Hacking a Fireplace

UPDATE – Read Hacking a Fireplace – Revisited for an alternative approach to this hack. I’ve been building my home automation system for years and have achieved extensive lighting, climate, entertainment, security and entry control. Never satisfied, I’m forever pondering …

TNG 9 – Sheets Mod

I’ve worked with a LOT of genealogy software applications over the years and all of them have left me, for one reason or another, unsatisfied. I started experimenting with The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding, also known as TNG, back …

UPDATED: “Hack A Day” Hack with Greasemonkey

Back in February of this year, I released a Greasemonkey Script that would modify the theme from the Hack A Day site so it was a little easier on my “old eyes”! The script works by changing CSS and HTML …

Saving Data From a Failed Laptop

As a rule, I don’t help family and friends with their computer needs! That said, I make two and ONLY two exceptions to that rule, one of which is my Mom. A couple of weeks ago, she called me complaining …

“Hack A Day” Hack with Greasemonkey

If you have regular web sites that you visit, I bet I’m safe in guessing that at least one of them has something about it that you wish was different. You know what I mean — a different background color, …

Build a Vernam Cipher

The current issue of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly has an article on cryptography that outlines the use of the Vernam Cipher (aka One-time pad) to encrypt text by hand. What makes this technique interesting is its ease of implementation, but …

Home Automation Overview

When we receive a first-time visitor to our home they ALWAYS ask about the whole-home control panel mounted in our family room. This panel allows us to control and obtain status on just about every aspect of our house from …

Learning to Ride

My little girl hit a new milestone today by learning to ride her bike! Getting here, I can honestly attest, has been a very bumpy ride (pun intended), but alas she prevailed! Let me start with a little bit of …

Troy-Bilt Pump Repair

I bought myself a gasoline power-washer last year to replace my old washer and was really pleased with its performance.  At the beginning of summer this year, I set up my new washer for my annual outdoor cleaning.  I hooked …

vi – A Man’s Best Friend

Most of my computer time is spent on my Mac inside the gorgeous OS/X GUI using the tools that are necessary for me to run my business.  Many of my side projects, however, take me back to my beloved Bash …