August Smartlock

I’ve been really happy about my August smart lock.

Living in one of the older apartment buildings in San Francisco, I have a fairly typical deadbolt lock which is supported by August. The instructions were pretty easy to read and follow. Part of the out of box experience included a 10 minute long firmware update via bluetooth, which required that my phone remain nearby. I walked away and my phone went to sleep… twice. (It would be nice to disable sleep on phone during the process). At least the app was able to resume where it left off. Installation completed smoothly.

After the install, I was able to calibrate the exact degrees which the device needs to turn to lock and unlock. It works pretty well. Though not due to any fault of August, my front door is slightly warped so that even when it’s closed, sometimes it needs a slight push in order for it to lock.

I’m controlling August with Apple HomeKit, which I use as the primary controller app. I have other smart devices at home, such as Hue lights, so whenever I arrive home, my door is unlocked and lights are on. It’s really cool.

Next Steps: Don’t have it yet, but am looking to get August Connect to get the status of my front door anywhere anytime. Right now, I do get a HomeKit notification whenever the door is locked and unlocked, so that I know of any changes if anyone tries to get in. Anyhow, perhaps that’s good enough for now.


I found the tip to get permalinks working.

In your Apache Web Server configuration httpd.conf file, make sure AllowOverride is updated with the following for your DocumentRoot directory.

# This is needed for perma-links in WordPress
# AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
AllowOverride All

When a .htaccess file is placed in the root directory for the app, it’ll get detected and executed by the Apache Web Server software. It can be used to alter the configuration of the web server to either enable or disable additional functionality.

Your .htaccess should look something like the snippet below, assuming your app is in the directory called wordpress.

#BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /wordpress/
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /wordpress/index.php [L]

# END WordPress

This will allow links to look like permanent URL as opposed to a page reference.

Trying Google Analytics

GA seems easy to install. Sign up, put their JS in a header file, and you’re up in 5 mins.

However, I realize that I made a mistake by selecting default permalink settings within WordPress. You can’t do analytics without meaningful page URLs. Mine look like:

Just terrible.

(Resetting the permalink template within WP doesn’t work completely. I’ll post again after I find a solution for changing WP permalinks to already existing pages and postings. There may need to be manual database updates, or a restart of the webserver, which I’ve tried just now… It’s getting late now. More to come.)

Winter’s End

Up in Tahoe, and it’s truly the end of the season. Skiing around spotty, dark patches of slush. Was hoping to get more time in, but I think starting next week I’ll be back in San Francisco to proactively look for a J-O-B… in earnest. Oh well, I learned to ski and made some good friends. It was a heck of a good winter…

Back from Tahoe

Another 4 fabulous days in Tahoe, and am happy with the progress from the second consecutive week of skiing. Getting really confident, which is only to say that I’ve had a fair share of tumbles down the mountain 🙂

…And yet, disappointed that my ski instructor says it’ll take many years to become an expert skier. Who has that kind of time?

Anyways, left Tahoe earlier to drive through the storm… which ended up being a good call, as chains are required right now. The snow will be great on Monday when I’m back up there.

Every time I arrive back in San Francisco, I feel nostalgic. Why leave this beautiful, wonderful city? My apartment is so soft and comfy compared to bunk beds and snoring people… And thank god for my Sonos… how I’ve missed you!

Stumped on glitches

Spent the morning trying to get rid of the jqm animation glitches that occur with page transitions in the Android browser. “Slides” seem to work fine Chrome, Safari, and Firefox… Also transitions using the backbutton works well on all browsers, but only 3 times back and forth consistently, and then it parks at the new page regardless of page id, so whether it makes sense or not, this actually appears to be a feature 🙂

I tried hiding DOM elements, and then unhiding everything after the data becomes available all at once, so there would be no data loading and bouncing all over to the next page… I have a multipage implementation. This did not resolve the glitch issue.

Anyways, a little stumped and annoyed that I’m spending so much effort on cosmetic stuff. Functionally it’s all there, perhaps that’s good enough?… Yeah, I’m a bad product manager, but dev is hard.

Overdoing it a little

So I did eventually get jquery mobile page transitions working, although it’s behaving differently on different browsers. Not a biggie, but it would be nice to have all browsers behave similarly. I’ll look into this if there is time. Rolf is going to NYC tomorrow, so I’ll wait for him to get back before we push to production.

I knew, as I begrudgingly sifted through 4000 lines of jqm source code, that I was just being stupid. There is a download builder tool, so you can specify only the components you want… <Insert palm to forehead here>.

Anyways, just got back from 4 days in Tahoe, and it was awesome fun! This trip is part of my learn how to ski quest for this year. I’m not a strong skier, but everyday I take lessons and work on those skills. I think I’m improving, but you would wince if you saw me.

In the city, I tend to have meals as a means to catch up with folks. Well, mid-week in Tahoe I was totally on my own. I’d have a power bar for lunch and eat it on the lift. What’s more pathetic than sitting in a lodge alone? Well this morning I gave my power bar away, which was fine until about 2:30, and then my hands started shaking and dizziness kicked in. I thought I was going to tumble down the mountain… All’s well now. Grabbed a bite at the lodge, and had no less than 5 meals since.

Was surprised at how much I missed the city for a few days gone by. Why am I so awake right now?