Smart Homes for Dummies, Second Edition
||Author: Danny Briere, Pat Hurley|
List Price: $21.99
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Publisher: For Dummies (23 December, 2002)
Sales Rank: 5,662
Average Customer Rating: 4.34 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
This was a terrific help...
We just moved into a new home and were totally overwhelmed and confused when we tried to figure out what we needed to put in both cable modem for high speed internet access and DirecTV with TiVo. I found Smart Homes for Dummies and read it. It really helped me understand how to accomplish this. Also, as a result, I was able to ask our contractor "smart" questions to keep the costs within our budget and get what we needed for a "futureproof" system.
Rating: 3 out of 5
....of many systems and choices, but NOT for the person who wants to know (as I did) how to actually wire things up. Use this as a guide to getting your mind into the topic and what it involves, not as a how-to.
There is one area that makes me nervous about how much of the book derived from having actually done what it recommends. About the DirecWay satellite system: I have used that system, and what's not stated in the book are its numerous glaring flaws. It is slow. It doesn't interface well with a wireless network. It is notorious (I found out after the fact) for having a problem accessing Hotmail. Customer support is almost useless; the email address and Web site that come with the installation are wrong, and the person who answers the phone very often doesn't know a satellite from a sabersaw. Any networking you do requiring an Ethernet port won't happen, because there is none. You can't download a file larger than 170 Mg in any four-hour period (and no, it's not in the product documentation because there's none of that either--all you get is a small online help file). And the speed is about the same as the 56K modem I once used over a phone line. Why isn't any of that discussed? It made me wonder how much of what the author(s) talked about actually came from a hands-on perspective.
Rating: 2 out of 5
If you are seeking DIY instructions- pass on this one
As the title implies, this book is intended for people seeking an overview of what home automation, networking, X10, security, a/v distibution. It is very comprehensive so kudos there.
However, if you are after more detailed instructions on how to hook something up, really plan & design your systems or prewire you new construction this book does not get that deep.
I suppose was hoping for more real examples, diagrams and do it yourself instruction. I'm trying to learn in order to avoid paying someone $2000 to install $200 worth of wire and outlets in my house (especially regarding X10 which is really cool). So I returned this book and am consdiering one called "Automated Home Control" by Bucceri. Haven't found it on Amazon yet, but it's on homcontrols.com and smarthomeusa.com
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