Month: June 2016

The Netatmo Weather Station

We’ve had a Netatmo weather station on the house for a couple of years and we really like it. They finally started shipping their long-delayed wind measuring module, and so I got mine and needed to add it to the system configuration. Unfortunately, things went a little sideway when I ran into a situation where their software design failed miserably for me and took me a couple of hours to unwind. Or as I said on twitter, the words that define modern society are upgrading firmware. Trying to add the new module to the system, I ran into a failure mode: while I could get weather data from the device just fine, all attempts to connect to it timed out in in maintenance mode. The administration interface of the system simply wouldn’t connect. So… off to find the answer. The product documentation and support area on their site were worthless. Searching online got me nowhere, although it ultimately gave me the hint I needed. I spent over an hour trying to figure this out before figuring it out. The IOS apps wouldn’t connect, so I ended up connecting the station to the desktop via USB, only to find that the desktop apps wouldn’t connect, either. I finally thought to redownload the desktop app. Yup, my version was out of date. Fired up the updated version, and it connected to...

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Apple Links: My Thoughts on WWDC

I’ve been trying to get my head around WWDC this year. I wasn’t at WWDC, I headed out to Morro Bay for a few days off instead, but part of what I was doing there was tracking the social media chatter and watching the keynote and some of the early videos coming out of the conference. This year’s conference is different for me, despite my long history working for Apple, I was never an Apple developer, I primarily worked in the Linux/LAMP space, despite my best intentions to dive into the platform. That was part of why, with this sabbatical, I decided to finally, seriously do that. Despite having followed and occasionally been involved in WWDC over the years I’m finding looking at it as a developer brings a much different view than having tracked it as a user. As a user it was always about what’s features are new and how can I use this (and what will affect me?) but as a newbie developer starting to dive into the frameworks and technologies I realize I’m thinking much more in term of what I can leverage and which tools will help me solve the problems I want to solve. Having been in both worldviews now, I find it fascinating how Apple has layered the material to satisfy both sets of people without messing up the conference flow or...

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I had my house rewired and lived!

For the better part of three weeks out of the last month, our house has been the domain of electricians, as we worked with them on what turned into almost a complete rewire project. This was — semi-planned. The electrical system of the house is the one big piece that had never been modernized, and in a 1956 era house, it was overdue. We were, in fact, still running on the original era 60 amp fuse system, not a more modern service box with circuit breakers. And… I knew that we needed to have that box upgraded, beyond its age and that changing fuses is a pain in the ass and 60 amps isn’t enough power for a modern house: a couple of years ago the house next door to someone I know caught fire and burned to the ground. it was — yup — another Eichler house, and it had the same, or similar, service box to the one we had, and the fire started when the electrical service failed. So I’ve been caught between “know I need to do this” and “nothing bad’s happened and I know once I open the hood it’s going to get big, complicated and expensive”. I have been researching electricians for months but hesitating to actually open that damned hood, because I knew what I was getting myself into. A few weeks...

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How time flies…

How time flies… it’s been two weeks since I posted, for which I apologize, but things have been a bit on the busy/crazy side. When I last wrote, I’d just had the fun of having an electrical outlet attempt to catch on fire during some routine electrical work. Since then, I’ve gotten to know my electricians very well, and about half the house has had its switches and outlets replaced, and I’ve had my service box upgraded from the original 60 amp fuse box to a new 200 amp service box with modern circuit breakers and everything; and along the way, it’s got the ability to add solar power and a car charger already configured in. I also have an insurance claim in against the homeowners for the service box replacement and we’re working with them on that. And we’re not done. Friday I sat down with the master electrician to go over the house circuits and the safety and code problems that we dug up during the service upgrade and mapped out a plan to to bring the house up to what we need (and to code). So, Monday the electricians arrive again for what we expect is another week of work, which includes adding in 20 amp circuits in my office and Laurie’s office, a new circuit out on the back patio, and one in the study...

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BZZZTTTT! WHEEEEEE

Well, the last ten days or so have been eventful. Laurie had a few days off between semesters so she took off to Reno and took in some games with the Aces. That gave me a few days of bachelorhood where I could do stuff without needing to work around her schedule. And so I did… We’ve been in this house since 1994, owned it since we bought it off the estate in 1997. In that time we’ve done various projects to it, but it’s needed some TLC and a coat of paint for a while, and one of the things we’d decided to do this year was to get going on those projects — we had a long conversation about where we wanted to settle in for the next phase, and ultimately decided it was here, so we need to get this place ready for our next 20 years here. And while we’ve worked on much of the infrastructure of the house — furnace and AC, water heater, etc — this place still has it’s original, 1956 era electrical fusebox, which I’ve known for a long time needed to be upgraded. So a lot of delays to work around the house has been stuck on before I do this, I need to get the electrical upgraded, which was always followed by and I know that’s going to get...

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