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Thursday, August 21, 2014
Philips, please make this switch

The Philips Hue lighting system is pretty awesome. Even the new Hue Tap is pretty cool. But what they’re missing: A simple wall switch. It’s not that hard. Here, Philips, I’ll design it for you. Just make the damn thing, please.

It looks mostly like this:
switch

The small switch on the bottom should actually control power to the circuit. For the most part, that would always be on, but it’s there in case you need to actually cut it. Then it looks like a normal rocker switch, but has some differences. Basically, the top and bottom should be different momentary switches, and the rocker should always return to the center. Then you can program the two momentary switches to switch to whatever Hue scene you want. Generally, since this is acting as a normal light switch, the top would turn all the connected lights on and the bottom would turn them off. But you wouldn’t be tied to that. You could even make it so if you hold the switch down in either position, it could brighten/dim the bulbs.

See? Not that complicated. I wish I had the resources to produce it. It would be a huge improvement to the Hue product line.

My current alternative is a hinged cover over the existing light switches and the Hue Tap on top of it. It looks pretty ugly:
20140821_100809

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Posted by alan to general at 9:55 am PT | Link | Comments (3)
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Fun with RMAs!

Presented without comment.
RMA

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Posted by alan to general at 7:31 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Monday, June 17, 2013
Public Key

In light of the recent leaks about the NSA’s PRISM, I figured I’d make myself a public key so people can send me encrypted email if they want. So here it is.

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
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=TDXz
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

Note to NSA: Don’t worry, I’ll be storing my private key on my Google Drive for safe keeping. You’ll still be able to read any of my email that you want.

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Posted by alan to general at 10:53 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Friday, May 18, 2012
One Year

It has been one year since my last post. Wow, I’ve really let this place go. Too much has happened in the past year to recap it all here, and I have to get ready to leave for a trip to NY today, so I’ll just mention the most recent major event: Kat and I adopted a cat.

We adopted (and renamed) Abby at ASAP here in Santa Barbara. We’d been planning it for a while, and just fell in love with her as soon as she finally managed to get our attention. She’s four years old, and we’ve had her for two months now. She’s wonderful.

And now, pictures! [Click them to see bigger]

2012-05-18 10.21.07 2012-05-17 21.01.03 2012-05-17 13.56.24 2012-05-06 14.32.54 2012-04-30 16.34.38 2012-04-12 11.21.56 2012-04-08 23.19.34 2012-04-08 16.37.26 2012-04-05 12.10.43 2012-03-30 17.03.55 2012-03-30 16.38.22 2012-03-30 16.22.19

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Posted by alan to general at 1:08 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Blue Canary in the Outlet by the Light Switch

…who watches over you.


Make a little birdhouse in your soul.

That is all.

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Posted by alan to general at 4:35 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Staples Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)

A post!

At about 11:45PM PT Thanksgiving night, Staples Black Friday deals went live on the site. I’d been planning for this for a while, and placed my three orders. I realized I forgot to use a coupon on one of them, so I placed a fourth for the same items with the plan to return the first one. Then I saw another deal on FatWallet, and placed one more order…

The next morning, Staples opened at 6 AM. That was too early for me. I ended up getting up at 6:45, and was there by 7. Three more purchases, and I was back home. I waited in line twice. The first time, I had the cashier ring up two separate transactions, keeping the free-after-rewards batteries away from the coupon because that would reduce the rewards amount. Brought my stuff to the car, back in for another purchase with another coupon.

One of the items in the order I placed twice was a desk. It worked out pretty well, since when I tried to put it together one of the pieces was damaged. A support bracket was missing the threading for a screw. When I brought the extra one back for return, they were nice enough to swap out the bad part for me. I didn’t actually get anything on Cyber Monday, but while I was there today, I took advantage of some of those deals that were going all week. Another 40 batteries, and some other stuff, using a coupon I got in the mail from OfficeMax. That coupon rings up as a competitor’s price guarantee, so if done right (as a price match on a different item) doesn’t reduce the battery rewards.

All but one of the rebates on my items were Staples Easy Rebates. Just fill it out online, nothing to mail in. I just had to cut out one UPC and mail one rebate in.

Net cost, after all rebates, rewards and coupons: $53.16. For this:

Staples Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)

That includes the desk it’s all sitting on.

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Posted by alan to general at 6:25 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Gap Casting Call

I’m interrupting posts about my baseball trip to tell all of you to go vote for Evan and Morgan in the Gap casting call. Go vote now! You can vote every day from now until November 17th. Vote often!

How can you not?
    

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Posted by alan to general at 7:50 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox, 9/16/09

This was an absolutely unbelievable game to go to. The Angels took the lead first, Red Sox took it back with a 5 run inning, fell behind again, and then eventually tied it up on a bases loaded 2-out walk in the bottom of the 9th by Nick Green, and won 9-8 on an Alex Gonzalez walk-off single. Incredible. Apparently, Nick Green should have struck out twice in that plate appearance, but it was hard to tell from where I was at that point in the game. Front row, on the field.
Front row!

Before the game, I took the guided tour of Fenway. I mostly wanted to get up to the Green Monster seats, but the whole tour was very well done. The tour started out in the Red Sox team store, which was absolutely huge. This picture is only a small section of it, the place was insane.
Red Sox Team Store

From there, we went into Fenway to the Budweiser Roof Deck seats.
Fenway

Then it was to the seats right behind the plate, and from there to the Green Monster. The view from the Monster is pretty cool.
View from the Green Monster

After the tour, before the game, I met up with Byron, and we went to Boston Beer Works. We had a drink while waiting for a table, but ended up just leaving instead of eating there. We were second on the list at that point, but wanted to go into the park instead. I had a Blueberry Ale, which actually had blueberries in it. They would float up and down in the beer because of the carbon dioxide they were giving off.
Me and @biggestron at Boston Beer Works
Blueberry Ale

I got a nice picture of the red bleacher seat, marking the longest home run in Fenway history. It was a 502 foot shot by Ted Williams.
Red Seat

I really wanted to get my standard stadium shot, too. The upper deck at Fenway are exclusive sections, though, and tickets weren’t that easy to come by. They wouldn’t let me up there during the first game. I eventually found a pavilion standing room only ticket on Craigslist for face value ($25), so I bought it. I actually left the park to go pick it up, and used it to get back in. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought two tickets for myself for the same game, but it was worth it.
Fenway Park

As always, here’s the whole set of images.

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Posted by alan to general at 8:37 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Monday, September 7, 2009
Station Fire

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Posted by alan to general at 2:18 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Press My Buttons

Press My Buttons

This will be the last shirt in the T-Shirt a Day Challenge. I have a handful more that I could wear, but not nearly enough to make it through another month, so I’m going to end it here.

Yes, that’s a Gameboy playing a DS Lite. 🙂

Purchase location: shirt.woot
Purchase date: October 24, 2008.

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Posted by alan to general at 12:40 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
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