automation

HomePod Multi-room Control

The rough edges of HomeKit, Siri, and iOS show themselves a lot more now that I have multiple HomePods in the house. I have a strong suspicion that the teams behind these products aren’t designing them for a fully integrated and automated home. Let’s just take the case of HomePod control. I can use a voice command to tell the HomePod to play on either of my HomePods. I can tell it to play in multiple rooms.

Troubleshooting a Stubborn Hue Hub

Now that I’ve added a HomePod I’m finally getting around to configuring HomeKit with all of my devices. One Hue Bridge was no sweat but I have a second Bridge at a far end of the house. This Bridge refused to associate with HomeKit. I’ve left it that way for over a year but now I want everything in HomeKit with Siri control. The root of the problem was caused by my network configuration.

Run Scripts on Your Mac from iOS Link

From Moving Electrons comes a nice tip about executing remote commands over SSH from Pythonista. It’s simple in design: Connects to the server. Executes the command passed as an argument to the script in Pythonista in the remote server (more info in the following section). Once the command is run, it disconnects from the server. Of course, this requires a remotely accessible Mac. I have some similar things I do with my hosts at Webfaction.

Auto-Mount Disks with ControlPlane

That little green airplane in my menu bar means something important. It means my Macbook thinks it’s sitting at my desk plugged into my Thunderbolt display and on Ethernet. It also means that my NAS remote disks are mounted and ready for action. Whenever I plug in my Thunderbolt display ControlPlane jumps into action and mounts my most commonly used volumes so that they are ready to go. ControlPlane is configured to watch a wide variety of hardware and software changes on your Mac.

IFTTT on iOS

I’ve been beta testing the IFTTT iOS app for the past month and it really is great. I like it better than using the web interface for managing rules. The Macstories review is pretty definitive but I’ll add one thing: The calendar view lets you see what rules have run recently and that’s nice. There’s a lot of attention to detail in this app. Tap into the preferences and you’ll notice that the view flips over with the IFTTT logo showing through as if it was etched into the front of a glass panel.

Hazel Tutorial Screencast

I’ve been meaning to highlight the Hazel tutorial over at MacOSXScreencasts.com for awhile. I wanted to make it all the way through the tutorial first. I have, and it’s worth the $13 price tag. If you are new to Hazel or consider yourself a novice at automation, this screencast is totally worth buying. By the end, you’ll feel very comfortable with using Hazel and get some nice workflow enhancements along the way.