Home Assistant and Harmony Hub – the ultimate Skype Solution for the Elderly

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I’ve been trying to automate the Skype Solution for the Elderly  that I’ve been building for my elderly mother who has Alzheimers. I want to be able to call her from my own home using Skype and a Mini PC installed in her house will automatically answer the call and switch my mother’s television to the correct HDMI input so that she can see and hear me. Continue reading “Home Assistant and Harmony Hub – the ultimate Skype Solution for the Elderly”

Automating Skype for the Elderly using Harmony Hub and IFTTT

I recently wrote a post about a trial to automate the Skype Solution for the Elderly that I was building. My aim was to find a solution that enabled a person to make a Skype call to an elderly relative and remotely control their television to play the audio and display the video. The trial was very successful and worked brilliantly for me with my mother who has Alzheimers. However,   Continue reading “Automating Skype for the Elderly using Harmony Hub and IFTTT”

Is now the time to upgrade your television to Ultra HD 4K?

I’ve just been forced to replace a 5 ½ year old 40″ Samsung LED Smart TV as it had decided not to work any longer.  Should I upgrade to Ultra HD 4K? I hadn’t planned on upgrading it yet, as I had expected it to provide a few more years of excellent service. Even though the picture seemed to be as good as it was on the day that I first owned it, it wouldn’t boot up! Continue reading “Is now the time to upgrade your television to Ultra HD 4K?”

My Smart Home – Smart Heating Control

Smart Heating Controls

I’ve been gradually adding smart technology to our home over the last few years. This has been driven mainly by a desire to improve the comfort and security of its occupants. However, I’ve also managed to reduce the gas and electricity bills in the process. This is my first post describing the smart home technologies I have implemented so far and focuses on Smart Heating Control. Continue reading “My Smart Home – Smart Heating Control”

Using Powerline Networking to Optimise Home Broadband and WiFi Performance

I recently switched my broadband supplier from Sky Fibre to BT Infinity 1. I now get 51Mbps downloads coming into the house and 10Mbps upstream. As BT streams its premium TV channels over the internet, I decided to do everything possible to make sure the maximum download speed is available to every device in the house. I would also like to be well positioned to take advantage of 4K (Ultra HD) broadcasts when I upgrade my television equipment. Continue reading “Using Powerline Networking to Optimise Home Broadband and WiFi Performance”

Syncing iCloud Mail, Calendar and Contacts on Android using Outlook

I was recently asked to help solve a problem of printing web browser-based email from an iPad when I stumbled over what must be a common problem for a lot people. That is keeping emails, contacts and calendars in sync between Windows, iOS and Android devices.  I was also surprised to find that Microsoft Outlook provided a really elegant solution to  the problem of accessing  Apple iCloud Mail, Calendar and Contacts on a Samsung Galaxy S6 running Android 6.0.1. Continue reading “Syncing iCloud Mail, Calendar and Contacts on Android using Outlook”

A New Venture – Technical Handyman Services

I have decided that now is the right time to have a change of pace and run my own ethical business, the Technical Handyman, to serve others. After a couple of health scares in the last 18 months, I’ve come out the other side and feel a lot fitter and healthier. I’m now ready for a new challenge and to help others with their technical challenges. Continue reading “A New Venture – Technical Handyman Services”