• The new headquarters is up and running (thankfully), though I suspect there will continue to be work to do on it pretty much indefinitely- that being the nature of houses, after all. Regardless, we’ve reached functional status.
• My studio space is nearly fully functional as well- the audio gear isn’t set up at all (and there’s a fair bit of storage that needs to be sorted), but I can stand here and type this without any problems.
• It’s a new year, and while I’m not going to rant about “resolutions” or whatever, it’s as good a time as any to reorient yourself to your goals- take a step back and decide what you really want to accomplish in the short, medium, and long terms. Writing it down helps, as it seems to make it more real (and, thus, something work paying attention to).
• Given the sheer volume of work I need to get done at the day job, I’ve been brushing up on the GTD flowcharts- if you’re not familiar, GTD is “Getting Things Done,” and it’s a method of managing time and workflow.
• I’ve been using an iPhone and iPad as primary computing devices for a little while- my “main” computer is quite old, and it’s been pressed into service as a server, so it’s not really a day-to-day option anymore. My phone continues to be very, very good- though I find myself using one of the iPads we have around from time to time when I simply need more screen space to work with. I’m typing this on a full-sized iPad with a bluetooth keyboard via Poster.
• To that end, I’ve been looking to supplement the performance of my server situation by picking up another machine to handle that- though, I’m not entirely sure if that would be an older Mac Mini (which, it seems, hold their value to an alarming degree…), or a NAS-based solution… My first choice in NAS is Synology, but those won’t (nicely) run the software I need. So.
• I’ve been getting more and more interested in implementing the IoT in this new house. That’s the “Internet of Things,” and that usually means adding internet interfaces to… things. Thermostats. Smoke detectors. Locks. Garage Doors. Some of that stuff is commercially available already; more is no doubt coming. That said, there are a couple of problems:
1. Security- sometimes, you find out that the internet-enabled tea kettle has massive security holes in it’s interface. So that’s not great.
2. Privacy- I’m not thrilled by the idea of paying for a service for, say, my IP camera by allowing my data to be used from them. That’s a bit too much for me.
3. Boring. It’s not much fun to just plug things in.
4. I’m… particular about the stuff I use. I have criteria I develop, and those (for whatever reason) are often not the same as the market develops.
So, to that end, I’ve been exploring the Adafruit offerings more, with the hopes that I might be able to build and code the tools I need. The offerings have only become more inexpensive and easier to work with, and my interest has been growing. I’ve picked up a Raspberry Pi Zero already (and if you haven’t, you might consider it…), a Supermechanical Twine (that, right now, mostly is used to remotely monitor the internal temperature of my house), and I’ve a CHIP on the way (in March, I think). The Raspberry Pi will get pressed into service in the garage, I think, and I’m sure more of that sort of stuff will make it into my house.
• I’m going to try to get back to my newsletter too- I’ve had no time to think about education in any meaningful way, and I’ve had no time to mine my sources to find the tidbits I like to send out to people- and, as I’ve said before, I’d rather send nothing than a half-assed product. Regardless, it will come back.