Showing posts with label Electricity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Electricity. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Creating More Work

I enjoy my smart home things and keep adding to the list. I'm not sure they save me time, but I love the convenience of them - especially the voice control for muting the TV while my hands are wet from washing dishes or telling the HVAC unit to turn the air on while I'm in the middle of working out.

The only downside is I keep coming up with new problems to solve - some of which didn't exist prior to buying all these smart devices. For example, I don't have a good place for my Eufy Genie (Amazon Echo Dot clone) in my bathroom. I don't have a spot to put it and we don't have enough plugs to power it.

The solution... $40 to get this outlet shelf and an outlet with USB ports.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Eufy Smart Bulb

So, I'm all in on the Alexa/Google enabled home as you can tell. I'm enjoying playing with the various plugs, switches, etc. I even got one of the Eufy Smart Bulbs ($12) for Christmas despite my uncertainty about the benefit of going the smart bulb route.

It works just fine from the app or using Alexa voice-control, but:

1. Bulbs eventually go bad.
2. There is no button on it, so I can't turn it on if the internet is down.

Still, $12 isn't a lot for a little experimentation.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

kW and kVA

I'm all about educational tools today:
Via @LA3ZA

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tesla Energy

I'm pretty excited about Tesla Energy - not so much for the product itself, but for what I think it represents.  I hope there is a coming wave of battery technology that will have performance improvements and cost reductions.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

SnapPower Charger

I've looked at face plates that have integrated USB ports, but the SnapPower Charger is different in that it requires no wiring.

Via Uncrate

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Home Data Center

I've added a Dell Mini 10 running Ubuntu and have a Frankensteined desktop that has replaced the one that died a while back. So I am slowly moving in this direction - the home data center.

(Who am I kidding? I'm all about being a minimalist now and I grumble enough about my electric bill.)

Via Data Center Knowledge via

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Sorry about the lack of posts... I've been busy:

Monday, July 14, 2014


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reading by Street Light

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Green iPads

tim Using an iPad for a year costs less in electricity bills than the average lightbulb… via @jackWed, Jul 25 12:24:35 from web

Thursday, May 3, 2012


More people have mobile phones than electricity or drinking water. I would assume part of the reason is it is harder to run big pipes than a little wire to some towers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Long is a Nanosecond?

Shorter than you might think... I love when people do something so obvious I would never think of it. Like demonstrating the length of a nanosecond in terms of distance instead of time.

Many thanks to Owen (KF5CZO) (via for posting the video and notes. Looks like he and I share a like for a simple Blogger template, too.

Editing on 2015-01-30 to specifically mention Grace Hopper, so this will show up in my searches for posts about her.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Heinrich Hertz Doodle

As you can see, I am catching up...

google Today's wavy doodle celebrates Heinrich Hertz, who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves cc: @GoogleDoodles, Feb 22 13:11:22 from web

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Utilities Bills vs. Technology Bills

I'm a geek, but maybe I am a frugal geek, because my utilities are much more expensive than my monthly technology cost unlike the findings in this article. If you don't like words, there is a good infograph there, too.

It helps that my company provides my smartphone service, but we have the basic internet service with Knology and no home phone. We don't spend a lot on apps or other services - including an on-line backup service. (I've been tempted, but I use a combination of Dropbox, Windows Live Mesh, and USB hard drives to do the heavy lifting there.) It also helps that my daughter is only three - she probably won't need her own smart phone for another 6 months. ;)

Another factor is that my house is one big energy sink when it comes to heating and cooling. My base usage is a small number compared to the heating and cooling costs. I need a smaller house.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Power Company Controlled Thermostat or Blackout

I was reading this article about a UT professor's work to gather data about the power grid in order to better manage demand. It talked about rolling blackouts as a method to prevent the total collapse of the system when it is overwhelmed by demand.

I've read other stories about the power company wanting to have the ability to reach in and change the settings on my thermostat to reduce energy usage during peak times. I usually get my feathers ruffled by the idea of the power company controlling the temperature in my house.

Then it occurred to me that a house that is a little too warm is better than one that has no power, so no air conditioning either - and no lights, internet, etc. Of course, this also reminds me of the Ben Franklin quote about the choice between liberty and security.

Which poison would you choose? Rolling blackouts or a remote controlled thermostat?