Coffee Pot Automation circa 1985

by Gordon Meyer

It almost borders on the cliche, but there are two common motivations for wanting to get involved in home automation. In most cases you either want a home security system or you want to automate your morning coffee pot. Seriously, while obviously not everyone falls into one of these groups, you can do a good quick sort of the community by dividing among these lines.

That's why I had to laugh at the CommoCoffee 64. It is a 1985 peripheral for allowing a Commodore 64 computer to directly control a coffee maker. The text is not in English, but there's a nifty photo scanned from the Italian magazine Microcomputer. Whacky, but not all surprising given the holy grail status of coffee pot automation. (Thanks for the link, BoingBoing.)

I almost didn't include coffee pot automation in Smart Home Hacks, but a close friend and tech reviewers insisted that it was necessary. Thus, if you have the book, turn to Hack #37 for full details on how to accomplish this using more modern techniques with your Mac, Linux, or Windows computer. Ahhh, progress.


2006-07-07 15:58:46
Here's the translation of the text for you:

One of those technical oddities from the past that constantly help us feel less primitive (or more primitive, depending on your point of view. My point of view is partly alien, so your halting progress in technology makes me laugh, haha!): a coffee machine with timer to connect to an old Commodore 64, from an issue of the magazine Microcomputer from June 1985

Gordon Meyer
2006-07-08 07:38:21
Thanks for the translation, Spectrum!
Neil Cherry
2007-10-27 15:59:45
I'm in the middle putting together a presentation on HA and the first thing I did was to create a set of slides on automating a coffee pot (or not ;-). Thanks for the link. I'm including it in my presentation and I'm stealing your words (I'll give you credit).

Yeah I know, I'm late to the party. :-)