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control panel

i've always been a little crazy about technological gadgets, and one of the little delights of my room at the empire hotel is this control panel next to my bed.

it has the look of custom electronics built for the absurdly rich. (since the empire hotel and country club was originally built by the sultan's family as one of their palaces with plenty of room for guests, i'm guessing that this gadget was ordered for the rooms in those days.) no brand name is present on the console, just a simple set of buttons and a vaccum-tube display.

the panel begins with the usual clock with alarm, along with the gratitous world time feature (but only for the 4 "cool world time zone" cities -- london, new york, tokyo, and sydney). the air con controls are a nice touch. but ah, the joy of controlling the room's lighting from the console! it reminds me of my geeky youth wiring up my room with X10 light switches so i could control the lighting from the X10 control panel / transmitter.

but the best feature is the control of the window curtains from the panel. nothing says "i am so lazy that i don't need to lift more than a finger in the mornings" than remote-controlled curtains. i love it.

when i get home from this trip, maybe it's time to investigate the world of DIY home automation again...

Comments (1)

Cliff Smith:

Glad you enjoyed this bedside controller, I worked for the now defunct Amedeo Developement Corporation that first built the Empire Hotel back in the 80's (back then it was going to be called the Jerudong Park Hotel). I was the company graphic designer but left before the project was completed. Designing the icons on this panel was one of my projects and it's good to see that it survived the transition when the Sultans brother and his gang of Malaysian buddies got booted out when theyt got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. All the expats working on the project could see what was going on and couldn't believe that they got away with it for so long!

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