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Ian Vellosa

Philips Hue motion sensor: I like it, but not for the living room (yet?) @tweethue

2 min read

Over the past few months I've been changing out the light in our apartment for some of the plain white Philips Hue lamps. On the whole I've been pretty impressed. Using apps like Yonomi I was able to set up a kids bedtime routine, where with the click of a single button, the main lamp in the kids room turns off, the side lamp dims to 1% and the Sonos starts playing lullabies at 15% volume.

When the Philips Hue motion sensor came out, I thought that this had great promise for the living room. With the two modes (night and day time) it can be set so that during the day when the light level is low, the lights come on when motion is detected. At night if motion is detected, then the lights come on dimmed, so that your not startled on the way to the bathroom. It all sounded great.

I'm also using the Harmony remote to control the lights. (After sunset) when watching the TV the lights dim to 85%, or when watching a film they dim to 65%. When the TV turns off the lights come up again. However, while the lights are dimmed, and the motion sensor sensor picks up movement, it turns the lights back to full brightness. Not quite the result I was looking for.

On the whole I do still like the motion sensor idea. We are having some issues remembering _not_ to turn the lights off when leaving the room, and relying on the motion sensor to do this.

Ian Vellosa

#Chromecast get a wired connection, and I love it!

2 min read

Since the Google Chromecast was first introduced I've loved the device. It just feels like the fight way to control the TV, you use the rich interface on your phone to find what you want to watch and then with the press of a button it's on your TV. Having only played briefly with Apple TV, and it's silly little remote control, Chromecast just feels right.

There were some issues with the original Chromecast where streaming would occasionally buffer. With Netflix it was fine, but Plex did have quite a few issues, even with the WiFi access point in the same room. Ensuring that the WiFi connection to the Chromecast was not encrypted by Plex did help (as the Chromecast only has limited processing power), but there were still issues.

Rumour had it that the second version of Chromecast had better WiFi connectivity, so I upgraded, but unfortunately it didn't really help.

When the latest, Chromecast Ultra came out, again I started to look into the connectivity again. This time I saw that there is the option of a wired connection, using a specialised power adapter. Even better still, this is backwards compatible with the prior Chromecasts. As soon as I saw this I ordered one up, and last night it was installed.

 

So far I've been impressed. Installation was simple, just plug in and go. After that I was able to immediately able to start casting.  

Ian Vellosa

I'm going to "GOTO Night with Jeff Sutherland: "Scrum@Scale"". See you there? http://www.eventbrite.com/e/goto-night-with-jeff-sutherland-scrumscale-tickets-24990061948?aff=estw via @Eventbrite

Ian Vellosa

Why can't my @QNAP_nas play nicely with @CrashPlan?

1 min read

I should start this off by saying I love both my QNAP NAS and the online backup service provided by CrashPlan. When I found that there were packages that could be installed on the NAS which would automatically backup to the cloud it seemed like the perfect solution. At home I make sure all photos get copied to the NAS, then the CrashPlan process does it's magic and makes sure that they are all backedup.

 

Another really nice feature is there are periodic email reports with the current state of your backups, i.e.:

 

CrashPlan backup report

As you can see, there is a small issue with the backup (for the past 3 months!) This appears to happen often when the QNAP software gets updated. I tried removing and reinstalling the package, without success.

 

Finally, I resorted to the google searching and found a post on the QNAP forums, where dynek has patched the latest version of Java. This is worked for me, and everything is back as expected. 

 

Why is it that we need to rely on users to patch the JDK? Why can't QNAP fix these issues?

Ian Vellosa

Thanks to @hhariri for the "IntelliJ IDEA - Tips and Tricks" session today at @jugch