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Author Topic: A note to X-10  (Read 8796 times)

jeff w

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A note to X-10
« on: July 19, 2005, 11:06:29 AM »

I'm sorry, my RMA is going in the mail today,
so I should just walk away, but I gotta ask
the X10 guys one question...  I've been doing
home automation for almsot 25 years.  I'm
also an electrical engineer.  My house (which
I've been in for many years), is clean of
power-line problems.  I build and configure
my own PCs, so I know exactly what's on my
system, and it's also clean (and also checked
with Mcafee Antivirus and 3 malware programs
every day). I have an AH (1.42 on XP) system
that has been running about 20 timed modules
and 20+ macros as flawlessly as anyone can
tell (and my whole family uses the system,
especially the macros) for many years.

So you would think that, after almost a year
of post-release development, I could just
unplug my CM11A, plug in my [diagnostic, so
assumedly tested] AHP, program my timers and
macros, and get at least a basic level of
satisfactory operation.  But even in the
first few hours, 3 out of 6 timers didn't
fire (as per activity monitor and my
observations, even though I could control the
devices interactively from the PC just fine).
Macros didn't perform -on the SW- the way
they were supposed to.  (I.e., for a macro
was to turn off two modules, I turn the 2
modules on using the program, fire the macro
using the program, and at least one of the
two modules stays on, in the program).  These
aren't house-electrical or messed-up-XP
programs, these are simple basic bugs in your
software

I get that AHP isn't perfect, and I can
understand and accept some minor bugs (like
crashing when you click help in a dialog
box).  I can also understand that some people
will never be happy with the product, as you
need the combination of a clean PC, a clean
electrical system, and a good HW unit to get
the performance I'm experiencing with AH (I'm
also aware that not all CM11A modules lived
up to product specifications).

But geez, if your software don't perform
basic operations properly, how do you expect
to have ANY satisfied customers.  I get that
everyone needs a job, but how do you work in
a group that is shipping something that just
doesn't work properly?

You guys need to effect some change in your
organization, hopefully this note will
support those efforts.

good luck
/j
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John E

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2005, 07:50:16 PM »

Sorry you feel that way. I have been using
AHP for some time now. I have no problems
right now and dont forsee any in the future
buy I Really dont have the Experience you
do with Computers so maybe it might be the
McAfee Program and the various other
programs you have running which in fact is
the problem you have using AHP. Maybe if
you bought a virus program that did what
your 4 progs do you may not have a prob.
Sorry if I hurt your feelings or offended
you in any way. The problems in AHP are
just a work around and if you dont know how
you are not as good as you say you are.
Sorry Again!!  Windows XP Pro SP1 2.66ghz
Dell, also Windows XP Pro 2.53 Ghz Home
Built     No Probs Here
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Brian H

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2005, 08:28:19 PM »

John; Glad to hear it is working for you as
I know everyone can't be having trouble.
That said mine never ran off the computer
alone for more than a week without needing a
major reset and redownloading. Mine also had
lousy RF range worse than my older RR501.
Also SP2 is reported to be breaking many X10
programs. Mine also sits in the box unused
and a competitors controller is doing all my
chores just fine. Maybe the latest software
has made things better as I have not tried
it lately.
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jeff w

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2005, 11:38:02 AM »

Oh John - you're right - I probably shouldn't
be running with AntiVirus protection. and
Perhaps if I DON'T check my machine with
AdAware and Spybot once a day, things will be
better, because, of course, letting viruses
and spyware run on my machine will improve
AHP performance, yeah - that's the ticket 8-}.

The point I was trying to make was that I do
very good maintenance on my machines and the
run problem-free.  I'm glad AHP is working
for you.  Tell me - how much are you really
using it?  Are you downloading to the CM15A
or simply using it as an interface (AHP might
run better if you don't download).  Are you
running many macros?  Timers?  Modules?  Any
dawn/dusk settings?

My guess is that if you barely use it, it
works great.....


No offense of course 8-}
/j

PS - and, by the way, to my knowledge there
are no first-class AntiVirus programs that
also offer top-notch anti-malware protection.
If you know of any, let me know.  Of course,
since all but Mcafee are only run once a day,
it's sort of moot.

Cheers!
/j
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carmine pacifico

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2005, 01:17:53 PM »

Jeff W

AHP is a very poorly written program.
On new high end computers with Win XP SP2
and hardware DEP(Data Execution Prevention)
enabled it will constantly crash, I had to
set window to exempt AHP from DEP, that
stopped AHP from crashing, it was working
reasonably well, but because of loss of
clock every few days I get rid of it; with
simple macros it was fine.
In a nut shell CM15a + AHP itís OK for
simple application, but in a busy household
using complex macros and motion detector
itís very unreliable.
Uninstall does not remove all the modules,
some drivers are still loaded and wasting
CPU cycles; you will need to manually
remove them.
If X10 had invested the same resources they
did with those annoying POP-UP ads, in AHP
and CM15a it would have been a great
product.
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robb

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2005, 04:49:22 PM »

Just wanted to pass on an email I wrote to
my family and co workers who were
contemplating an X-10 purchase:

Hey Dad,
Well unfortunately I think I am headed into
a situation much like the one you found
yourself in the midst of with the Pinnacle
video studio 8 software not so long
ago...........

It seems in order to "make sure the customer
is always using the latest versions of our
software," ( which equates to we want to
know where our software is and who is using
it) the customer gets no hard copy of the
software. Instead, a 122k EXE file with a
reg code is given to the user and the host
machine must be connected to the internet to
receive the software push.  This in turn
means that every time you need to reload you
must connect to the X-10 server.

In a closed loop system, this is a pain in
the butt, and what about the X10 server
crashing, not to mention them going out of
business and I 'm left with no software
support for my hardware.  At least most
companies are courteous enough to include
the software on disk so if I am left high
and dry, I still have an out dated version
of the software.  This feels like a rose
bush forcefully being thrust into my anus
with out the decency of lubrication?  and
when I called the support line, not even a
reach around.  Who came up with this
ridiculous Idea?

Eat the software loss or develop a security
device like everyone else does, or I fear X-
10 users will be gone soon.
My RMA Number is on it's way.
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jeff w

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2005, 05:19:09 PM »

Carmine - any tips on how to get rid of the
drivers would be appreciated.

Funny how X-10 doesn't get that
unreliable-but-useful home control is an oxymoron

thanks
/j
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anonymous

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2005, 05:47:06 PM »

Jeff  W

Try uninstalling as far as you can, then
delete AHP folder under ďprogram filesĒ

use the free Microsoft antiSpyware to
remove x10nets and any other x10 drivers
still running.
delete X10 folder under ďprogram
files/common filesĒ, (this folder and
x10nets itís not removed by the uninstaller
even when it appears to works)
***
I use Microsoft AntiSpyware +
1ClickSpyClean + 1ClickFixerPlus to help
maintain the computer clean from garbage
left over from badly written programs.
Any program that forces user to install
from web only itís nothing more than
legalized spyware.

The 1Click series utilities are available
from:
http://www.securepcsolutions.com
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carmine pacifico

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2005, 06:02:31 PM »

Jeff  W

I forgot to put my name and the last reply
was send as ďanonymousĒ
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John E

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2005, 06:17:44 PM »

Jeff   I am using various timers and motion
sensors  I am also using iWitness with 3
cameras, 2 of which are ninja mount running
all day but off at night    The lights are
controlled with timers and motion sensors
from the CM15A   No loss of time.  I use
Trend Micro Internet Security 2005.  No
hard feelings here to bad it doesnt work
for you
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carmine pacifico

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2005, 06:53:31 PM »

John

As long as you are satisfied with products
itís great, the product reliability appears
to vary from unit to unit.
The way the macros are written affects the
performance of the product, that is why
some people are having good luck and some
not; my macros are based mostly on events,
and I had a lot of problems, eventually I
figured a way to minimize crashes, but to
me the internal clock used by the cm15a
itís not reliable enough for my needs.
Even the strong supporter of X10 (Steve RF)
has admitted of having problems and the
product has some short comings.
I have switched few months back to
Smarthome 1132CUP, I never had to reset the
clock yet, itís not a perfect product but
it will do for now.
I do not need fancy bells and whistles,
just a simple reliable product.
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carmine pacifico

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2005, 06:59:45 PM »

John

You mentioned you are running iWithness,
that means your computer itís ON 24/7,
that is the reason why your clock is
accurate, X10 will automatically reset the
cm15a clock if different that computer
clock.
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John E

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2005, 08:23:16 PM »

Carmine    I have had the computer off for
about a week now and still on time   The
timers are running when the comuter is off
and for this week they have been right on
time    But I do see your point
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boothby

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2005, 12:33:39 AM »

I can't get the CM15A to work at all, now.
Last night, I loaded the S/W, the computer
recognized the controller, I d/l some simple
timers (no macros), and was able to control
some "A" coded modules.  But no other
letters.  And the RF interface wasn't
working.

Tonight, the computer doesn't even recognize
the interface at all.  Running 3.187 on a
Dell Inspiron W2K, full up service packs and
upgrades, Norton Anti-Virus and System Works.

I plugged my old RF receiver in--worked
fine.  Tried my Plug 'n' Power control
centers--work fine.

It's the CM51A, and/or the software.
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boothby

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Re: A note to X-10
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2005, 12:33:46 AM »

I can't get the CM15A to work at all, now.
Last night, I loaded the S/W, the computer
recognized the controller, I d/l some simple
timers (no macros), and was able to control
some "A" coded modules.  But no other
letters.  And the RF interface wasn't
working.

Tonight, the computer doesn't even recognize
the interface at all.  Running 3.187 on a
Dell Inspiron W2K, full up service packs and
upgrades, Norton Anti-Virus and System Works.

I plugged my old RF receiver in--worked
fine.  Tried my Plug 'n' Power control
centers--work fine.

It's the CM51A, and/or the software.
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