September 24th, 2020

children of dune - leto 1

coding and education in home automation aka learning home assistant

I am taking a month off social media--by that I mean tumblr and twitter--to see if that helps calm me down. I'm officially bored with anxiety; I didn't know it was possible to experience both together, but here we are.

In the last few weeks;
1.) learned new exercises for PT.
2.) installed Home Assistant on my Pi, which is something like SmartThings hub but like, so fucking much cooler and better and more awesome.

After problems with SmartThings meant I de-integrated everything that wasn't z-wave or zigbee. SmartThings went to a new standard and also new app and lost functionality, so it was no longer fun; all my scripts were being killed and all the ones from the community were dying. However, it's still an exemplary z-wave and zigbee hub, so it could be used for that (a z-wave stick is about the same price as a SmartThings hub and that's without zigbee), so I finally sat down with my Pi and installed Home Assistant.

It's about a thousand times better than SmartThings. For one, it's web based, not app based, so the web components are both not an afterthought and also exist; for another it uses Javascript but mostly Python and YAML, and I've really been wanting to learn those two.

I will do an entry on this eventually because holy shit, this is fun.


3.) Did my first fork and pull on github to bug fix a python script. Yes, I'm finally using github as intended.
4.) Am finally learning python (and yaml). I learn by doing, which generally means I need a project to work on, specifically one that does something I really want to do and can't make work in any language I already know. Making my Sengled Color Bulbs work, as it turns out, was the trick.

When doing the integration for my Sengled bulbs into Home Assistant, the Sengled script had some problems and since python is Javacript With Indents, I went to read the script then read the developer's notes. He didn't have some of the bulbs I did, so I sent him my logs and then made some corrections to the scripts since it would be harder for him to do that part without the right bulbs to test (Sengled doesn't have a public API so he was doing it all with the app, a Sengled Hub, and watching traffic and jsons). Anyway, he invited me to submit a pull instead of sending him script bits, so I learned github while python to do the corrections. It was fun.

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