Marcelo is asleep, and I can read some books for what seems words’ lifeless eternity. Mind has not drifted far from parent anxieties in 5 months. Navigating infant sleep is an eyeless mind-field, but he is thankfully by the grace of the somnolent god under night-long sleep punctuated by only some brief likely-unwaking low wails. I am jumping tonight between the following books:

Toxicon and Arachne by Joyelle McSweeney

Vibratory Milieu by Carrie Hunter

DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi

The Recluse, Issue 17, January 2021

Lacking words, I’ve been pursuing a minor bit of home automation. The baby’s sleep was not amenable to the clicking of an old piano lamp in the bedroom so I decided on getting this smart power strip after reading one of the reviews in which a fellow Pi-nerd mentioned being able to flash some open source firmware onto the device, which is apparently ESP8266-based.

A few frustrating, brain-conking hours of failure later, I was able to flash TASMOTA with TUYA-CONVERT. I initially failed on my Ubuntu-based laptop, but switched to a Raspberry Pi 3 which I’m currently using as a print server. I had a good bit of trouble with the AP not appearing but finally had success after reading this issue in which someone mentions running sudo killall wpa_supplicant.

The device flashed a red LED and began clicking so I initially thought I might have bricked it, but reading the docs revealed that that was the signal of success, and that I needed to hit up its IP in the browser and configure.

The next step was to find a way to power on each switch with Google Assistant since we were gifted a Google Home Mini and use Android devices. After considering IFTTT, which I’d mucked around with a bit before, I stumbled upon another open source project called Home Assistant. After some mind-melting hours trying to figure out MQTT, I was able to get Mosquitto working, and the device was finally chattering away with my Docker instance of Home Assistant.

The last bit was getting Home Assistant to talk to Google, which was surprisingly straightforward.

Anyway, that was a lot of boring work to turn some lamps on and off so I bought another and did it in the living room too. I didn’t know much of anything about any of the above, and it was a honking annoyance so if you find yourself on a similar road and have any questions feel free to ask.

Before I forget, I wrote a small web app a month ago? to check the CVS vaccination website, and email me when there was availability so I could schedule my parents. Their systems were understandably a bit of a clusterfuck, but the app ended up working. I’ll github the code at some point and maybe do a little write-up.