10 things to consider before buying X10 products or doing business with X10...

  1. If you want to buy yourself long hours of techno frustration, troubleshooting and 30 year old, increasingly obscelescent technology, then you should consider buying X10 products.

  1. One simple purchase or inquiry with X10.com will get you a ongoing barrage of "email sale offers" that will clog your inbox, and prove difficult to stop.

  2. A common joke among insiders at the company is the frequent malfunctioning of equipment during staff product familiarization classes

  1. The so called "urgent sales" at X10.com are clearly constant rehashes of the same offers over and over again. In fact, there has been a trend in the last few months to remove components and features from the kits they offer while slowly increasing the price. Look carefully at the advertising they do. Why do you think they stopped showing the components that come with the kits a few months back? So you wouldn't know you were getting less than ever for you money! If you must purchase an X10 product, you would serve yourself much better just waiting until they realize nobody is going to buy their product at such inflated prices and they are forced to adjust what they charge (in the meantime, you can always pick up stuff on ebay at bargain rates from when they were still selling at very low prices (during their "so called" bankruptcy)

  2. After being penalized for swindling two young inventors from California out of their ideas, and being ordered by a Califormia court to pay for this behaviour, X10 appears to have quickly declared bankruptcy to avoid paying for what they had done.
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    Insiders tell me that, lo and behold, now that they have successfully shirked the penalty (and responsibility to all of their creditors) they have emerged from bankruptcy and are miraculously turning a profit again. The sleaze factor is high at this company. Do you really want to trade with these people?

  1. what's the hurry? In spite of the frenzy of their online advertising

- the sales never go away. All of their stuff is always available. Their advertising strategy is clearly of the "impulse buy" sort. But the simple fact of the matter is: THERE IS NO URGENCY. Do you want to be manipulated that easily? Stop and think about what you're getting yourself into.

  1. Read through the hype. What are you actually getting when you buy from them? Cheap plastic cameras with crummy resolution. "Motion-sensors" that are in fact "heat sensors", which means that under extreme temperature conditions (say, for instance, the dead of winter, or the dog days of summer) the reliability of these vital components is suspect, at best.

  1. "Wireless" technology that needs to be plugged in (????) They call their products "wireless" because the cameras are not connected directly to the monitors. Signals are "transmitted" through a buggy sytem of home electrical wiring and old timey remote control signals. BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO PLUG THE DAMN THINGS IN SOMEWHERE. Believe me, you'll be tangled up in just as many wires as with any other electrical appliance you own.

  2. Futuristic Home Automation? If you consider turning on a light with a remote control "futuristic", then have at it! The "advanced" features of their vaunted Home Automation Software (ActiveHome) amounts to little more than turning on more than one light at a time via remote control (or buggy motion sensor, or clunky macro). Whoopie.

  1. Constant battery changing: Have fun traipsing from one motion sensor to the next on a regular basis changing out the batteries!

Bonus item #11: Perverts beware! X10 first rose to web fame a few years ago with ubiquitous pop-up ads that seemed to promise to capability of spying on scantily clad women. Ummm. How's that? If you like looking at girls on blurry monitors with a camera you've somehow managed to sneak into their rooms to plug in, then maybe that offer makes sense. Otherwise, find some other way to get your kicks!

In all seriousness. Do yourself a favor and ask whether you really need to buy yourself an expensive box of frustration. If you want a fun project, buy yourself a Heath Kit instead.

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I wish I could still buy a Heathkit. Lenny

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I built an amp some 30 years ago. SCA-80 or something like that. What finally had me chuck it was the master volume control, what a workhorse, I could have changed the pot too, just tired of looking at the damn thing :-)

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