Ecobee3 Thermostat with Remote Sensors

We’ve had a particularly warm summer, for our very moderate area, and between my wife and my parent’s in-law, they were constantly changing the thermostat temperature, leaving nobody particularly happy, and our electricity consumption skyhigh. I needed a better solution, I found one, but it has some quirks. I was an early adopter of the Nest Generation 1Continue reading “Ecobee3 Thermostat with Remote Sensors”

MR16 12V Halogen to LED retrofit

This post is about my research into finding suitable MR16 LED’s for replacing the 50W recessed halogen lights in our house. In summary, I’ve found “ok” bulbs, not great bulbs, and you can read about the details below. Our house is about 3 years old, new construction, and one of the many decisions we made during planning wasContinue reading “MR16 12V Halogen to LED retrofit”

Nest Protect False Alarms

2AM, beep, smoke alarm low battery warning, and when one beeps, all the interconnected ones beep, now it is impossible to find which one has a low battery. As for how smoke alarms look, I’ve always wondered who made those terrible aesthetic design choices, maybe it is some kind of industry insider competition to see who can design the ugliestContinue reading “Nest Protect False Alarms”

Self Signed BitFury Drivers

Almost two years ago I pre-ordered some bitcoin mining hardware from Butterfly Labs, what a waste. After countless delays, more than a year late, they finally shipped the hardware, and given the low probability of ever recovering the money through mining, I immediately sold the hardware on eBay, for a little profit. In the mean time USB stickContinue reading “Self Signed BitFury Drivers”

Electrical Power Quality

Earlier this year we moved a couple miles from Redondo Beach to Manhattan Beach, bigger house, better school district. As far as the house and area is concerned, it is definitely an upgrade, but not so for the utilities. Monthly utilities are a lot more expensive, not so much the per unit fees, but theContinue reading “Electrical Power Quality”

TiVo Roamio DVR vs. Verizon FiOS DVR

I just replaced the last of my four Verizon FiOS DVR boxes with a TiVo Roamio DVR box. The last time I used a TiVo was about seven years ago, it was a DirecTV TiVo box, commonly referred to as a DirecTiVo. At that time DirectTV was my only option for television service, TiVo theContinue reading “TiVo Roamio DVR vs. Verizon FiOS DVR”

Panasonic Lumix WiFi Dissapoints

I’ve been a long time fan of Panasonic Lumix digital cameras, and I tend to update them every couple of years. My current cameras are the DMC-ZS20 for travel, and the DMZ-ZS7 for pocket use.   My workflow typically entails taking lots of pictures, and then using a Transcend USB3 card reader and ImageIngester ProContinue reading “Panasonic Lumix WiFi Dissapoints”

XBMC on NUC’s and Pi’s

I’m still looking for the perfect XBMC hardware; must be small, silent, low power, low heat, 1080p, HD audio, and play anything I throw at it without a hiccup. The number of options are increasing, but no clear winner.     I previously tested a XIOS DS running XBMC on Android, and XBMC on Linux.Continue reading “XBMC on NUC’s and Pi’s”

LSI turns their back on Green

I previously blogged here and here on my research into finding a power saving RAID controllers. I have been using LSI MegaRAID SAS 9280-4i4e controllers in my Windows 7 workstations and LSI MegaRAID SAS 9280-8e controllers Windows Server 2008 R2 servers. These controllers work great, my workstations go to sleep and wake up, and inContinue reading “LSI turns their back on Green”