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Jessamyn has some great notes on

2015-01-27 17:20:05.174357+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Jessamyn has some great notes on unraveling systems after her dad died: https://medium.com/message/deathhacks-b767903b7c15

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Jessamyn has some great notes on made: 2015-01-27 20:37:28.689523+00 by: Dan Lyke

MeFi thread.

I think there are some interesting bits in that article about common vs custom interfaces, and there's some interesting thinking on automation there: What if my house is like my ~/.emacs.d/init.el?

#Comment Re: Jessamyn has some great notes on made: 2015-01-28 02:45:18.151743+00 by: jessamyn

Glad you liked it. It was a little touchy to write something that everyone would be okay with but that also made the whole thing somewhat amusing (which it was). Went through a lot of "Hey is this okay?" emails with my family beforehand.

#Comment Re: Jessamyn has some great notes on made: 2015-01-28 17:21:31.128077+00 by: Larry Burton

The X10 stuff can drive anyone batty who hasn't really bought into it in the first place. I started playing with it around fifteen years ago and it frustrated my wife something awful. She couldn't figure out any of the scheme of how it was to operate. One day she stepped into the kitchen and flipped the overhead light on. It didn't come on. She stood there flipping the light on and off about a dozen time shouting at me, "What have you done to this light?" The bulb was burned out.

#Comment Re: Jessamyn has some great notes on made: 2015-01-28 18:11:51.124109+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm thinking about the phantom dust collector in the basement. Often dust collectors are wired up to go on when some other circuit turns on, and wondering if something X10 got plugged into that other circuit and there's a side effect of that.

But mostly I'm thinking about how so much building code is about protecting future inhabitants of buildings. How careful I've been to, for instance, make sure that I've got shared neutral breakers clearly marked.

And we've already got some usability issues that need solving: The hot water recirculator buttons are non-intuitive to guests. The bathroom switch plate has 3 switches, one of which is 3 position, and a timer knob. Labels only go so far.

Really, this is a great example of features and technology vs adoption, and why those of us so far out on the bleeding edge have trouble teaching other people how to use computers: We have tailored our environments to do symbiotic magic, in a way that changes us as much as the technology. When people who haven't evolved with that technology come into the same environment, it's awkward...

#Comment Re: Jessamyn has some great notes on made: 2015-01-29 23:30:49.830853+00 by: jessamyn

That symbiotic magic thing is so right. People ask me "Can the computer do this?" and the answer is "Well, sort of, but you have to really massage it into doing it..." So I'll often say "Well I could make it do that after some work but it's not simple to make it do that, no."

#Comment Re: Jessamyn has some great notes on made: 2015-01-30 21:15:34.081201+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I've had to pull back from a few Ask.MeFi questions recently. One where I'd solved the exact same problem, managing and tracking volunteers for an event, using a combination of funky email client and Perl scripts. It was easy for me...