Home automation is cool. It really is. Switch power and or off, lights come on with a touch or voice command, everything can be controlled from everywhere. Well – sometimes. Or not. Because there’s a big fight going on below the deck. And you may want to wait who wins. Read More →
Whenever you work in a local environment, you have to deal with a variety of problems. From setting fixed DHCP leases to creating special name server entries. Sometimes it is helpful to have a reflecting name server. Read More →
After having been working with voice controlled or .. voice activated “smart” environments for a while, here’s my take: This could get really great if .. and that’s a big if .. we find a common protocol that enables flexibility, compatibility and true interactions. Read More →
Some folks actually have a weird attitude towards PHP. I understand that it isn’t a “pure” language. It’s not truly “objective”. It’s inconsistent. Too many functions. Whatever. For me it’s still the Swiss Army Knife of programming languages (after “C” of course). Read More →
So – you got this Amazon Alexa device at Cyber-Monday? And maybe a connected “smart” plug or light bulb? Before you start adding more “smart” stuff – here’s what you need to know. Read More →
Yep – those little ESP chips are cute. And powerful. And easy to program. And much more. But if you are going to control more than – say a closet light – you want to think about security. This requires hashes and tracking of the current time.
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Sometimes we have to send short command sequences and/or replies over unprotected networks. Especially when working with IoT environments. Though SSL/TLS is always preferred – sometimes it’s just too much overkill. Read More →
Cheap IoT devices like power plugs are mostly manufactured in China. They connect to “bridging” servers we don’t really have control over, they are usually not documented and those required “bridging” services may fail or even be terminated at any time. Which would of course render your (or my) “smart” power plugs useless. Time to do something about it. Read More →
I remember my first “ping” to prep.ai.mit.edu. This must have been around 1993 . I worked with networks before that time, hacking X.25 networks and using embedded “out dials” to reach phone line connected BBS systems around the word. All my life has revolved around the “net”. So – I know a thing or two about the Internet. Let me make something very clear: We lost net neutrality years ago. Read More →
The problem with geeks: We are never satisfied. But that’s not too much trouble for those of us who learned to code in the dark-ages (emm .. about 25 years ago). We are used to sit down and learn, analyze, create or change stuff until we’re happy. Which lasts about 10 minutes ….. or until we find something else that needs to be changed.