this book is a waste of time. The second chapter, tantalizingly titled "Intruder Alert: Outdoor Lighting" is 5 pages long. In those 5 pages it basically says "Go to a home supply store; buy an outdoor light with motion sensor; install it." It is impressive that the author was able to drag that out to 5 pages! What did I expect of a chapter entitled "Intruder Alert" in a book named "25 Home Automation Projects for the Evil Genius"? I dunno - how about building a system involving multiple lights and multiple sensors that communicate through some automated system. Or maybe a system that uses high-power lights to blind and disorient an intruder. Or at least something that requires a soldering iron!
If you make it past chapter 2, Chapter 4 tells you how to install a thermostat. Let me save you the trouble of reading it. It says "Go to a home supply store; buy a modern setback thermometer with whatever features you would like that is compatible with your home; Remove your old thermostat; install the new one." Chapter 5, excitingly named "Speak Up! Installing Voice Controls" spends 3 of its 6 pages showing you how to run the installation setup app for the voice control program on your PC. I'm not talking about some arcane ritual, it literally shows you screen shots of the freaking setup wizard. Give me a break! If you aren't able to install an application on your PC, you are not ready for home automation.
I am amazed that this book was ever published. I am amazed that it is still in print. I have never read any other Evil Genius books, and after this one I don't intend to.
"Every project includes a list of materials, sources for parts, schematics, and clear instructions. Build your own home automation system that includes lighting, security, surveillance and monitors, climate control, entertainment, and more"
Anyone who is familiar with the "Evil Genius" series of books knows that they are famous for DIY projects created by hacking existing items for new purposes. This book is not one of them. There should be a disclaimer on the front of this book that says "REQUIRES WINDOWS XP FOR MOST PROJECTS AND A LOCAL HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE". Nothing about this book is spectacular. In fact Ms. Ledford has simply taken the instructions out of the boxes of products bought from Lowes or Home Depot, and compiled them into a 25 chapter book. You don't build ANYTHING. Everything is purchased ready to use right out of the box. Please reread the excerpt above now. Why the need to mentions materials, parts, or schematics. Why does it say "build your own". If there had been anything at all in this book that came close to the history of the "evil genius" series OR if the book contained anything that resembles what is spelled out on the front and back covers, then I would have given it more than 1 star. As far as this book is concerned, all you need to do is go to your local home improvement warehouse and buy whatever home automation item you want. Then bring it home and follow the instructions supplied with the purchased item. I also challenge anyone to find the words "windows" or "software" on the covers of this book. Has Ms. Ledford not considered that not everyone uses a MS product? TAB Electronics has had really great books come from their presses, but their editors drop the ball on this one. It needs "evil genius" removed from it's cover. It should actually have the title "25 Ready To Use Home Automation Products". If you are a fan of the previously released "evil genius" books then stay away from this one. If you want help installing something you purchased and a little bit of theory behind how it works, then by all means this is the book for you (you just better have a MS enabled computer handy).
That said, my problem is NOT 100% with the book or it's author. But come on it's 2011 ( 2012 soon ) even an episode of Ma and Pa Kettle from the 40s or 50s showed a home with automation, that is more advanced than most of the books available today. (Now that I think of it Sci-Fi from the 20s and 30s too.) Never mind all the wonderful ( and practical ) ideas form Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Byte Magazine, Radio Electronics, etc. over the years.
I tried x10 in the late 80s and again around 2004. I'd be sitting at home notice the lights flicker and you guessed it one of the x10 units would no longer work do to the power surge ( NOT caused by the x10 units )... Or lights would turn on and off by them selves. I did not want to be woken up 4 hr early for work.
My dream Home Automation system would have wireless, integration with computer network, lights, furnace, air ducts, cooling (A/C), water valves, security, weather sensors. All to do things automatically.
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