One day at 111°F in my sunny backyard and another at 105°F, and my Logitech Circle View doorbell has not overheated. Its circumstances: 24V 20VA transformer, north facing in the shade all day. I’m quite pleased with it.

Logitech Circle View doorbell by a red front door

My #RaspberryShake detected a M3.9 earthquake in the Bartlett Springs Fault Zone just northwest of Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest. I was asleep — happened today at 04:18 PDT. Probably just shook a few rocks loose.

MeteoBridge Email Weather Alerts & FastMail

MeteoBridge reports my weather station data to all sorts of services. To be rid of IFTTT, I finally set MeteoBridge up to send an email if certain weather conditions happen. And FastMail, to my surprise, has a rule Action for notifications! Yeah, definitely don’t need IFTTT anymore.

I just installed this Antelco eZyvalve 4 Zone Valve Box. I’m very pleased so far. We’ll see how durable and long lasting it is. I’ll be connecting drip to it. It’s wired to my Rachio Gen 2 irrigation controller.

Twitter Feeds in the latest NetNewsWire 6 beta are great. The key is to be really choosy.

Facebook/Instagram Harvests Location Metadata Before Stripping for Posts

I always expected this: Facebook/Instagram harvests photo location metadata before removing it for posts. That data is added to the poster’s data profile. Presumably for targeted ads. I presume when micro.blog crossposts photos to Twitter, locations have already been scrubbed by micro.blog?

Took a Potensic D58 drone photo today of the backyard (bottom photo) to compare against January 2020 (top photo). Looking real nice. Fun to have unusual views of the yard.

Jan 2020 photo of lawn on top and then a 2021 photo of new garden rows at the bottom

I’m experimenting with HomeKit Automations converted to Shortcuts. This one, when a Home member arrives, will turn on a welcome light if the Logitech doorbell reads < 200 Lux. Otherwise it’ll flash the living room lamp to indicate an arrival.

Secure ShellFish for iOS is wonderful. Its shortcut functions allowed me to create a Shortcut that shows all journals written “On This Day” from my SSH server. Slick.

Installed Logitech Circle View Doorbell Chime-Kit and Hardware Doorbell Chime

Why did I decide to install the chime-kit and doorbell chime after I installed the Logitech doorbell (and it worked fine)? Netatmo released their doorbell and in their FAQ they wrote this about why a chime is required (Logitech never explained but they require it despite their doorbell seemingly working without one):

The Smart Video Doorbell was specially designed to replace your existing doorbell and, therefore, to work with an existing wired chime. This chime is required in your installation because it creates a charge in the doorbell circuit. When someone presses the doorbell button, a switch closes the doorbell circuit causing electricity to flow through the circuit to activate your chime. Without a chime, when the switch closes the circuit, a short circuit would occur and cause damage to your Smart Video Doorbell.

After reading that, I decided to protect the doorbell investment by spending a little bit more time and $15 to install the chime-kit and hardware chime.

Installing the hardware chime and then the Logitech chime-kit in the garage was easy though I accidentally cut the transformer to doorbell wire; wire nut to the rescue. I did check to see if the doorbell would work with only the chime-kit installed and its switch set to no doorbell – it did. In fact, when I cut power to it, a green LED stayed lit up in the chime-kit above the switch, suggesting it keeps a charge like a hardware doorbell chime. However I don’t know definitively if that chime-kit charge would resolve possible shorting issues on doorbell press. With the chime-kit I can toggle the hardware chime to ring or not via the Home app — I have no idea how Logitech made that work. The chime-kit has a switch for analog chime, digital hardware, no chime, and analog chime.

So far the Logitech doorbell has been great with a perfect view of the front yard and super reliable notifications with videos. Video is pretty sharp and its HDR does work — the shaded porch and bright streetscape are all well exposed. It does well at night with just the almost-bug friendly amber porch light so I’ve disabled the doorbell light to keep light pollution to a minimum. That built-in light does not illuminate far so it is only useful when someone is at the door. So I wish I could set up an automation to turn on the extra light when it detects somebody at the door. I do recommend setting up Activity Zones on an iPad (easier to draw them on a larger video feed vs iPhone) to help minimize notifications. Turns out our street has more vehicle traffic than I realized. I’m very happy I patiently waited for a HomeKit Secure Video doorbell like this. If you think activity zones might limit what the HomeKit home hub detects, it seems as if when there’s motion detected in an activity zone, the HomeKit hub analyzes the entire scene for people, animals and vehicles.

Our data usage for uploads has gone down dramatically now that our Nest Outdoor IQ no longer has Nest Aware and is only useful for on-demand delayed “live” video feeds.

Logitech Chime-Kit at the top and the new hardware chime at the bottom. The included wire splices are nice.

Logitech Chime-Kit (top tiny box) and new hardware chime

 

Logitech Circle View Doorbell installed on cement fiber board lap siding, doorbell wire routed through a security door frame and then along the foundation, tucked out of sight between cement foundation and sheathing. I used foam as a spacer behind the straight mount to create space for the wire to come in through the side of the mount. The mounts are made for doorbell wire coming out of a wall, so creative thinking was necessary. Notice how the Logitech logo at the bottom is barely visible. Compare that to a Ring doorbell or the new Netatmo! I love that Logitech decided to not make their logo stand out.

Logitech Circle View

Logitech Circle View Doorbell Initial Thoughts

Got a Logitech Circle View doorbell. I haven’t mounted it yet but I’m already pretty happy with it after setting it up and testing it. It can power up using USB with 2A power. Logitech says it needs a hardware chime but it doesn’t! It indeed has HDR video for dealing with shadows and sun. It looks nice with a very minimal branding logo on it. The HomeKit Secure Video function works well. The night vision light (white rectangle on first photo) is unexpectedly very bright. Its straight mount (second photo) is made to sit flush against an exterior wall with the expectation that doorbell wires are routed through a hole in the wall. Since I don’t have an existing doorbell wire, and will be routing the wire externally, I’ll need to shim a gap behind the mount to pass wires through its side. The real effort will be in disguising the wires and installing the transformer on a new electrical junction box in the garage. I can’t wait to stop paying Google for an Outdoor IQ’s Nest Aware subscription that currently monitors the entrance.

Logitech Circle View Doorbell module without mountFlush mount with round rect screw holes and two tiny wire holes

Apple is successfully getting me to put HomePod Minis all over my house. Bought one, liked it for my smaller rooms, so I’m slowly adding more. They all have U1 chips and Thread radios. I hope Apple takes advantage of this new network of devices. So long, Sonos.

I installed a Lutron Caseta in-wall dimmer switch for the hallway today. Before it was wired as a 3-way so one switch is now a wired dimmer and the other switch is now a Pico remote (with adapter for switch box install). Real nice. Caseta is solid for home automation w/HomeKit.

wired in-wall dimmer switchPico renote installed at switch box for 3-way use

My New Markdown Editing and Preview Apps

MultiMarkdown Composer and Marked 2 fit my Markdown needs perfectly. One key item is that I can drag a photo into the MultiMarkdown window and it’ll insert the image syntax with relative paths. For some reason that feature I need is astonishingly rare on other editors I’ve trialed. MultiMarkdown Composer can be set to automatically launch Marked 2 for previews and proofing – real nice. It is a bonus that Marked 2 can easily preview MarsEdit in-progress posts too. I’m using the Pandoctor style in Marked 2 since that matches Pandoc output of my Markdown journalling files. However, I had to edit its CSS to remove paragraph indentations.

Automating Deselection and Unchecking of Twitter Interests - EvilTester.com

Automating Deselection and Unchecking of Twitter Interests - EvilTester.com: The final JavaScript works to automatically deselect Twitter ad interests, but I had to change the timer from 2000 milliseconds to 10000 milliseconds or 10 seconds per uncheck to avoid Twitter Over Capacity errors. The process is taking forever but isn’t invasive at all so this Safari JavaScript console automation can go all week for all I care. By Twitter’s estimation, I am interested in everything in the universe. Including things that greatly raise my blood pressure. Ugh.

From the above website but milliseconds modified from 2000 to 10000. Paste and run in your browser’s JavaScript dev console when on the Twitter ad interests page:

var timer=100;document.querySelectorAll(
"div > input[type='checkbox']:checked"
).forEach((interest) => {
setTimeout(function(){interest.click()},timer);timer+=10000;});

macOS Big Sur TimeMachine and Bootable External Drives

If you have any bootable APFS containers on an external drive, macOS Big Sur will not allow you to assign any of the containers on that drive to TimeMachine. I had to delete my SuperDuper! volumes, but SuperDuper! doesn’t work yet on Big Sur anyway. Here goes another reorg of my external drives! Hope I don’t need to buy another. But dang TimeMachine on an SSD is incredibly fast.

I tested my journaling workflow in Big Sur on a secondary Mac and it worked. So I couldn’t help myself and, despite SuperDuper! not being ready for Big Sur, I installed Big Sur on my production machine. I’ve zero complaints so far.

I accidentally trashed my Windows 10 Virtual Machine and thought it was a total loss with no backup. Two weeks later I realized I had a SuperDuper! clone of my MBP as I… prepared to update the clone. Phew and glad I remembered!

For today and a while after the election, Twitter & Instagram apps are removed from my devices. So far I’m avoiding their web counterparts. Instead, let’s enjoy some tiny coyote bush flowers!

On iPhone 12: I love the telephoto lens so I’ll wait for the 2.5x camera or better to migrate down into the iPhone Pro from the Max. The Max is a nonstarter for my small hands. My 11 Pro already pushes my limits. As for the super wide angle lens, I use that more than I expected.

My typical workflow: here’s a thing I need to do. Hm. That seems more difficult than expected. What’s easier than that? And easier than that? No, that’s silly and overcomplicated. Easier than before that? Can I live with that? Probably. Not what I wanted but A-OK.

VMware Fusion 12 Player

It is pretty awesome that VMware Fusion Player is replacing VMware Fusion Standard and Player is free for personal use. This is weird to me since I never expect a company to stop asking for money for great software. Now, it seems, I can upgrade VMware Fusion 11 Standard to VMware Fusion 12 Player for free and not miss anything. So weird! I guess VMWare wants to focus on business users and don’t want to cater to end-users like me. That would make sense as I will no longer be paying them money for their software. Well, this is pretty cool at this point in time.

Upon a recent update to VMware Fusion 11.5.5, sound began crackling in Windows 10. For some reason

sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"

was missing from my .vmx file so Windows 10 was using VMWare’s generic audio drivers. Added that line into the .vmx file and all is well as now Windows is using its High Definition Audio device drivers. Thanks to this AppleVis post for giving me the idea.

Follow up: I just noticed that this AppleVis post reported nearly the same issue I had and the same fix. Apparently this may be known to be an issue at VMWare.

Keep MacBook from Sleeping with Lid Down

The MacOS app Amphetamine is pretty slick. As promised, it keeps my MacBook Air awake even if the lid is closed and there is no external display attached. So now I can run it as a part-time file server (via SFTP and Secure ShellFish for iOS). At least, that’s the plan. Since it is running on a laptop, I really appreciate the audio alert it’ll give if I unplug the MBA while Amphetamine is keeping it awake. Now that MacOS 10.15.5 has battery aging management, now is the time to try this out.

My goal is to somehow simplify things by no longer needing an aging QNAP NAS and using a single platform. I love the idea of having a spare laptop but also actively using it and getting more value out of it.

I finally got around to messing with iStat Menu's Time menu and I’m sold. Having a calendar and events embedded in the clock is lovely.