Categories
computers suck

goodbye X10, hello trådfri …

scruss/ihsctrl: a package of bash scripts to control selected IKEA Home smart (aka “TRÅDFRI”) devices via their network gateway

The old X10 devices were getting really unreliable: seldom firing at all, getting far too hot, bringing a whole lot of not working to my life. So while it was kind of cool to have my lights controlled by an original 256 MB Raspberry Pi Model B from 2012, it was maybe working one schedule out of ten.

So it had to go: replaced by a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a whole lot of IKEA TRÅDFRI kit. I was deeply unimpressed with the IKEA Home smart app, though: you couldn’t use even basic schedules with more than one light cycle per day. So while I know there are lots of clever home automation systems, I wanted to replace my old cron scripts and set about writing some simple command tools. The result is ihsctrl: very limited, but good enough for me. It’s been working exactly as expected for the last week, so I’ll finally get to wade through 8 years of cobwebs and dismantle the old X10 setup. I already miss the 06:30 clonk of the X10 controller turning the front light on — that was my alarm clock (or alarm clonk) every morning.

(local copy: ihsctrl.zip)

Categories
General

tidyin’, fixin’, payin’, all the while livin’ off plastic

  • Income taxes filed. Some tidying was required in order to find all the necessary paperwork. I know it’s ages before the deadline, but Catherine needs it early for her US taxes.
  • Noticed the last two water bills were double what they should have been. A $3 flapper valve for the loo should sort that. You’d never get that with a British syphon flush …
  • One of the neighbours just got a Linksys wireless router (with no encryption and default passwords, no less), so I had to rename and rechannel ours. Most hassle was getting the WET54G wireless bridge to talk to the new location. It didn’t help that it had the oldest version of the firmware in the world, plus it kept trying to rejoin the neighbours’ network.
  • Braved IKEA. I now have a basement server/printer rack fashioned from multiple Rast bedside tables screwed together.
  • Opened up the outside tap, now that the threat of -20°C weather is gone for the year.
  • Paid many, many bills, some of which were routed from their mulching sleep while I was  looking for tax paperwork.
  • Joined worthy societies like FOE and Greenpeace.
  • Saw Sharkwater. You should, too.
  • My new Interac card is less than interactive. I’m sure I managed to get it to work once, but now it’s gone dead. This means a trip to the Honkers & Shankers on Spadina, always a joy …
Categories
banjo goatee-stroking musing, or something

Anssi, not ANSI

Note to IKEA: while cheese has many excellent qualities — nutrition, sustainability, yumminess amongst them — it is not a suitable material for making nuts and bolts. While building an Anssi bar stool, I managed to round out just about every fastener, despite using good tools.

Building the Anssi was especially frustrating, as it’s the only IKEA piece I’ve ever built that had such poor tolerances that everything needed slackened off in order to make the next part fit. It’s built now, though, and hasn’t imploded from internal stresses (yet).

I bought it as a banjo seat, for while I was at Casa Wakefield in Missouri the other week, I noticed how good a bar stool is for comfortable playing.

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

shiver me statistical tables!

Today would be an apt day to revisit The Wit and Wisdom of Paul Hart, part 37(b)