• Upgraded from (down/up) 175/6 Mbps to 300/11 Mbps soon as I hit the “order” button. $1 less, too. No contract. Worth checking Xfinity internet-only plans periodically! Unreasonably excited at double up speeds.

  • Caseta & Dimming LEDs

    I replaced a Caseta dimmer switch with the non-dimming version as I’m installing a ceiling fan w/light soon. I’m getting used to tucking and bending wires just so and shoving the switch in with screws ratcheting it snugly in place.

    I’ve found dimmer switches are difficult since they can’t have anything but lights as a load and those lights (especially LED) better be perfect in their dimming logic and signal response. And as you should never use non-dimming LEDs with a dimmer, I’ve had to buy new bulbs to replace young non-dimmable LEDs or buggy dimmable LEDs from a few years ago. So far the current crop of FEIT dimmables sold at my local Ace Hardware are fine.

    I’m so over using dimmer switches.

  • The [iRobot Braava m6 has a threshold problem](https://homesupport.irobot.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/21012/kw/Threshold) and it is a bit frustrating but workable. In my case it can easily go from laminate (higher) to linoleum but not the other way. It’d perhaps take just a quick rev of the wheels to hop back over up to laminate.

  • Nest Cam vs HomeKit Secure Video

    There’s been some frustration with the current state of HomeKit Secure Video, but coming from a very pricey Nest Cam IQ Outdoor that basically is useless without another subscription (cancelled when they removed camera features), HomeKit Secure Video is a revelation. I’m using a Logitech Circle 2 with HomeKit Secure Video and its non-delayed, non-lagged, over the LAN, live video starts… every… single… time. Compare this behavior with always having to toggle the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Cam off and on to get past the blue spinning wheel and get a several second delayed live video. So HomeKit Secure Video’s direct over the LAN live video coupled with video clips as a value add with an iCloud storage subscription, HomeKit Secure Video is great. But yes, be careful about those notifications and the sensitivity of people/animal/car detection. I’ve had people detected across the street, which frankly, is more impressive than annoying. And yes, you can only get one live stream at a time with the Circle 2. That’s workable.

  • Test from MarsEdit - does RichText convert to MarkDown? Does it boldWho needs Italians when they steal arctic circle candy? Is underlining for chumps that know nothing of hyperlinks? All these answers and more… to come.

  • Sometimes my Sonos goes out of sync with the HomePod. The HomePod appears to then go through a process to resynchronize — maybe 75% successful. They’re within earshot of each other so makes since a HomePod might do some fancy sync.

  • HomeBrew and SuperDuper! just released MacOS Catalina support so I suppose I will try to upgrade today…

  • Full Random Albums Playlist Shortcut (Apple Music)

    I love listening to full albums. But often I’m not in the right mood to choose them. So a long time ago I created a Shortcut that creates an Apple Music playlist of a variable number of full, track list ordered albums. It allows you to unselect albums that you have a strong opinion to not listen to. The shortcut unfortunately needs at least a 1 second wait between adding albums or it’ll silently fail and the playlist won’t be complete. Note that I mostly did not modify it to iOS 13’s new Shortcut features but hey, I think it is more readable setting specific variables. It did need tweeking from iOS 12. Get Random Full Albums Playlist Shortcut.

  • Pleased that my HomeKit devices still worked from the Home app during a big Comcast (Xfinity) & Verizon internet outage. Pretty sure Alexa and Google alternatives would have been dead.

  • Old iPad Pro 9.7” just got replaced by an iPad Pro 11”. I did not expect to be impressed by the differences but dang that’s nice!

  • I have some anxiety over the iOS 13 Reminders upgrade button. If I upgrade, then my partner has to upgrade, and she lives on reminders. So if the upgrade goes wrong… 😱📱

  • Shared Photo Libraries

    All these years Apple still has no way to share entire photo libraries with family. The shared family album is useful only to temporarily share the week’s photos. So I use PhotoSync iOS App to sync our iPhone photos to the NAS, files prefixed with first names, and then once a week manually import to the two libraries via macOS Photos. Works well enough but Photos has very poor dupe detection. Supposedly iOS detects dupes – I wish they would surface them in an aptly named album. Once imported, I use PhotoSync to mark the new imports on each device all as sync’d and then delete the week’s worth of shared photos from the family shared album. That’s two nearly exact copies of a 50 GB photo library stored in iCloud. We used to use Google Photos but decided they no longer deserved analyzing our lives.

  • iTunes Match to Apple Music

    My new iPhone refused to access old iTunes Match music, perhaps as a result of my unsubscribing from iTunes Match months after subscribing to Apple Music. I did that as Apple Music includes Match. But things broke anyway. No idea why. So I spent yesterday rebuilding my collection using Apple Music. To Apple Music’s credit, their library is massively better for British & twee pop than ~3 years ago. So with exception of Manic Street Preacher’s Know Your Enemy and older Billy Bragg albums, I only had to match really obscure stuff. I think the rebuild solved some perplexing issues such as certain matched songs never playing on Sonos or Apple TV. Also the rebuild got rid of the slight annoyance of my iTunes Match albums existing along side (eventually available) Apple Music albums. Overall, I think it was worth the effort searching for 250 or so albums and adding or matching as necessary. I also got to add many new (or older) albums from artists I like!

  • HomeKit is great because it doesn’t require internet for day to day operations. Internet goes down, I can still operate or expect automations as normal. The same cannot be said of the other smart home ecosystems. Ecobee goes out of business? HomeKit!

  • Ecobee 3 lite seems nice but had to change its default 0.5°f “Cool Differential Temp” to 1°f. We keep our house pretty warm so its heat saturated mass rapidly causes air temp to rebound. To Nest’s credit, I think it had a non-programmable ~1°f diff. Short-cycling 👎

  • Bye bye Nest Thermostat Gen 1. Hello ecobee3 lite! I revised the Nest’s fancy screws to avoid drywall anchors — critical as the drywall is backed by 2x4s. Super easy install with the common wire I enabled last weekend.

  • Can’t wait to replace the 1st gen Nest Thermostat with this Ecobee3 Lite. A Friday project.

  • Going to be jealous of that iPhone 11’s 📱grown up front camera! About time it has near parity to the rear.

  • Preparing to move away from Nest (Google) to Ecobee this week. Just used a spare thermostat wire and C terminal on HVAC mainboard to create a common wire. Minimizes fussing with wires at the mainboard and no PEK for me!

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