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Upgrading My CPU and Dealing with Heat

One thing you can count on in the tech world is the need for constant change. Just when you think everything is running great, something changes that causes an avalanche. I have been running my VM server for a few years and it has been at the core of many things I do. When I […]

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Sophos XG Firewall-Part 2–Tightening Security

In my first write up on the Sophos XG Firewall, I covered my basic network setup and the configuration that I used. Now that I have had a chance to learn it better and do a bit of experimenting, I want to focus more on rules, Web Filtering, Application Filtering, Dynamic DNS, and other features […]

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Amazon Echo And Amazon Echo App For Fire OS, Android And iOs And Desktop Browser

Using the Amazon Echo with the ISY 994i

I recently purchased the Amazon Echo and have been enjoying using it on a daily basis. When they released the integration with Insteon, I was curious and hooked up an Insteon hub to experiment with it for a couple of weeks. For certain things, I found it very convenient and was surprised how well it […]

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Customer Service Lives Part One – QNAP

Typically, when it comes to consumer level items, very few companies stand firmly behind their products. Sure you can buy something and return to Amazon or Newegg but how about some real support when something goes wrong or when you experience some anomalies that you need help with. You have companies like Apple who go […]

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WD Red Drives – Replacing My Server Storage

Though I have been switching to primarily NAS units for my everyday central storage needs and have used WD Red Drives in those units, I still have one non-VM server left that I use for local backup and movie archiving. The server has been running great for many years but recently I had yet another drive […]

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QNAP TS-451–The Alternative Server

Being a devout Windows Home Server fan for many years, it has always been tough for me to find a substitute for it. I have tried numerous NAS units and have always been left extremely disappointed. Since my recent move, I have found myself reviewing my storage needs as well as my overall strategy for […]

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Audio-Video-Networking–Planning to Move

Introduction Similar to the previous two articles on Home Automation and Security Systems, part of my move was to plan all the audio-video, especially the cable drops, networking, and a central distribution location. As with home automation, this was planned in advance and had to be done prior to the wall finishes as some of […]

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SimpliSafe Home Security System

Introduction As the next logical step in setting up my home tech now that I had installed the basics for my home automation, was to add a home security system to protect the property as well as the contents. Though I live in one of the safer neighborhoods in Southern California, no one is excluded […]

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Home Automation-Planning to Move

Planning Your Home Automation and Home Control Earlier this year I set out to purchase a home and move from my existing townhouse, to a larger home to make room for my new family. As part of the process of moving, I wanted to plan my home automation in advance in efforts to simplify the […]

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Sonos-Whole Home Streaming

I have always been intrigued by Sonos for a couple of reasons.  One was the claims of perfectly synced audio in every room, and the other was the prospect of good sound quality from a wireless device.  Being a bit picky with audio quality I was certainly skeptical, especially with the new small stand alone […]

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Moving from WHS 2011 to Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2

Migrating from one server version to another is not a trivial task as there are typically no easy ways to simply upgrade.  For all practical purposes it is a new install with the added complication of having to deal with existing data and structures.  As always, make sure you have a backup copy of your […]

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Insteon Smoke Hub and Leak Detector

Taking the lead from Paul Braren during the BYOB show 125, I decided to pursue installing some additions to my home automation system.  My house has smoke detectors that are hardwired and as it turns out no longer work.  Armed with the knowledge that I need to replace these smoke detectors, I took Paul’s recommendation […]

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