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What happened in the good old days?

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In the beginning, home automation was based around relays and timers, press a button - get a result, push this button to water the garden for 30 minutes.  DIY and Engineering types adding a button here, a feature there around their own homes. 

This quickly progressed to PLC control as process engineering in the industrial arena provided a platform for multiple inputs to be measured against a set of conditions and provide multiple outputs, The garden gets watered every night for 30 minutes, unless it's already been raining.

Around the 1980's we saw the first early home control systems, the likes of AMX, Crestron, Vantage & Centralite. These systems were very proprietary, They wired differently, and you had to buy all Crestron Keypads to go on a Crestron system.  Programming was done via a PC, and you could send a command to another device by Infrared or RS232 - as long as it was no more than 4 meters away!

Now your garden would get watered, but only from September to April, and then only if it hadn't already rained in the last few days.  You could also dim your lava lamp and control your VCR from the touch of a wall mounted keypad. It was about now that we started to hear about something called the internet...

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