Star Wars – Last Jedi…A lost hope to me :(

Like any Star Wars fan I eagerly await any new Star Wars release but I’m totally disappointed in the new story line and characters. I feel the story line in the latest two instalments are just rehashed cut down versions of the original trilogy with D class actors and characters.

In the original Star Wars you had the rebellious streak of Hans Solo paired with the brilliant Harrison Ford and other characters and a unique story line that complimented it so well…Disney have proper fucked this and turned it into a cheap bratpack movie… Poe is really terrible in this one, all his ‘rebellious’ decisions we’re laughable and all could be cut from the movie and it wouldn’t make a difference at all to the story line! And for them all to smile at the end and say how much they like him…What a load of Disney shite!

Spoiler alert – What a waste of time all of the First Order’s ships coming and only one of them actually firing or putting up any form of defence…

Luke Skywalker not actually fighting – Another waste of time, Kylo and the others don’t use half of the force that Obi Wan and others have used previously. Would be totally over powered just by the knowledge of the force. What an anti climax

Right the other characters:

Kylo Ren – Hardly worth mentioning the same breath as a ‘Vader’ doesn’t scare anyone… looks like a ratty version of that dodgy professor from Harry Potter Hans Gruber

Ray – A shit Keira Knightly and she’s even shit…Walks like she’s got 10 big rolls under her arms, idiotic story line, poor cocky acting, will fade back into the toilet bowl once her time in Star Wars is finished

Finn – Same as above, absolutely waste of time. See him as an extra drinking a pint in EastEnders in the next few years…Still thinking how great he is…

Total fail!

BT – What’s gone wrong!?!

What’s gone wrong with the world today, Why are telecoms & utility companies hell bent on ripping people off? And why do we let them get away with it?

It’s become the norm today that we go on various comparison websites looking for the cheapest deal for both our telecoms and utilities, in one sense it’s empowering that we have such tools to give us a choice but why? What ever happened to companies valuing their customers and offering them a good deal? The best deal possible in the hope of retaining them and ensuring that their loyalty continued, after all it’s their continued loyalty that keeps them in profit?

My vent is especially aimed at BT today which I’m upset by as it’s like being cheated on by your partner. I’m a big BT fan, I like the business and whilst I believe they could do more to innovate and utterly destroy their rivals, it’s OK cos I do like them…Or did! To cut a story short, I’m currently paying £58 per month for BT Infinity 2 (Unlimited up to 72mb) and a telephone call with caller display. A quick shop around and I can get PlusNet, Unlimited up to 72mb and calls for £29.99, If I was a new BT customer I’d be paying £39.99 plus a £150 reward card. I though I’ll give BT a call explain to them what I’d found and renew my contract, surely they’ll match it…I was wrong first call I was offered it at £55 per month and wouldn’t budge. So I complained, a guy called and was convinced he could find a solution and put me through the options team, all this guy was interested in was upselling me other services such as TV and mobile to bring my overall cost down…Even though I explained I wasn’t interested in anything else or being upsold other services I didn’t ask for or require…So he tried reducing my package to 52mb and not unlimited…again what I didn’t need or ask for…for £45.99 per month.

So I’m not trying to ask for the world, I was happy to pay the £39.99 per month, no reward card and stay with BT…They weren’t interested at all, so they’ve now lost me as a customer and they really didn’t care. It’s such as shame that now I’m going to join the merry go round caravan of ‘comparers’ and constantly moving provider just to find the best deal…When I had the best service, just they were too greedy and wanted to fleece their once loyal customer base.

BT – What happened to you?

MiHome – A good choice?

In my quest for a simplified automated home without multiple hubs or locked into a walled garden, I was saddened looking for a light switch or plug socket (Not adapter) that was compatible with the Amazon Echo Plus without the need for a second hub.

I found some suggestions on some dodgy Chinese websites (Wish) which I have purchased one, but I’ll review that when I’ve had chance to install it.

So I only found a handful of companies that were doing light switches and plug sockets, one which is called LightwaveRF and the other MiHome. LightwaveRF are very expensive but their switches definitely look the part and since this is just a pet project I found a sale on in Sainsbury for the MiHome gateway and 2 plugs adapters for £30 it was a bargain!

Got the hub installed it, It was a bit of a faff getting it to see the internet and registered and the app itself is really simple, not sure if it’s good or not at this point! I plugged one of the adapters in no more than 5 metres from the router and it didn’t pair, tried allsorts didn’t work. Put it in a different plug socket closer to the router and this time it paired…When reading the reviews and guides there is a suggestion it doesn’t like certain sockets and certain locations, especially if next to existing paired adapters. Which is a bit of a twat especially if you’ve gone through the effort of doing your entire house, I’m assuming they are suggesting you turn everything off in your house whilst you pair a new device…MMM NO!

Paired it to my Alexa and Echo Plus quite easily, it added nicely into the Alexa Smart home app and quite easy on the MiHome app itself…Here’s where the problems come. So it’s all in my apps and I’m quite impressed with myself so far, A few voice commands and it works, it’s turning my TV on and off…Get a bit cocky and show the other half…it’s now not working. Nothing is working voice and either app. So restart the gateway…It’s working again. Unfortunately this is a common occurrence and it constantly needs restarting and the latency sometimes is more than 30 seconds. Really poor and really unstable, Not sure if I’ll be investing in anymore of the MiHome kit.

Does anyone have any experiences on the LightwaveRF kit ?

Philips Hue Dimmer Switch

Hello!

Continuing on my lighting home automation project, I’m now left with a handful of smart bulbs only I am utilising correctly…Now how to get the house involved or not.

After researching options, I found either I had to replace the light switch itself (See my next blog!) or some clever people with 3D printers have created a cradle of sorts for the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch

I found two types of covers both with their pros and cons, Out of this I probably prefer the larger one simply because the Dimmer switch itself sits more securely in there.

Option 1 – Philips Hue Dimmer cover / adapter 

So here’s the cover, really simply and goes over your existing light switch really well.  Got to say it’s fine just probably needs stronger magnets to the actual switch in place better

Option 2 – Philips Hue Dimmer cover for the entire cradle

This cover came and this one is different as this one takes the entire Philips Hue Cradle and not the switch, whilst it’s a lot larger and bulkier it does hold the switch perfectly.

My next blog is on actual switch replacements

Philips Hue Bulbs

Hello!

Having recently bought an Amazon Echo Plus primarily for use as a smart speaker, not an AI assistant or a centre piece to home automation, simply as a speaker.

A bulb failed at home and I thought out of curiosity that I’ll replace it with the Philips Hue Bulb that came free with my Echo Plus. First impressions was that it was a warm colour rather than the bright white colour I’m assumed to.

Quickly went to the Amazon Alexa App and searched for a new device, was quite surprised when it came up straight away, I renamed it and added it to my living room group. Through it the app it works flawlessly was really impressed! The voice commands for make it dim or brighter are a bit clunky and I’m still not really sure what to say! But a simple on and off works well.

Rather impressed by this I decided to purchase another 2 bulb from Philips Hue and also 2 lamp bulbs from Innr, with the intention of adding these to my bedroom and landing upstairs. Here’s where it becomes interesting

Innr – I couldn’t get them to pair or to be seen by the Echo so I ended up sending them back

Philip Hue – Paired lovely to the Echo as previously really simple

The dilemma now comes with the mechanics of using these…If you are the only one in the household willing to make voice commands or use the smart app then you are in trouble…The light switch always has to be ‘ON’ if it’s not you cannot control your smart bulb, so what’s quite annoying is that your wife walks past presses the switch leaving me the home automation superstar the only option to get up put the switch back to on and then dim it…Obviously this doesn’t work. See my next post on my next adventure

Our first post

Well welcome to our blog! Here we will be talking about anything that crops up that we find of interest!

Based in West Yorkshire, With small families living every day normal lives!

Enjoy eating, drinking (Obviously), travelling and technology! I think there will be a bit of content about babies and our experiences with our young families!

Please also contribute and comment!