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Your Home Should Be a Castle!

Yes, businesses thrive on efficiency, but should that adaptability stop at the office door?  Many of the tools and technologies that benefit the work world can also benefit you at home.   We use the term "smart house" to refer to an environment that adapts to make your life more comfortable, easier or better in some way--usually based on digital technology.  This adaptability can include climate control, home entertainment, security, lighting, and communications.  Each of these different services come together in a common digital environment, a process called "convergence."

Yes, computers can be wonderful things, and networks a godsend... when they work correctly. When they stop, things get ugly. At home, you don't have a computer wizard on staff to help make things all better. We can be your wizard on call. Even better, we can look over your set-up and prevent many disasters before they happen!  As your wizards, we can diagnose and repair many hardware and software problems, recommend and install upgrades that will enhance your computing experience, implement or extend a network, develop a plan to help you take the best possible care of your computer, and even specify or build a new PC.  (Our expertise has limits however, and we currently can support only computers running the Microsoft Windows or Novell NetWare operating systems.)  The cost for these services is reasonable, and while working with computers is a constant learning experience, we make it a point not to learn on your nickel!

Built-in audio, or distributed audio/video is coming soon to a home or office near yours. Reclaim expensive floor space with built-in equipment and it sounds even better, while enhancing the resale value of your property. The convergence of computer control, digital media, and entertainment, is here now and finally able to live up to its long-standing promise. The only problem remaining is finding the gear – neither your local home improvement warehouse, nor the nearby stereo store offer much in the way of built-in gear for the enthusiast. The best stuff has (until now) only been available from a closed priesthood of specialty installers. Not a good situation for the devoted do-it-yourselfer or budget-minded buyer. (Actually not good for anyone – I was inspired to enter this business when I couldn't get my calls returned from the alleged professionals already in this trade.) I'll help you choose a system, assist with as much or as little of the installation as you'd like, acquire the equipment at a fair price, provide instructions that mere mortals can understand, and offer technical support for the inevitable questions that come up. I'll show you cost-effective ways to get million-dollar results for substantially less coin! You get the "golly, gee whiz" factor without the pain of being on the bleeding edge! 

Media conversions: One of the assumptions of having digital entertainment is that what you already have is digital, and in the correct format. For those who started their media collections prior to last week, this is usually a bad assumption. We can help you convert analog sources (records and tapes) to digital (files and CDs), and CDs to convenient MP3 or Windows Media (WMA) formats.


The best solutions are dictated by the problems to be solved not by force-fitting whatever parts happen to be on hand.  For both homes and businesses, we have a special love for products that just...plain...work!  We'd like to tell you about a few of those items.

Server Appliances

SnapAppliance 2200 deviceWe offer network server appliances (about the size of a hardcover book) from SnapAppliance that you plug in and push the "on" button.  That's it!  These machines are versatile, small, quiet, energy efficient, affordable, and so reliable that I have yet to see one broken!  Available in sizes from 80 Gigabyte up to 30 TB, these devices can function as standalone file servers, web servers, backup storage, or network attached storage.  All but the smallest support RAID, with hot swappable drives, redundant power supplies, and other enterprise-quality features on the larger models.  The smallest, the The Snap Server™ 1100 is the most popular device in the workgroup market and equally well-suited to small office/home office users.  Powered by SnapOS™ v4, it is available in configurations of 80GB, and 250GB and offers:

  • Installation in minutes with no network downtime
  • Portability – fits easily in a briefcase, on a shelf or on a tabletop
  • Secure, Web-based management for remote administration
  • Centralized management through SNMP Automatic recognition and support of all major network platforms (Windows, NetWare, Macintosh, UNIX, and Linux)
  • Compatible with Windows 2003 Active Directory Service (ADS)
  • No operating system license fees
  • 100Base-TX/10Base-T Ethernet connectivity
  • Includes Symantec PowerQuest DataKeeper backup software
  • SMART disk failure analysis

Download more information by clicking on this Snap 1100 Datasheet link.  This capability requires Adobe Acrobat, which you can get from Adobe's website, or by clicking on the link near the bottom of this page.   Contact us for pricing, or to get information on other SnapAppliance models.


Usually associated with businesses, many homes can also benefit from a more capable phone system, especially if you work from home or have multiple phone numbers.  We've been impressed with the Talkswitch products from Centrepoint Technologies.  The Talkswitch works with the conventional telephones that you already have and brings you virtually every phone feature you can imagine, including:

  • Voice Mail, with more mail boxes than most people can use)
  • Auto-attendant (up to nine attendants, including time-of-day consideration)
  • Transfers between local extensions and virtual extensions
  • Directs calls based on distinctive ring patterns
  • Programmable from any PC, even remotely (password protected)
  • Paging
  • Hold functions, with music or tone
  • Line and Hunt Groups
  • Intercom
  • Name & Number Caller ID
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Remote call pickup
  • Call parking
  • Fax detection
  • Distinctive ring by extension
  • Optional IP telephony

The smallest systems start with a capacity for two phone company lines and four extensions (plus virtual extensions, all for less than $700), and can be expanded up to 16 lines and 32 extensions.  Contact us to see what configuration is perfect for you!

Photo of Talkswitch
Photo of Talkswitch and TS-100 instruments

For more information on the Talkswitch products, you can view or print the following documents simply by clicking on the item you wish to see. This capability requires Adobe Acrobat, which you can get from Adobe's website, or by clicking on the link near the bottom of this page.

Distributed Audio/Video

Because our philosophy is, first and foremost, to provide the optimal solution for our customers' needs, there will be occasions where we recommend a product that we do not, or cannot (because of exclusive territory agreements) sell.  We have however, aligned ourselves with some of the best products and brands in the custom installed home electronics industry.  This is a fairly rarified circle, so don't be concerned that many of these companies are not familiar, household names.  All have outstanding products, legendary support,  stellar reputations, and we're pleased to bask in their reflected glow.  We're sure you'll be equally pleased to welcome these products into your home!

Niles Hi-power Remote Volume Control Niles AT8000 in-wall speaker Niles Speaker Switcher There are a vast number of possibilities for distributing entertainment throughout your house, and Niles Audio has most of them covered.  At the simple end, remote speakers are connected to your existing sound system via a switch box (to assure that the load on the amplifier or receiver falls within acceptable limits.  Niles has the speakers, the switches, even the high-quality remote volume controls.   You may choose to connect your distant listening areas with infrared (IR) remote controls.  Niles has you covered there, too.   A big step up is the Niles award-winning Intellipad, which centralizes remote control of your existing components (and any new ones you add) in a sleek in-wall touchpad. 

When you're ready to go all out, Niles has a pair of 6 zone receivers, controlled by in-room panels (or LCD touchpads) in each listening area.  Listening zones may be "slaved" together in a party mode, or all zones may be turned off from a single location, simply by holding the program selection (or "off") button for several seconds.  Multiple receivers may be "chained" together, and additional amplifiers may be added for larger homes or commercial installations.

(Under the terms of the standard distribution agreement with Niles Audio, we cannot advertise or sell their products over the Internet.  Castle Creative Services offers Niles Audio products either as part of our full-service engagements, or for delivery to within North and Central Georgia.  The references contained here are for illustration purposes only.)


Niles Intellipad control
Niles ZR-4630 six zone receiver
Niles Solo keypad and numeric pad accessory Niles LCD keypad

Power Protection

One drawback of the connected home or office is that you become acutely aware of just how dependent you are on the reliable flow of electricity coming out of the wall outlet.  The momentary blackout that require you to reset 28 clocks is annoying; the flicker of the air conditioner cycling on that loses today's installment of the Great American Novel may cause you to scream in frustration; and the lightning-induced surge that barbecues your expensive electronics and toasts your disk drives is a disaster in the making... and preventable.

Recognizing the need for consistent, quality electricity to power today's smart home, Castle Creative recommends and represents the products of American Power Conversion (APC), including surge suppression and battery backup for sensitive electronic equipment of all sizes.  Because even a momentary power glitch plays havoc with sensitive electronics, we believe that every computer should be protected with an uninterruptable power supply and surge supression.  As a global leader in power availability solutions, APC sets the standard in its industry for quality, innovation and support.  As an APC Reliability Provider, Castle Creative Services receives training and special tools to assure that our customers get accurate advice and the products that precisely meet their needs. APC SurgeArrest devices
APC BackUPS ES device

Download more information about APC's power protection products by clicking on this APC Catalog link.  This capability requires Adobe Acrobat, which you can get from Adobe's website, or by clicking on the link below.

 The items above represent only a tiny fraction of what we have available.  At Castle Creative, we maintain fast-ship relationships with numerous vendors representing over 170,000 different items.  It can be a bit overwhelming, so put our expertise to work for you!

Click this line to get the free Acrobat reader from Adobe's site.   Download Acrobat Reader

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