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Extending Our Whole House Audio To The Back Yard

audio-trioLike many people we have a wooden deck at the back of the house into the back yard. It has long been my intent to extend our ability to play music to the back yard, but it has only recently com to pass. It’s essentially the next step in my long standing plans to deploy Whole House Audio, a project that recalls some of the earliest posts to this site.

As I described so long ago, we love our Logitech Squeezeboxes. They still form the basis of how we play music around here, even though Logitech has abandoned the product line. In fact, when my one Squeezebox Touch died I was inspired to purchase another Squeezebox 3 on E-bay, just to have a spare.

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Staying Frosty Through A Texas Summer

Nexus4-HighTemperature.pngSome time ago I characterized a high quality coffee machine as essential equipment for home office dweller. That remains true, but given the last four weeks straight of 90+ degree days, culminating in a daytime high of 107 F (!) last weekend, I’m revising my stance to nominate the air conditioner as technological king of this hill.

When my wife and I bought this property some dozen years ago we were specifically looking for a home with a garage apartment that I could adapt into a home office. The one bedroom, ground floor, garage apartment here seemed the perfect candidate.

In general, my home office has served me well. In fact, I’m truly blessed to have such a space. Even so, over time I’ve made some changes to enhance my productivity, including replacing the air conditioner…twice!

The path by which I can to have the current air conditioner was not simple. Along the way I have learned a few lessons. Since the major purpose of this site is to share such experience I thought it about time that I addressed the matter of keeping my cool.

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Oh, Yeah: DIY Room Systems!

DIY-Room-System-200pxPrognosticator extraordinaire Dave Michels recently post some observations of things he saw at InfoComm. In so doing I think that he may have coined a new buzz-phrase, “DIY Room Systems.” I must admit that I am smitten with the concept.

For those not versed in enterprise video conference jargon a “room system” is a video conference end-point of the sort that might be found in a meeting room. That covers a broad swath of territory, basically everything between desktop video conference clients and telepresence suites.

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Augmenting An Ultrabook

Lenovo X1 Carbon and Docking StationWay back in January when I bought a Lenovo X1 Carbon (X1C) I was a bone fide corporate road warrior. The decision to move into an ultrabook was motivated largely by the desire to have less to carry.

More recently I’ve transitioned into a more stay-in-the-home-office role. Sooooo, I’m not carrying things around very much…but I am living with some of the compromises entailed by the ultrabook class of device. All of this has me wondered when it’s ok to spend a bit more to augment the X1C vs going in another direction entirely?

Allow me to share some of the things that have come to light about the X1C. These are not so much defects as practical realities attached to the ultrabook form factor. For example, there aren’t very many ports. To be more specific, there’s one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port and a displayport.

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