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Z-Wave Project – Day 1

I installed two Linear WD500Z-1 Wall Mounted Dimmers this morning.  You need a lot of space because of the extra wires and wire nuts involved.  You also have to remove the tabs that would overlap in the 2 gang box.  These tabs are apparently heat-sinks, so that reduces the max watts supported from 500W down to 400W.  Still, I got them to fit and they work perfectly.

Now I want to control them remotely, which is why I bought them in the first place.  I am using a hand-held controller, the Intermatic HA07.  It was easy to setup the controller, but the trick was getting the Linear dimmers to be included into the network.   To make the Linear WD500Z-1 dimmer listen to the remote, first Delete the dimmer from the network by pressing delete on your controller and tapping up on the dimmer twice.  Tapping up twice is the most important step that was not obvious from the Linear documentation.  Next to include the dimmer in the network, press Include on the controller and tap the dimmer up twice.

Next I need to assign channels, lighting levels, and program the timer.  Should be easy 🙂


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The Hardest Part about Blogging

For me, keeping up with a blog is not a problem.  I constantly find myself wanting to write about one thing or another.  No, the thing I find most difficult about blogging is just using the blogging tools.  It is a pain to remember my password, remember to tag things properly, remember to check through user registrations (98% of which are spam), and if that’s not all, it finally comes down to time.  So, I apologize to those of you who visit my blog often, I have not been updating the site as often as anyone should reasonably expect.  I’ll start looking for a better way, if I have time.

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PS4 cannot play 3D movies (No Wait, Now it CAN!)

Update!  It would seem as of firmware v1.75 the PS4 can play 3d movies.  I have yet to have time to try it, so hopefully it works and is amazing!

I needed a blu-ray disc player for my PT-AE8000U projector.  I was using a PS3 that I had moved from downstairs and thought that I would buy the new Playstation 4 for the theater room.  News Flash. As of System Software Update 1.62 the PS4 is still unable to play 3D blu-ray.  That is correct, the old PS3 can but the new PS4 cannot.  Who would have guessed?

While I am at it, I must say I am disappointed with the movie playback of the PS4.  The controller L2 and R2 buttons are so easily pressed by accident that I dare not touch the controller while watching a movie.  It is also annoying that a notification pops up over the movie when the controller automatically disconnects (no this particular notification cannot be disabled).  When you want to reconnect the controller to pause the movie, it takes out the entire screen to make you select the user for the controller.

Don’t buy a PS4 to watch blu-rays, not right now.  As of March 19 2014 the XBox One doesn’t play 3D blu-ray either.

I recommend a PS3 🙂


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Strange Internet

Facebook is using this very strange character to tell me they are going to update.  Why the character?  Why tell me they are going to update without me having a choice to stop them?  Strange Internet.

Strange Internet Facebook Bunny?
Strange Internet Facebook Bunny?
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Quick Review PT-AE8000U

I wanted a big screen display that was at least 1080p and good for games or movies.  I also wanted to try 3D since it can be a lot of fun to watch.  The problem was that I didn’t want to have to carry a huge TV upstairs.

So I got the PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector.  Its not heavy or huge so I can move it on my own.  It was easier to carry upstairs than my 2 year old.

I was considering the Epson 5030UB because it had similar specs and looked cooler (I know, that shouldn’t matter right?).  I went with the Panasonic because it had less expensive, lighter, 3d glasses.  It had better refresh rates.  And it was on sale for $450 less than the Epson.  Granted, I had to purchase glasses separately, but because they are less expensive the whole system was still a better deal.

I am currently projecting from about 16 feet away onto a white wall with orange peal texture.  It looks amazing!  It looks so good that I am having trouble deciding if I ever want to get an actual screen.

3D works well.  The projector documentation says it can handle up to 200″ screen for 3D and all I can say is, the bigger the better!  3D needs the biggest screen you can manage to make the effect more entertaining.

My projector has one stuck blue pixel off center to the upper right.  I can only really see it when the image is completely black.  Rather than return this unit for repair, I will just live with it.  I got a 1 year extended warranty so if it starts getting worse I can get it repaired later.  In the mean time, I would rather enjoy the projector and not have to worry that it gets damaged further in shipping or that they do a poor job with the repair.

I have not bought a spare lamp.  My sales guy says I should wait a few months, then buy one and put it in immediately.  The old lamp will stay good and the new one will be sure to work as well.  I am not sure if I am going to do this.  I will periodically track lamp price and availability to make sure there is no problem sourcing a new lamp.

I am using the projector with a PS3 and a PC and have also tested with a MacBook Pro.  All 3 look perfect.  I am a happy customer.

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First time every time

I thought rsync was going to work for me, but for a time I thought maybe I was wrong.  I just needed to figured out how to make it copy new files to the server.  The trick, it turns out, is to make sure you remove the trailing slash from the source path if you want the entire directory to be transferred and not just the files and directories within.  All is well now 🙂

While checking my server, I also noticed that the MacOS X shows a blue screen of death BSOD as the preview window for PCs.  Nice.

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From Newbie to Power User in < 1 Month - Sync Files

I have not been a Mac OS X user for very long now, but I already have hit a limit with what I can do in the GUI.  It is time to open the Terminal in the Applications/Utilities.  My goal tonight is to use rsync to keep my local files and network files synchronized.  So far so good, the command is available and I found a cool tip online to drag-n-drop the folders I want to use into the terminal where their full-paths will be entered.

The command options I settled on are just -a for archive and -v for verbose.  In just a few minutes all of the files in my Documents folder were transferred to my network server.  I’ll run the command every night manually for a while to see if it keeps things working well.  If it does, I’ll find a way to schedule it.

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Downloads that Sparkle

I just downloaded an “App” from the Apple Store for the first time to my MacBook Pro.  I wanted to check on the transfer progress, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it.  Lucky for me, when I opened the Launchpad I could clearly see that my app was sparkling. (Enter sarcastic remark here).  Yep, instead of a progress bar you get sparkles around the icon.  I guess that means it is either downloading, installing, or ready, but who knows?