Using Z-Wave Groups vs Home Assistant Automations

I installed two Z-wave switches into my house that i wanted to be synchronized, turn on one light switch, have the other turn on too, and vice versa. I first created a home assistant automation that worked using Z-Wave JS to MQTT, this worked but had a lag of a few seconds. I was hoping to find a way to have less latency to make everything work, so in comes Z-Wave Group Associations.

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Amazon Fire Tablet Rant

I wouldn’t normally go into this, but boy does this product tell me that I’m the product being sold here, not the tablet. Starting with purchasing the tablet, Amazon asked if I wanted my account preloaded and I am glad I said no, or else they would’ve probably subscribed me to every fee possible.

When going through the initial setup, there were multiple pages of “do you want to sign up for this monthly service for $xx/month”, each of which moved the accept and deny buttons, often swapping them from the previous page, so don’t just click quickly through or you’ll have a new monthly bill.

On top of that there was the same situation with permissions, do you want maps to be able to use your permission (oh and allow Amazon to track your permission too, can’t do one and not the other). This really liked like they saw the windows 10 and Google privacy settings and said “we can do worse, much worse”.

One final insult Amazon gave us through this tablet is how it handles its lock screen ads, when the tablet is asleep. It will wake up the screen to play ads, this is just…. one great big slap to the face. Pros: cheap, Cons: Software, now to work on rooting and installing lineage OS, if its possible.

The Side Effects of RAM Issues

I have been fighting failing parity checks for a few months now on my unraid server. I looked into each disk, checked smart stats and even thought I had found the culprit hard drive that was causing the issues. I still had it in my array but with no data on it just in case. This all happened just before another set of problems arose. The VMs on my server started acting up, crashing, and eventually when logging into one VM, everything crashed due to memory problems. I ran memtest and discovered that one of my RAM sticks was at issue, and from there determined that it simply wasn’t seated properly. After reseating the RAM, everything started working properly again. Parity checks come back clean, no more kernel panics, and the VMs are running stably. One partially unseated RAM stick caused all those issues.

Docker Struggles

I was originally excited when docker was going to be included in the next release of unraid, the concept behind it was solid and sounded like it would make management of my server easier. This was the case for months before docker started acting up. Now I’ve been working on a way to remove any need of docker on my NAS, moving it to a VM or another server due to its instabilities. Issues I’ve run into include it not being able to stop running containers, start stopped containers, create new containers, and preventing Linux from shutting down. I could live with all of the above except the shutdown bug. It doesn’t just prevent shutdown from running, but it prevents the kernel from shutting down at all, and well after the user shells are all offline, so there’s no way to manually kill docker to allow the system to shut down safely. This is exceptionally frustrating and has caused unclean shutdowns when I’ve lost power and even when I’m just doing maintenance, since the only way to restart when docker does this is to do a hard reset. I’m not giving up hope on containers, just going to be a bit more careful around docker, they seem to advertise quite well compared to issues people have had with their software.