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Since he's been working in technology for 20 years, Brian says he doesn't think it's weird to have such a high-tech house. "I've always wanted to make technology more accessible to people. And what better place to do that than in the home?" he says.

Patti says at first she was mildly apprehensive about turning her home over to a computer. "I didn't really have a vision for it. I thought it was going to be like the airport with these announcements," she says. "And as it's turned out, there's all kinds of very practical things you can do—and I'm all about practical with three little kids."

After getting over the concept of Cleopatra, Patti says she just had one lingering issue. "I looked at her the first time and said, 'She looks a whole lot like Angelina Jolie,'" Patti jokes. "'Couldn't we go with the Brad Pitt model?'"

Brian says there is more to their computer-run house than computerized grocery lists and automatically dimming lights. "I think the favorite feature has become the word of the day that we do at dinner. When we sit down to dinner … [Cleopatra teaches us] a new word every day," he says. "It's just kind of become a family tradition."
FROM: Nate's Kitchen of the Year Makeover!
Published on January 01, 2006