Moved in to my new digitally-maxed out Hermosa Beach house at last.
Finally, we live in the smartest house in the neighborhood.
Everything's networked. The cable TV is connected to our phone,
which is connected to my personal computer, which is connected to
the power lines, all the appliances and the security system.
Everything runs off a universal remote with the friendliest
interface I've ever used. Programming is a snap. I'm like,
Hot Stuff! Programmed my VCR from the office, turned up the
thermostat and switched on the lights with the car phone, remotely
tweaked the oven a few degrees for my pizza. Everything nice & cozy
when I arrived. Maybe I should get the universal remote surgically
Had to call the SmartHouse people today about bandwidth problems.
The TV drops to about 2 frames/second when I'm talking on the
phone. They insist it's a problem with the cable company's
compression algorithms. How do they expect me to order things from
the Home Shopping Channel?
Got my first SmartHouse invoice today and was unpleasantly
surprised. I suspect the cleaning woman of reading Usenet from the
washing machine interface when I'm not here. She must be down-
loading one hell of a lot of GIFs from the binary groups, because
packet charges were through the roof on the invoice.
Yesterday, the kitchen CRASHED. Freak event. As I opened the
refrigerator door, the light bulb blew. Immediately, everything
else electrical shut down -- lights, microwave, coffee maker --
everything. Carefully unplugged and replugged all the appliances.
Nothing. Call the cable company (but not from the kitchen phone).
They refer me to the utility. The utility insists that the problem
is in the software. So the software company runs some remote
telediagnostics via my house processor. Their expert system claims
it has to be the utility's fault. I don't care, I just want my
kitchen back. More phone calls; more remote diag's.
Turns out the problem was "unanticipated failure mode": The network
had never seen a refrigerator bulb failure while the door was open.
So the fuzzy logic interpreted the burnout as a power surge and
shut down the entire kitchen. But because sensor memory confirmed
that there hadn't actually been a power surge, the kitchen logic
sequence was confused and it couldn't do a standard restart. The
utility guy swears this was the first time this has ever happened.
Rebooting the kitchen took over an hour.
The police are not happy. Our house keeps calling them for help.
We discover that whenever we play the TV or stereo above 25
decibels, it creates patterns of micro-vibrations that get
amplified when they hit the window. When these vibrations mix
with a gust of wind, the security sensors are actuated, and the
police computer concludes that someone is trying to break in. Go
Another glitch: Whenever the basement is in self-diagnostic mode,
the universal remote won't let me change the channels on my TV.
That means I actually have to get up off the couch and change the
channels by hand. The software and the utility people say this
flaw will be fixed in the next upgrade -- SmartHouse 2.1. But
it's not ready yet.
Finally, I'm starting to suspect that the microwave is secretly
tuning into the cable system to watch Bay Watch. The unit is
completely inoperable during that same hour. I guess I can live
with that. At least the blender is not tuning in to old I Love