Thinking Home
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(2) 0.75

X-10 home automation software.   Demo ($79.00)
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Thinking Home is the easiest, affordable home automation solution for Mac OS X! v2.2 boasts a modern design that delivers performance without compromising ease of use. It is the only Mac app to store a schedule into an ActiveHome Pro (CM-15A)!

Thinking Home supports some of the most popular new hardware, including ActiveHome Pro (CM-15A), PowerLinc V2 and more than 130 models of gadgets and scores of USB serial adapters.

Version 2.2 is well-equipped to run 24-7 and make use of Mac-only things like speech, scripts, email, instant messaging and iPhone access.

What's New
Version 2.2.4: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.
  • Intel/PPC
  • Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later
  • An INSTEON, X-10 or 1-Wire compatible computer controller and device modules

MacUpdate - Thinking Home

  • Shion

  • Indigo
Thinking Home User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 2.x:
Your rating: Now say why...

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Thumpinc reviewed on 13 Dec 2012
Do not buy this piece of software. I wanted to save a few bucks over INDIGO and went with this junk. There hasnt been an update in years. There is no INSTEON support. The scripting is haphazard. Save yourself some time and aggravation and go with INDIGO instead.
[Version 2.2.4]


squixz reviewed on 21 Feb 2012
Well, to be short .. this software is too old, buggy and what's worse, not supported. The developer does not even respond to questions or remarks. Don't use it.
[Version 2.2.4]


MacTraxx commented on 11 Mar 2008
For those not happy with this, you might check out Intego. I've been running it for 1 1/2 years. Great support, works very well on Leopard. It is a bit more expensive, but overall I have no complaints with it. I'm running the older basic v1.8x version (not server) and have over 20 devices that work flawlessly. My devices are all Insteon, so I cannot attest to X-10 support, but I've heard it's just as good.
[Version 2.0b17]

3 Replies


billearl replied on 14 Mar 2008
Yes, Indigo is very good and very well supported. Thinking Home was very good, and may be again, but I have to question the level of support with only one (bug-fix) update since 2001.

JimW replied on 05 Apr 2008
My opinion of Indigo is that it has become bloated with capability that most average users are not very interested in and at around $200 for the current version, way to expensive. They again, this is the first upgrade of Thinking Home in literally many years. I used Thinking Home for many years, till it failed to work on my machines/OS. Right now I am using the previous version of Indigo, which was about half the current price and it is working fine for my needs on my Intel Mac's running Leopard. Frankly I am disappointed with all of the Mac based automation products, given their level of cost and/or timely updates. Hopefully the freeware Sourceforge project will eventually provide some needed competition and force the commercial vendors to either rethink their business model in terms of good support and value, or step aside for a hopefully a more customer oriented vendor. Given the pricing structure for home automation (other than X10) the products seem targeted only for the economically well heeled. The issue with X10 is that their operation can be inconsistent, and at times unreliable. Right now I regard Home Automation to still be in its infancy and needs to mature in order for it to migrate out of the hobbyist real and become practical for the general public. It seems right now that the only way to obtain a stable properly installed system, without being a tinkerer is to pay big bucks to have a specialist install and configure the system for you. The bottom line is that reliable equipment and software for the hobbyist is costly and somewhat fickle, and and to have it professionally done can become very expensive. I would expect it to remain such until competition and consumer demand results in more reliable, less expensive products that are easier to install, configure, maintain, and use.

JimW replied on 10 May 2008
First of all, might I might ask that if a 'contributor' going to assault another contributors character that the proper terminology be used - i.e., the use of the word "Spam" in your comment:

From Wikipedia:
Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam and junk fax transmissions.

Contrary to the opinion that was expressed in your comment, my message was not indiscriminate, and it was solicited, as was yours. Comments are part of the culture of MacUpdate, and have always been solicited so long as they contain civil language and do not involve personal attacks.

If you read my comment carefully, you should note that I cast no aspersions in regard to any individual, or group of individuals, directing my comments to characterize my observations of the Home Automation products that I am familiar with, and making constructive comments regarding the evolution of an up and coming public domain effort. My focus a purpose was to provide users with a summary of my experience with Home Automation Product and my overall opinion of them to assist them in making an informed decision without having to page through numerous windows or tabs, and multiple websites.

If MacUpdate offered a side by side comparison of similar products, in chart form, along with comments then your comments about viewing all the information about multiple products would be correct. However to the best of my knowledge MacUpdate does not provide this feature, at least to unpaid subscribers, and I have not seen it offered by their competitors. If you know different, I would appreciate hearing about it from you.

Perhaps you might consider offering this suggestion to the MacUpdate development team. I certainly cannot, since doing so would be stealing your idea, which would conflict with my basic core values.

Given that your comment took exception to my comments, and you certainly have a right to your comments and opinion, as do I, let me point out what I believe is fact in my previous and others comments:

FACT: I did not post the original comment about Indigo.

FACT: To the best of my knowledge Indigo, currently is the most expensive, stand alone PLC control software available for the Mac. If you know of a more expensive product, for the Mac I would be interested in hearing about it.

FACT: Many of the Home Automation Products contain features that less than 50% of the purchasers use. In order for this number to be greater than 50% evidence would need to be provided that over 50% of the users are scripters, or programmers and that would probably be extremely surprising to the industry as a whole.

FACT: A significant percentage of Home Automation Systems are installed by professionals. I invite you to provide evidence that a professional installation can be equal in cost to or even just slightly more expensive than a self-installed system.

FACT: X-10 systems have a history of anomalies. Just do a Google search on this subject. In particular, they are somewhat sensitive to electrical noise on the power line. Otherwise companies would not be selling filters and signal boosters to get rid of the noise or overcome it.

FACT: Indigo 1.8 was a good product at a fair price. However I do not believe it is currently available for purchase. It is what I am still using. My comments regarding a "bloated Indigo" referenced 2.0 not 1.8

FACT: A significant period of time has passed since Thinking Home has done a major update to their product. It was enough time for many, like myself to feel the product had been abandoned. Many, again like myself, having up-to-date computers and automation equipment, felt that the only alternative at the time was to switch to Indigo.

However given the direction and the current cost of Indigo, I am looking for an alternative. If Thinking Home had a history of addressing and responding to users needs in a timely manner, that choice might very well be Thinking Home. However this is precisely the issue that caused me to give up on it and switch.

A wise person, whose name escapes me at the moment, said regarding human behavior, that: "Past history is generally a good predictor of future events." My experience generally leads me to agree with this philosophy.

So given the history of Thinking Home, in relation to timely updates that address current OS releases and new Home Automation products, I will leave you with this final thought.

Why should users expect the future updates and support from Thinking Home to be different from their past history?

pdmarsh reviewed on 01 Oct 2007
I've been using Thinking Home for years since I like automating lights around my house, but this product has never been updated to work properly with a USB Serial Adapter, like the Keyspan USA-28, with MacOS X. In the past it has generally worked, but I always winced when starting the application because more often than not it would not see the X-10 Interface (a CM-11 or IBM Home Director) plugged in six inches down the line.

Finally, today I replaced my old G4 iMac (lampshade) with a newer G5 iMac and Thinking Home refuses to see the active serial ports installed via the Keyspan Serial Adapter software. I've visited the Thinking Home site, but all they do is blame MacOS X and make a suggestion to unselect the active ports in the Network Port Configurations panel.

So, in a nutshell, this worked pretty well with MacOS 9, but has been very problematic with MacOS X.

I've been transitioning to Indigo, talking to real USB devices with assigned addresses, and it works much more reliably, and recommend it to others thinking about home automation.

I no longer recommend Thinking Home software.
[Version 1.1.7]



JimW reviewed on 11 Dec 2005
This used to be the Mac standard for X10 control and pretty much the only useable one available unless you wanted to keep your computer running all the time. However it has been literally years since an update was released and technology with X10 control and its children have advanced considerably, along with interface design. So this update is just too little and too late. According to the authors description no significant changes or feature additions have occurred. This release according to the description seems mostly to be a bug fix.

I have long since switched to Indigo. It has many more features, a more modern interface, and supports more interface controllers. Additionally new features and bug fixes are released every few months instead of every few years. Frankly I am surprised to see this update as everyone I spoke to about it, like myself, assumed it had been EOL'd. That impression is what caused me to try Indigo and ultimately purchase it.

Given the website and the support, in the way of improvements and updates, Thinking Home leaves me with the impression that it is the developers hobby rather than their avocation. Since I depend on X10 as part of my security system I want something that is actively in development, testing, and improvement. That product, at this point, does not seem to be Thinking Home.
[Version 1.1.7]

1 Reply


John-Sawyer-CJS replied on 27 Mar 2008
You mean "the developers' hobby rather than their vocation". An avocation is similar or the same as a hobby.
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Version Downloads:2,221
Type:Home Personal : Home Inventory
Date:13 Mar 2011
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $79.00
Overall (Version 2.x):
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Thinking Home is the easiest, affordable home automation solution for Mac OS X! v2.2 boasts a modern design that delivers performance without compromising ease of use. It is the only Mac app to store a schedule into an ActiveHome Pro (CM-15A)!

Thinking Home supports some of the most popular new hardware, including ActiveHome Pro (CM-15A), PowerLinc V2 and more than 130 models of gadgets and scores of USB serial adapters.

Version 2.2 is well-equipped to run 24-7 and make use of Mac-only things like speech, scripts, email, instant messaging and iPhone access.

Try out Thinking Home 2.2 as a demo for free.

Some of the highlights:
  • Stores your schedule into a controller so you can turn off your Mac.
  • Setup Assistant to help you get started
  • Gadget Guide for easy setup and shopping
  • Events and Responders operate lights, open Web pages, play audio, all kinds of actions
  • iPhone access via the excellent X10 Commander app
  • Schedule Sets: When going away on vacation, many people want a different schedule to be used. Instead of turning on the coffee maker, you may want a couple of lights turning on randomly for a more secure, lived-in look.
  • 1-Wire: Affordable temperature monitoring is just one of the benefits that 1-Wire delivers. It's easier than ever to check the temperature of the water heater, greenhouse, wine cellar, solar panels or the outdoors.
  • Device Status: Keep tabs on the status of each device or sensor and use it in a smarter, more energy-efficient home.
  • Search Fields: The search field in the Gadget Guide makes it a snap to quickly find what you're looking for. You'll be amazed at how well it works -- it practically reads your mind. It's also very handy in the Schedules window, to narrow down your numerous events to the one you're looking for.
  • Desktop Remote operates your gadgets directly from the Finder
  • Sherlock plug-in for finding answers online
  • Web access that fits seamlessly with Apple's built-in Personal Web Sharing
  • Email and iChat/AOL Instant Messenger, even to cell phones
  • Scripting with AppleScript and virtually any language you have installed
  • Built-in voice commands and spoken announcements. You say "Turn on the living room lamp." and it does!
  • English, Dutch and French localizations
  • Logging with smart filtering

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