Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Smart Refrigerator with Smart Lighting

Have you got up at night and went to the refrigerator to get a drink of cold water? I just did and an idea just came to me that I have yet to see or hear about. Could I be the first to write about it? Who knows, but, here are my thoughts just now. I hate it when I open the door of the fridge early in the wee hours and the light bulb blasts my eyeballs with bright light. What if there was a dimmer control somewhere on the fridge where you could adjust that light? Maybe on the side where you could reach around and just slide your finger to a notch or two to set it before you open the door. Is this really just a crazy idea or am I on to something? Even our wine fridge has some cool looking blue LED bulbs. With all the talk about smart this and smart that, where are these smart refrigerators? We are seeing smart cars on the road now. I think smart refrigerators are next. But, will there be all the smarts in them that we want. That's the question. I want a black glass display panel that senses a person walking up to the door and it slowly light up. Or, quickly lights up. This could be an option in the preferences settings. You could set it for any color or clear. Temperature controls would be on the display of course with it always giving you the current temperature. A wi-fi or wired connection would give your pc the ability to see a temperature graph over days, weeks, months and years. Haven't you always wanted to see that? No, I never thought of it either until now. Thinking about all of this just makes my mind wander even more about the many smart appliances that we could see in the future. All interacting with your home network and logging everything that goes on in your household. Imageine waking up and going over to your wall size touch screen and looking over the previous days activiites and the current hour status of the house. Any faults or over threshold indicator would show up as a red dot or area on the grid or map of your network. I could sure use a smart chip in my old car now. I'm always worried about the battery not starting the car each day. A wi-fi chip would send out constant signals about the condition of that battery. 5:00 AM now. I am going back to bed. I have to be up at 7:00 AM and go to my eye doctor for my exam. Leave me your comments. Smart Refrigerator

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July in America 2012!

Here's hoping for a safe and happy 4th of July today to my fellow Americans. Cook up those hot dogs and hamburgers, drink those beers and sodas, have lots of fun. I wanted to share with everyone a little fun product that the wife and I tried last night and we are excited about now. She had ordered a box of Japanese sky lanterns over a month ago and she was saving for a party. We had a friend over at our house last night so I decided it was time to try these out. I'm glad we did. It was a lot of fun. The lanterns come in individual packages in the box. We took three of them out of the box opened each one, one at a time and unfurled the flame resistant paper lantern and held it by it's top. Then, I lit the little cardboard square that is held by wires at the bottom. The cardboard is coated with a slow burning wax. In no time at all the square starts to catch fire and burn and the lantern begins to fill with hot air. After about fifteen seconds you release the lantern and watch it sit still just a foot or so above the ground until it starts to begin it's ascent skyward. It starts slow at first but then begins to pick up a little speed. It will drift one direction and then it will reverse and a wind current will take it up and on it's journey. We watched the first one just about disappear out of sight before we lit up the second and then a third one. It was fun to watch and took a little while before it just about went out of sight. We are planning on setting more on their journey tonight as we celebrate the fourth. I've found a link to where you can shop for these lanterns if you want to get some for your next event or celebration. Have fun and enjoy the fourth! Sky Lanterns

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home DVR Security Camera System by Samsung

If you want for a nice home security system for your home or business you might want to check into this. The price has come way down from year past and with a 500gb hard drive you will get two weeks of video saved to the hard drive. Anytime something happens you can search back at up to 32 times speed which is like a second a minute in searching. I find it easy to find an event. Check this out if you want a package with four cameras and 100 ft of cable for each camera included. I've had this product for over a year now and have been very happy with it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Netgear Ready NAS backup storage

I'm currently backing up my Netgear Stora data to an external hard drive at the moment. I've been using the Stora for over a year now, maybe two. I've always been one to practice backing up my hard drive and other data files since losing a hard drive some two decades ago. The thing is, today there is a product for everyone, for pc or mac too. Once you get in the habit of dragging and dropping your files, photos or whole directories, you begin to have this feel of confidence. Confidence in knowing that if you ever have a problem with a hard drive you have nothing to fear. Data backup is a whole different study I would say. There is a learning curve involved in knowing what does what and why. I first started out using a backup software to make complete images of the desktop hard drive. There were several to chose from so I picked one that seemed like it was user friendly. It was and it works great. Acronis 10 was the software of choice. But, this post it not about Acronis. Back to the Netgear Ready NAS device. I have done my research on Netgear's website this morning and I now have my eyes set on a new box. It is the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 4 (4-bay, diskless) Network Attached Storage, latest genereation. Model RNDU4000. Amazon shows it at $512.74 at the moment. This does not include hard drives. Those will be around $125 each. I've got two new Western Digital 2tb drives sitting next to me in unsealed packages at the moment. But, my near term goal is to use them in my Stora box where I curently have 2 1tb drives. What's so special about all this you ask? The number one reason I can tell you is the drives are set up in a RAID configuration. You can Google it and read all about RAID in wikepedia but foremost is it is REDUNDANT. Meaning, if one drive would fail, you have the second that still has your data safe and sound. You replace the failed drive and the good running drive will copy over everything to the new drive and you will once again have a duplex or redundant data backup box. The reason I am upgrading the storage or doubling to 2tb is I am now needing some place to hold video files. I've been shooting quite a bit of video lately and the desktop will not hold everything with it's 1tb drive. So, the idea now is to store the video there and clear off the desktop drive of all video. I'll only drag over a video file as I am about to edit one. Businesses need to contemplate a backup device in their plans. There is nothing more frustrating than losing all your customer data you've typed into the system for years and then one day you open the business and the hard drive won't boot. Think about that for a minute. I wanted to update this post to include an idea I thought about they may interest you. If you have Verizon FIOS at home and want to expand your video storage you can add an external hard drive. I have added a 1tb drive about six months ago and it's been working great with a lot of capacity left on it. What came to my mind after writing this original post was, what if you put one of these RAID storage boxes on the dvr? That way you would never lose your video. Unless of course the box electronics would fail but you'd still have the hard drives that you could put into another box or a repaired one. I haven't heard of anyone having a failed box yet though. I guess you can never be sure of not losing anything, ever. All you can do is try to make the odds more in your favor. I am sure I will be writing about trying this one day in the near future and then I will let you know how it goes.