HomeAssistant - Turning off the lights when nobody is home

    Some notes on Home Assistant groups - ‘people’ groups are apparently now ‘old style groups’ and are legacy, so here is how i figured out to use zones to achieve the same thing. These are useful to create a ‘home’ entity that can be used to turn off lights and smart plugs when everyone leaves the house. You’ll need to assign each user in your home assistant install a device, so we know their current location.

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    Samsung TV - Hospitality Mode

    Yet another post in my series of ‘if I don’t document it, I will forget how to do this again in 2 years time! To access the Hospitality Mode of Samsung TVs, press the following buttons in order: Mute 1 1 9 Enter This mode lets you set fun options like automatically turning on the TV when it receives power (like they do in hotel rooms!) which works nicely with a smart plug.

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    Home Assistant - Rising/Falling Temperature Indicator

    Another post in my series of ‘if I don’t document it, I will forget how to do this again in 2 years time! I recently wanted a visual indicator as to whether the temperature in our home was rising and falling. This is possible with Home Assistant but the configuration is a bit cumbersome (like most of Home Assistant, honestly…) To start with, take note of the names of the temperature sensors you want to create Rising/Falling entities for.

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    Monitor/Listen to Capture Card input on linux

    In Windows, this was really easy. You would just tick ‘Listen to this device’ in device properties , you’d be away and listening to your USB Capture Card audio. I do this quite a lot as my monitor doesn’t have speakers, and I like to listen to various other things whilst I am playing my Switch. As with most things in Linux, it’s easy when you know how…. These instructions should work for any distro that uses Pulse Audio.

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    Access the old Sound control panel on Windows 11

    This will give you access to the older sound control panel screens. I needed this as I was trying to access the ‘Listen’ mode on a capture card/line in device, and couldn’t find any other way of doing this in Windows 11. To access the old ‘Sound’ control panel screen in Windows 11: Enter the following: “rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,0” You can now access the Recording Tab, and set listen mode on your Capture Card.

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    '"This is above your Restrictions" Error on PC Gamepass'

    This is above [GamerTag]’s Restrictions Error. This started occuring to me after I’d uploaded to Windows 11. I was unable to download Fallout 4 from PC Gamepass,as apparently my account had content restrictions applied. The easy way I fixed this was to sign out of the Xbox app, and sign back in. Once I did this, I was able to download Fallout 4 without further issue.

    How to make Discord actually display your Xbox Live status

    I’ve been unable to make the Discord / Xbox Live integration work since I got my Xbox earlier in the year. I tried unlinking, re-linking, and nothing worked. I gave up for a while but managed to get it working this week. Here is how to get your discord account to show your Xbox live status. On the Xbox: Unlink Discord in Settings>Account>Linked Social Accounts if you already have it linked.

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    Todoman Reminder Sync for Fastmail

    How to configure calendar sync on Linux (tested on Ubuntu 20.04) for Fastmail using vdirsync and todoman. This lets me use the same todo list between my linux desktop, and iOS mobile devices (using the built in stock reminders app) Vdirsyncer Config I am using vdirsyncer to connect to Fastmail’s servers and before the synchronisation. status_path = "~/.vdirsyncer/status/" [pair fastmail] a = "local" b = "cal" collections = ["from a", "from b"] [storage cal] type = "caldav" url = "https://caldav.

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    Writing a py3bar module to display MQTT temperature data

    I recently started using the i3 Window manager and have swapped the bar from the standard bar to py3bar as it is easily extendible using python scripts and is also fully compatible with your existing i3bar configuration. You can swap to it with one change of your i3config and it will just work. The i3 status bar is a great place to show useful information and I thought it would be handy to show the temperature of my living room which is stored in MQTT at Adafruit.

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    Sync Joplin with Fastmail Files

    How to setup Joplin Synchronisation using Fastmail Files (WebDAV) Synchronisation target: WebDAV Webdav URL: myfiles.fastmail.com{directory in fastmail files you want to save your notes in} WebDAV User: fastmail username WebDAV Password: Application Specific Password for Files {:class=“img-fluid” :alt=“Joplin Fastmail Settings”} Joplin Fastmail Settings {:.image-caption}

    Setup a VPN using Zerotier and a Raspberry Pi

    This post aims to document a project that I setup and use every day. It is primarily to help me in the future when I want to set it up again! I hope you find it useful for your own projects. I run a Pihole ad blocker on my home network, and it is great. It blocks a ton of crap at the network level including ads, telemetry and other nasties.

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    InfluxDB to Exist.io - Logging Gaming Time

    Getting as much data into Exist as I can is important to me. So far this year I’ve built integrations for… Gaming Time Pages Read (via iOS Shortcuts) Money Spent (using the Monzo API) This post details how I am tracking gaming time. I found a method around Christmas 2019 that lets you retrieve accurate playtime from your Nintendo Switch via the parental controls app/feature. This was cool, but I don’t always play things on my Switch, so we had to go deeper!

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    Python 3 SimpleHTTPServer

    In Python3, use python3 -m http.server to get the same thing as SimpleHTTPServer in Python 2.x.

    Logging pages read to Exist.io via Shortcuts

    I was messing around with the Exist.IO API over the weekend to see what I could build. I noticed that there was a ‘Pages read’ attribute that I could post to. Perfect! I then wondered how easily I could build an iOS app that would let me submit that each day (Spoiler: quite a lot of work) however, I remembered that Shortcuts was a thing and decided to see if it was possible to use a shortcut to post to an API.

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    Bootstrap 4 - New Blog Theme

    I decided last week that I really wanted a card based theme for my blog. After all, cards are cool. After spending a few hours messing around with existing themes, and trying to customise them to my vision for what I wanted… someone at my local hackspace suggested I took a look at Bootstrap when I couldn’t get them to generate valid HTML properly. This was cool because I got to learn something new (see 2019 goals!

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    Migrating Pelican blog posts to Jekyll

    Pelican and Jekyll both use markdown formatting for their posts, but their post metadata (front matter in Jekyll parlance) formatting is slightly different. I have over 150 posts to migrate, so started looking for a few ways to make this process easier. Jekyll metadata needs to be surrounded by two lines containing three dashes ---. This is easily achieved with the use of sed. To add the line to very top of the file, use the following sed command.

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    Time Tracking with Tasker (Driving & Sleep Time)

    I listen to the podcast Cortex when I’m driving, and they got me interesting in looking up time tracking and how maybe this would benefit me. I already use Rescuetime with Exist as a measure of sleep, productivity, social media posts, and other things that correlate to these like the weather, the length of the day, and more. It’s pretty neat and I look at it several times a week.

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    Removing Duplicate Scrobbles on Last.fm

    So, my last.fm account/spotify went mental last week and logged a single song 1000 times in a row. Since Last.fm is currently in the throes of dying and removing every last useful feature from their site, I was wondering how I could fix this. Well, sk22 on Github has provided a handy piece of javascript that works perfectly. Simply navigate to the page and enter the script into your address bar (or add it to a bookmark on the bookmark bar) and enjoy your duplicate free library!

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    Life Tracking with Exist

    I’ve built up quite a collection of health and fitness apps over the last few years. MyFitnessPal (MFP) tracks my eating habits, Withings tracks my weight, my Apple Watch monitors my heart rate & my activities. {:class=“img-fluid”} All that data! So many apps to view it all. Well, not really. Thanks to Apple Health and everything starting to talk to each other, all these disparate services can share their wealth of data with each other.

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    Raspberry Pi Spotify Jukebox

    Goal: To create a simple to use office based music jukebox that everyone can use and no-one can take overall control of. It needs to be clear, simple, and intuitive. It should be reliable, and not require manual intervention. Materials Raspberry Pi (I used a 3, probably could have used an older model) Speaker with aux-in (Could use Bluetooth, but to keep things simple I didn’t) Aux cable Software

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