Joel Walters

A personal blog that rarely gets updated.

Entering a new home automation landscape

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In the last couple weeks, I’ve had a lot of fun with my new Home Assistant Green. I had already accumulated a plethora of smart home devices, but I had only been using Google Home and my Google Assistant (speakers and Nest Wifi APs) prior to trying out Home Assistant. Well, this device makes it super easy to get going. Just plug it in, and it starts recognizing devices. That low friction startup process paved the way to me tinkering for the past two weekends:

  • Getting my washer and dryer to notify me with text-to-speech when the cycles are done.
  • Customized motion and presence sensing automations based on the sun being below the horizon, or any number of other criteria.
  • Instantaneous push notifications on my devices with the HA app installed.
  • and more.

Well, this is just a quick post to share my enthusiasm with the world. More to come later, hopefully.

10+ Years Later — Now on Github Pages

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Well, my website survived an incredible 10+ years on, but, turns out, there’s cheaper alternatives (Github Pages).

I should really update my site more often. :D

Mailcheck for Drupal

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I am now maintaining a Drupal module, mailcheck.

Here’s a short description below. Check it out.

Get fast, client-side suggestions for mistyped email addresses.

What is it?

An integration of mailcheck.js with forms in Drupal (supports user registration, webforms)

What’s it do?

Someone enters, mailcheck asks, Did you mean

Reduces Email Bounces

Kicksend reports of a 50% decrease in sign up confirmation email bounces. Try it out on Kicksend’s join form.

A Little Refresh

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I updated my site with a few new things.

  • Updated my About page with current skills, interests, etc.
  • Updated my UW work experience
    • Added a screenshot and link to
  • Updated colors and typography! Yay. A bit cleaner.
  • Added my GitHub repos on the sidebar of the homepage. Neat.

A 12.5 Megapixel Display

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Can Windows 8 plus a pair of Nvidia Quadro 450 graphics cards really give me a 12.5 Megapixel display? It sounds too good to be true. How many pixels is too many pixels? All good questions.

I will soon be exploring the amazing realm of large-scale touch screens. Windows 8, I hope you are a good choice.