Working from home tech

Like a lot of other people in the world right now, I just finished my first week of working from home due to COVID-19. I’m a little luckier than most in that I’ve already had a lot of experience working from home, and my job as a systems administrator lends itself to working remotely easily. …

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Amazon Fire TV Stick

This month, I cut the cord, cancelled my Spectrum cable TV service, and switched to YouTube TV, which meant I needed a way to watch YTTV on, well, my TVs! There’s a dizzying array of devices for the cord-cutter (Roku, Apple TV, smart TV apps, and more), but since I’m already an Amazon Prime subscriber, …

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Going all-in with Nest cameras

I seem to go through technology re-orgs every four years or so. To start off 2019 I decided to re-do my security camera setup. My first cameras were installed in 2010 (Foscam outside, TRENDnet inside). In 2014 I switched my indoor cameras to Dropcams but since Dropcam (now Nest) didn’t have an outdoor solution at the time …

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Nest Protect smoke/CO2 detector

When I installed the ADT Pulse system in 2011, it came with monitored smoke/heat and CO2 detectors. Since then I’ve been paying the monthly monitoring fee to ADT and have had to deal with inexplicable false alarms (usually in the middle of the night and ADT’s answer was always “just change the battery”). This was …

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hp Pavilion 24-r014 All-in-One PC

For the past few months our family PC (the Dell XPS 18 all-in-one) had been giving my daughter fits. It was time for a change. I looked at the latest Dell all-in-ones but wasn’t able to find one that acted like a tablet like the XPS 18. It was pretty convenient for my daughter to …

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Rachio sprinkler controller

Earlier this month while visiting my in-laws I helped my father-in-law connect his Rainbird ESP-Me sprinkler controller to his wireless network and then showed him how to use the mobile app on his Android phone. After doing this I realized: I’m the techie/networking/home automation/IoT guy in the family … why haven’t I installed an internet-enabled sprinkler controller …

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Amazon Echo

For Father’s Day I got an Amazon Echo, Amazon’s voice-activated smart home speaker. You may know it (her?) as Alexa. If you’ve followed the blog, or even just glanced at it, you know I love tech gadgets and am also no stranger to dabbling in home automation so the Echo has been a fun toy to play …

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