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  #21  
Old August 5th, 2015, 11:38 PM
LeoS LeoS is offline
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Curious Mark...how many folks are employed there by you today?
I think this deserves a separate thread...
CQC had a similar thread going on Coccoontech and it turned to a long & interesting discussion.
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  #22  
Old August 6th, 2015, 07:32 AM
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Well; you are right LeoS; here a bit old and cantankerous (must be the latin in me).....

Well kind of like off topic HA posts here...Homeseer is HA and still around... and HA really is not off topic..but that depends on what is considered off topic..

....changes, new companies and old companies all do relate to the evolution of HA ...."in topic" versus "off topic" which is everything else not relating to HA...but that is my view here....

It's been a while that I posted on the evolution of the thermostat and how it has changed over the years....really it started as just an automated switch so I guess that was in topic and really relating to today's thermostat....maybe further subdividing the forum somewhat to another section ...

..Homeseer software has offered a base and this forum, it is substrate for automation over the years which is unique as it has evolved much since the 1990's...primarily this is what the forum is all about...but it is nice to have a look outside of the box of Homeseer; I have over the years...ventured over to CT as there the picture of automation is a bit different and not just Homeseer centric (but then again so was this OP)....

I will though continue here to posts the same as I have over the last 17 or so years and more recently at CT (well the sister site to Homeseer)....really do enjoy how small our world has become with instant communications the the ability to let my fingers do the walking and well writing....

Well here is an old TV commercial from the days before the internet....

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  #23  
Old August 6th, 2015, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by spike5884 View Post
How about HouseBot. Started off good. Was bought by Meedio. Was updated to add Meedio name all over. Then pretty much nothing. I think Meedio was going belly up, so original creator of HouseBot got it back.
Development has stall to the point of pretty much non-existent.
I was trying to remember the "Meedio" name a few days ago but couldn't. Meedio was actually purchased by Yahoo back in 2006... at which point Housebot vanished, at least for a short time. However, their (his) site is still up a running, so I assume it's still available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Q View Post
Heath/Zenith had an x10 product line in the early 70s. It all disappeared when Heath went out of business around 1979.

Steve Q
It's a bit of a stretch but I'll add Heath to the list too. When I was in college, I built a Heathkit darkroom timer (remember darkrooms?), so I'm a fan.
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  #24  
Old August 6th, 2015, 08:49 AM
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Here I kept the very first Homeseer computer and tried it this morning.

It boots!

CMOS states 1995 - battery was dead but hard drive still worked.

It is a Seiko / Epson point of sale computer with a battery.

I thought it was running Windows 3.1. The X10WC program did initially run on a Windows 3.1 machine. From here went to Homeseer in 1998.

Quote:
remember darkrooms...
Here built a dark room from out of a bathroom (spare) in 1973. Use a Durst enlarger. Remember purchasing a Nikon EF (very heavy camera - not when). Neighbor had purchased a hasselblad camera back then. Very manual stuff. Only did black and white stuff. In the late 70's learned a bit and did cibichrome stuff (in a different darkroom). Here turned a bedroom with an attached bathroom in to my hobby photo room. The bedroom / bathroom were not attached to the main house at the time...

...Heathkit...my very first ham radio code only transmitter was a 50 watt heathkit...well and my first stereo was an Allied Radio Knight kit (well too built a short wave radio back then)...geez Mark you are stirring some memories up...
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  #25  
Old August 6th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by macromark View Post
It's a bit of a stretch but I'll add Heath to the list too. When I was in college, I built a Heathkit darkroom timer (remember darkrooms?), so I'm a fan.
We had a darkroom my entire childhood as my dad was an avid photographer, even a staff photographer for the Dallas Morning News as a young man. Who here has used a Speed Graphic?

We are veering slightly off topic, but I was a huge Heath consumer, building all of my test equipment as Heathkits. I built generators, meters an oscilloscope, all sorts of things. I even built a Heathkit Color TV. That pushed me into TV repair as a profession.

My first computer was a Heath H19 terminal with an H8 computer, programming in basic.




When the H89 came out, supporting CP/M (anyone remember PIP b:*.* a:?) on a Z80 processor, we were cooking. We could run Supercalc and WordStar

I even became one the first Zenith Data Systems dealers in Dallas and graduated to the Zenith Z89 (same as a H89) with a Z-67 (a whopping 10mb 8" hard drive with an 8" DSDD 1.2MB Shugart floppy). We couldn't imagine how we would ever use all of that data.




Then came the innovative Z-100 with an S-100 bus and an 8086 processor and a completely new operating system - MS-DOS and a built in 10MB CMI or Miniscribe HDD.


They landed (then) huge government contracts with the Air Force, Navy and the IRS. I had to travel to Dyess AFB in Amarillo to service them at the B1B test facility. I had no security clearance, so they stuck me hot portable building and brought them out to me. I had an armed guard the whole time. The logistics of swapping out a $3400 HDD were tedious. Zenith lost a lot of money on the on the Air Force contract and sold to French company Groupe Bull in 1989.

I moved to Denver in 1987 and remained a fan of ZDS products, again selling them until Bull sold to Packard Bell/NEC and the company went away. They remained innovative until near the end with some of the first transportables like the Z-171 and the Supersport. They were big and heavy, but innovative. The Z-Note was one of the smallest laptops and they were one of the first to offer a color display. To the end one unique feature of most Zenith computers was the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Ins, which would interrupt the running program and break into a machine-language monitor, a legacy from the H8 allowing the user to trace or resume program execution, change machine settings, run diagnostic routines, or boot from a specific device.

It was sad for me to see them go, but I was also a huge Pontiac fan, having owned and even raced a Bonneville, several GTOs, and a Grand Prix - where is Pontiac?
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  #26  
Old August 6th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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madigan madigan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprade View Post
My first computer was a Heath H19 terminal with an H8 computer, programming in basic.
Man -

Before I went over to Amiga, I had an H19, used to access UC Berkeley UNIX mainframes (via a 300 baud acoustic coupled modem). It got converted to an H89 (double speed overclocked from 2 to 4 MHz!) and an optional memory expansion that brought it up from 48 to 64K of memory. Before I was through, that thing had 6 floppy drives connected to it, and a Diablo daisywheel printer (I decided not to buy a printer conversion kit for my Selectric typewriter...). Magic Wand word processing and SuperCalc spreadsheets!

Eventually I had a friend dump it off at a local Heathkit dealer, as I was tired of moving it around (those floppy drive cabinets were HEAVY) - probably somewhere around 1989...

Memories...
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  #27  
Old August 6th, 2015, 10:50 AM
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Here my very first automobile was a 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix...unrelated to OP...it was white like the attached picture.



Playing with computers in the early 80's did set up a Commodore Pet computer / C64 as a BBS in the Chicago land area. It was not work rather it was tinkering with my hobbies. I need a few phone lines for it as built a hardware switching device with a bunch of Ventel modems and geez tapped in to a few pay phones (phone company never realized this for over a year). Around that time you could easily take over a telephone trunk line by just calling a directory assistance operator....the things that you could do with telephones back then...



Here is a picture of the CW transmitter that I built in the 1960's. (had a little ham shack that I built under my parent old house porch at the time in the 60's).

I do recall getting in trouble for stringing up an antenna between a telephone pole adjacent to the house and the house at the time. Used a Hammerlund HQ-160 back then. (well too a Knight kit SW radio and a very old Hallicrafters SW radio (gift to me)).



@Randy...thinking you are older than me ...never really got in to hobby tinkering with computers here until the 1970's or so....I do have still an old reel to reel Akai recorder with a stacked amplifier. It came from Japan at the time (1960's) and was a gift to me and my very first reel to reel back then. It sat next to the old Transoceanic radio at the time...some where here have all day recordings of Chicago AM radio stations in the 1960's ...did build an Allied Radio stereo receiver at the time...

Last edited by Pete; August 6th, 2015 at 11:12 AM.
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  #28  
Old August 6th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
@Randy...thinking you are older than me ...never really got in to hobby tinkering with computers here until the 1970's or so....I do have still an old reel to reel Akai recorder with a stacked amplifier. It came from Japan at the time (1960's) and was a gift to me and my very first reel to reel back then. It sat next to the old Transoceanic radio at the time...
I don't know if I am older or not, I will be 62 in January.

I started very early in electronics, I took to it like a duck to water. I was fortunate to have intelligent and accommodating parents, with dad encouraging everything I did, no mater how disruptive it was to the household. I took anything mechanical, electrical or electronic apart to figure out how it worked. I was probably able to solder and build things at 8, by 13 I had built "home automation" using dial phones. Dial 1 to turn on living room lights, dial 2 to turn them off, dial 9 for an outside line... Converted to DTMF at 15 or 16 when I scored some discarded converters at the Western Electric salvage yard. Then it became press 1, press 2 - on any phone in the house. To my friends we were the Jetsons

I first was employed as a service technician at 15, servicing Sony Superscope and Marantz audio. Later I won contests for several years straight, being the fastest, to diagnose, repair, align and reassemble Zenith tube TV chassis. I was tall enough to lean over the top of the TV and touch up convergence, screen and drive levels without a mirror. I was enamored with Zenith and their innovation, especially in high voltage regulation, CRT design, color decoding and vertical sync.

I trained on Sears Cartrivision (skip field compression), the first VX (stacked reels JVC's predecessor to VHS), U-Matic, the first Betamax and the RCA VBT200 Selectavision (Panasonic) VHS. I once repaired 25 VCRs in a day on a bet. To be fair, the bulk of them were burned out sensor bulbs, but there were some heads, belts and motors and I think one control IC

Last edited by rprade; August 6th, 2015 at 11:45 AM.
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  #29  
Old August 6th, 2015, 11:55 AM
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Very interesting Randy....here while I tinkered with electronics went to school for 8 years and got degrees in other stuff (part bio chem)....not really relating to electronics or computers... tinkering lead me also learning how to fly and scuba diving many many years ago...

I did play with the main frame at school (early 70's) and the teletype terminals while doing physics (well and lasers at the time)....goofing around in the early 80's cored apples with the first surgical lasers...playing some....

Well too did purchase an early beta max and VHS recorder and camera and used them for teaching / learning stuff in the early 80's.....
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  #30  
Old August 6th, 2015, 04:11 PM
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My dad bought me a Heathkit short wave radio kit in 1962. It was my first experience with electronics. I learned to solder and how to follow assembly instructions. I guess that is what sparked my strong interest in electronics and Home Automation. I grew up about 50 miles from the Heathkit factory. I built about 10 different kits during high school and college. My biggest project was an AR15 stereo receiver, turntable, and speaker kit that I built in my college dorm room between classes. I will never forget cranking up the volume and listening to Hendrix' guitar.

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  #31  
Old August 6th, 2015, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Q View Post
My dad bought me a Heathkit short wave radio kit in 1962. It was my first experience with electronics. I learned to solder and how to follow assembly instructions. I guess that is what sparked my strong interest in electronics and Home Automation. I grew up about 50 miles from the Heathkit factory. I built about 10 different kits during high school and college. My biggest project was an AR15 stereo receiver, turntable, and speaker kit that I built in my college dorm room between classes. I will never forget cranking up the volume and listening to Hendrix' guitar.

Steve Q

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Benton Harbor...

I'll try to refrain from adding more noise to this thread, but I defected from Heath and built a ScottKit (HH Scott), used with a pair of JBL Lancer L77s and Led Zeppelin on a Dual 1219 turntable. Good times...
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  #32  
Old August 6th, 2015, 05:18 PM
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Here still trying to figure out why this OP started here under "off topic" as it does relate to automation and should be somewhere else....

So what is "off topic" anyways...

That said here my intro was Allied Ellectronics...early 1960's...my dad drove me there one day ....
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  #33  
Old August 6th, 2015, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Here still trying to figure out why this OP started here under "off topic" as it does relate to automation and should be somewhere else....

So what is "off topic" anyways...

That said here my intro was Allied Ellectronics...early 1960's...my dad drove me there one day ....
You are thinking way to hard about this one Pete. What difference does it make I didn't even realize it was in the Off Topic forum.
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  #34  
Old August 6th, 2015, 05:36 PM
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I know ... I am making a mountain out of a molehill...loosey goosey is understood...

.... and it really it not an issue for me Rupp...just having fun ....and sometimes I am bit too process oriented....
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  #35  
Old August 6th, 2015, 05:50 PM
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.and sometimes I am bit too process oriented....
I know. It's inherent in our types.
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  #36  
Old September 13th, 2015, 10:57 PM
John Steger John Steger is offline
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Custom Soultions marketed the Homevision and Homevision Pro
RCS had an X10 thermostat and relay interface, they may still be active.
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  #37  
Old September 13th, 2015, 11:05 PM
John Steger John Steger is offline
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Yep, I remember getting many BDOS errors if I didn't do a control-C after inserting a new floppy. My first floppy drive was from Radio Shack and was a single sided single density drive with 180k of storage on a 5-1/4" floppy - cost $600+

My buddy bought the first hard drive I knew of owned by an individual - around $5,000 for 10 mb and you backed up onto a VHS tape.

Talk about Wordstar - that come on probably 30 floppies. After you got it installed on a CP/M machine you could start looking for patches to make with to get the word processor to use your dot matrix printers features like UL, strike-out, bold, italics, etc.

Ah those were the days alright.
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  #38  
Old September 14th, 2015, 07:35 PM
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Just tossed out an old micro-redac that was used with ECS way back when. My Homevision unit died a couple years ago, was still using it with X10 in HS2.

John
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  #39  
Old September 14th, 2015, 09:32 PM
NorthGa NorthGa is offline
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HAL - Home Automation Labs?

If you are referring to Home Automation Labs, it is gone. I was actually one of the folks from HAL...if you were a customer, I'm sure we talked...



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What about HAL? Are they still around? Mr. House?
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  #40  
Old September 25th, 2015, 12:16 AM
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IBM, GE and Stanley

I got my start with X-10 HA with a GE Homeminder system that Radio Shack sold in 1985-7. It was one of the first with a working GUI, but the GUI was through a TV. It was sort of a PITA to use real-time, but you could store times and dates to "automate" your home. It was pretty cool at the time....

I replaced that with an IBM Home Director system. That added a lot more logic and was a set and forget wall mounted CM10A with an internal battery backup! It had the ability to create "events" but I cannot think of the name they used for them.... I bought Stanley "Palm Pad" remotes and put them all around my house. Only had 14 things to control manually back then so I could do it all from anywhere in the house, yard or garage. Used the 8 and 16 buttons for events. Added LOTS of IBM Home Director modules (1993) that I still use to this day! Hurray IBM Employee Discount!!

I used that system for 10 years but kept hoping to find something that could do more. I found that in 2003. ...and the rest is HST history!

I thing IBM, GE and Stanley are all still alive, but no longer have anything to do with HA.....
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