freshmeat: An Economy of Code
Apr 01, 2001, 18:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Covey)
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"TecHomation has been creating home automation products for the
past five years. Although sales have been good, they've become
concerned about stagnation in the industry and the lack of truly
new ideas. The buzz around Open Source development methods caught
their attention, and they decided that bringing the Internet
community into their work might provide the spark of life they need
to bring back the excitement they remembered from the days when
they hacked together their first X10 lamp module in their
"They came up with the "Toys for Code" program, which works this
"1.You register at their Web site and give them your
2.They mail the Level 1 package to you.
3.You write code to control the modules in the package.
4.You put up a Web site detailing what you've done and making the
code available (and giving TecHomation credit and linking to
5.You give them the address of your page.
6.They review it, link to it from the TecHomation Gallery on their
site, and put the Level 2 package in the mail to you."
"Level 1 gives you an X10 power module, a temperature sensor, a
camera, and the TecHomation Control Pad, with a manual explaining
each component and how to program for it in your favorite language.
They say "Here are the pieces, and here's what each of them can do.
Put them together into something interesting."