I have come to the conclusion that I am in need of a new home server. My combination of a HP N40L for storage, a HP Laptop for Plex and a Raspberry Pi 3 as a Home Assistant machine just isn’t working well anymore. Of course, I can’t afford to go out and buy brand new gear (for the most part). I am considering “old” LGA 1356 Intel E5-2670 Xeons (around $80 each), a motherboard to support two of them, rackmount case (new Norco RPC-5224 and probably the most expensive part of the build), new PSU, an additional SAS/SATA controller so I can use the case properly, etc. Just need to determine if I want to do Ubuntu with ZOL & root on ZFS or if I want to go with FreeBSD and a beta install of Docker. I’ll run as much as I can outside of Docker containers, but some will need to be containers. I’m also thinking of putting the server in the garage, although I have no clue how hot it gets in there in the summer which worries me. I would love to be able to run two fiber runs out there to do a connection between my current Meraki MS220-8P and my old Dell PowerConnect 2724 (LAG between them just because I can), would also give me the ability to upgrade to 10Gig at some point in the future.
I picked up a Wemo® Mini Smart Plug for my wife’s nightstand light last week. It integrates nicely with Alexa (unlike my Sensi Thermostat) and so far I’m happy with it. I’ve only had one issue with it so far that I can blame on the integration. Every once and a while, Alexa will refuse to turn it on or off until you use the Wemo app to do it. I’m thinking something gets a little out of sync between them but I do not know for sure. The bigger issue I have is my wife refuses to use it at night, she just turns the nightlight off at the bulb like she always has. Means when I get home I have to turn the light on at the bulb then tell Alexa to turn the switch off. I’m thinking of modifying the light so the switch doesn’t work, but I’m not sure I want to do that yet. But as of right now, I can recommend the Wemo® Mini Smart Plug, especially if you have an Amazon Echo of some sort.
After playing with my Echo Dots for a couple of days I really want to start replacing outlets & switches to make a full smart house. Do I need to, no. But the ability to turn a light on or off by speaking would rock. Especially in our bedroom, where I have to stumble past the bed to my wife’s side in order to turn her nightstand light on. Currently looking at just a TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini for her lamp because it only takes up one outlet. There are other options that only take up a single outlet, but I’ve read good reviews on them.