1 year ago 🥁 for day 215, 2020 with 474 words.

Sunday Update

Days sheltering in place: 139.
Exercise: Working in the garden.
Keyboarding: finally annoyed my wife with my playing.

So let's see how I did on my Sunday tasks

  • Trim the hedges - the big one trimmed
  • Water the roses
  • Bills and reconciliation
  • Claim two free burgers
  • Practice my piano work

What didn't get done:

  • Clean Karen's old bike
  • List Karen's old bike for sale
  • Take out the trash

Now they were all low priority items anyway. I have until Tuesday night to take out the trash, fitting it in during the weekend makes it easier. The bike cleaning and selling is officially moved to next weekend along with the trimming of the other bushes. The "Green bin" is full anyway, so I must wait until "garden pickup" which is every two weeks.

What I did do, that I hadn't planned was work on an Open Source Project. I'm big into home automation and in particular HomeKit. If I can get a device hooked up to HomeKit I can use my watch, phone, iPad, computer, siri, and various other home automation tools to control it.

But some of the devices that I have don't support HomeKit however there is an Open Source project called HomeBridge that supports plug-ins for devices to make them compatible. It acts like a bridge (hence the name).

One of the devices that I have many of are Blink Cameras which started as a Kickstarter and ended up being owned by Amazon. They have never officially published their API end-points but enough people spent the time to reverse engineer them. The problem is they keep changing them. Whether on purpose just to annoy their users or because they think that having Alexa support should be good enough for anybody I don't know, but it is really frustrating. I wish they would just publish an api and accept that we are going to reverse engineer it anyway.

I was first alerted to the problem when I woke up Friday morning with a message waiting for me rom Karen telling me the normal "Good Morning" routine that we use had failed to disable the security cameras. Yes, overnight Blink (AKA: Amazon) had changed the API again.

The guy who had been maintaining the code up to this point no longer owns any Blink cameras so is less interested in fixing things - or even have the capability to test anyway.

So I spent many hours - debugging the existing Open Source code base along with others to at least fix my system so that the cameras could be alarmed, disarmed by voice control or automatically when we both leave the house. I'll have to tidy it up later.

And that's why I didn't clean Karen's bike and put it up for sale.

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By Yorick Phoenix 🥁

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally, to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

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