My Leisure Time

February 15, 2021

Let’s digress for a moment. Here are some projects that are underway or in the planning stages.

The Smartening of My New House

I mean, a brand-spanking new house needs some kind of smart capability, right?

One rule: the missus and I don’t want to farm this out to the cloud. That means no Amazon, no Google, no Nest, no Google, nothing. I've already set up Home Assistant and established a new Z-Wave network with a smart plug that powers a standing floor lamp. My first automation switches the light on if I'm out shortly before sunset.

Why Z-Wave? Sure, it’s a proprietary protocol, but I’ll know that these devices will have no trouble taking with one another. I could have saved a little bit of coin by going with Zigbee, but it turns out that compatibility among devices is not a certainty. The mesh networking capabilities is handy

We've almost been in the house for a year and in that time, I've gotten an idea of which switches we use the most. I'll look to update those with Z-Wave switches soon.

A File Server

Of course, a smart home also needs a massive home server. The server is based on OpenMediaVault with services running in Docker. Those services would include:

  • Home Assistant
  • Jellyfin
  • Huginn? Eh, maybe on its own machine.
  • Maybe Nextcloud
  • Something for automated backups (a la Time Machine)
  • Something to store video captured from security cameras
  • Other Docker utilities, such as Portainer and Watchtower

I've also set up a Pi-Hole on a spare Raspberry Pi 3 I had lying around.

Speaking of security cameras...

The Security of My New House

Events in 2020 and 2021 have shown me that it’s appropriate to I invest in security measures for my family and new home. Now I’m not trying to turn our happy home into a prepper’s bunker, but we are talking security cameras outside and a comfortable environment inside, along with some other creature comforts:

  • The missus has talked about a whole house backup generator. Do we invest in that?
  • Our neighbor has a solar cell array. Do we keep up with the Jones and invest in that?
  • Do I slap a UV light on the air intake of our A/C units? It kills germs. Probably some really nasty ones.

Netlify to Discord

Someday, I will give money to Netlify. But until and even then, it would be nice to set up a bot of some kind to notify me on Discord when a build on the blog has completed or failed.

A New Programming Language

One of my goals for 2021 is to learn a new programming language. I was torn earlier this year between Go and Rust, but settled on learning Go (I'll likely follow up with Rust at some point). So far, so good, I've completed the initial code tutorial on, and now I'm working my through A Tour of Go. I'm seeking ideas for my first project once I'm finished with the tour. Right now, I'm looking at building a Discord bot or contributing to a open source project, but if some need comes up, I can always tackle it with Go.

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Written by Shawn Borton
Drupal and PHP expert, Christian, rabid Dallas Stars fan, devoted Texas Longhorns alum, lover of libraries, coffee shops, and quiet places.
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