Since August of last year I have had a Ring Pro Doorbell which I bought from Amazon, (Ring are in fact owned by Amazon), - And currently this is priced at about £200, but with Amazon it always seems to pay to watch an item for a while and wait for price fluctuations. I say this because I managed to get this for about £60 cheaper - it always pays to be a little price savvy. There are also other models available, but the Pro was the only one that would fit where I wanted it.

It was easy to install, and if you do need assistance there are loads of helpful guides on YouTube that will help you with the process.

Obviously the main selling point is house security and being able to remotely answer the door, but I do like a gadget that has an API available. So currently I'm working on a Windows application that will automatically download the video files from the Ring website. There is a small fee payable to view your videos in the cloud, but depending on the subscription you have paid, Ring will only keep that video for about 30 days, and then it disappears. Prior to the point you can download this on your mobile device, but it's a completely manual process for each video.

Personally I'd like to have the videos in perpetuity, or at least until I decide that it is no longer needed, so using my C# capabilities and Koen Zomers Ring API which I found on GitHub at, I will be creating an appropriate tool. I did spot a small issue in the API last year, but Koen was very responsive and has fixed the issue.

I've fleshed out a basic program that I'm currently testing out and will probably publish it for others to use at some stage, but what features would you like to see? Please get in contact and let me know what you think, and who knows I may incorporate your ideas.

In October of 2015 I released my Electricity OWL Intuition-E Monitor program, and have done a few updates since. However I no longer use the program myself, and won't be maintaining the code so I have decided to end of life the program. I will allow it to be downloaded until the end of January 2017, but after that I will remove it from the site.

There have been a steady number of downloads, and I may consider releasing the code on GitHub if anybody thinks it's of interest.

Instead of using that program I now run Domoticz with a RFXTRX unit and that records the daily electricity usage, and can trigger events if needed. Hopefully I'll find a moment soon to write up some thoughts on that system.

But in the meantime, it's time to say goodbye to my monitor program. 😢

I've updated my Electricity OWL Inuition-E Monitor to version 1.4.

I say "I", but I was contacted by a chap by the name of Nick Wallbridge who had also been looking in to the Electricity OWL. As it turned out Nick is a developer in his own right and had some great ideas about what to add to the monitor program. So I gave him access to the code and he has very kindly added some alerts to the existing IFTTT maker capabilities of the program. I really appreciate the time and intellectual contribution that Nick gave to me to add these extra capabilities.

So I'm a big fan of IoT, (Internet of Things), and over the last couple of years have done various things to my house to enhance my living environment. The main things been introduction of Tado controls to the central heating and hot water system so I can control that remotely and the addition of a few Belkin WeMo electrical sockets and their movement sensor. I have also added a LIFX wireless bulb for the front of the house that is remotely controllable.

The big advantage of most of these things is that they can be connected together using the IFTTT service so there's a certain amount of logic that can be controlled when each device is used.

However the biggest problem with the whole IOT environment currently is that there is no universal "glue". A certain amount of things can be done outside the appointed IFTTT channels by using their maker channel which sends a web hook off into the cloud and you can invoke another service, just by using this more freehand way of doing stuff. However the big issue is that currently there is no central home hub that somehow pulls all of the stuff together. If there is an API available, with a number of these devices I have also created proprietary Windows apps in C# to make them do stuff that is of more use to me.

A few weeks ago I introduced my Electricity OWL Intuition-E Monitor program, and it looks like I'm getting a few downloads, but interestingly no feedback yet.

I've now updated the program to v1.1 which has the following enhancements:-


  • adds the ability to save an image of the energy usage chart via the click of a button
  • adds the ability to save an image of the energy usage chart at the end of the day before reset
  • adds a energy usage summary report that is saved at the end of the day

The update can be downloaded from here.

Please let me know what you think and suggest enhancements. I'm currently contemplating turning it in to a Windows 10 universal app so I can add it to the Windows Store, but then it won't run on Windows 7 or 8 - is this a problem.

Use the contact form on this site or use twitter (@quiggles) to let me know your thoughts.

Like most households with teenagers I seem to spend half my life going round the house turning off lights and various consumer devices when my kids have abandoned a room... So I decided to get an electricity monitor so that at any moment in time I can see the stress on our electricity monitor without the bother of actually watching the meter dial spin it's way of it's axis!

I decided to get the OWL Intuition-E monitor as you could see the current electricity usage on an iPhone & Android app, on the web and if you were so inclined they have an API available. On the web site you can get an overview of your daily electricity usage with a report that looks like this sample. Also from the website you can download historical usage date in CSV format so you can analyse it in your preferred spreadsheet software.

Microsoft have released Hyperlapse for Windows, Windows Phone and Android, which is a really cool way to make smooth time lapse videos from original videos you shoot on your mobile phone and cameras like GoPros and your drones!

A hyperlapse is to all intents and purposes a video that has been sped up and smoothed out. So if you record a video whilst cycling, skating, sking, driving a car, or pretty much during any other activity and then use software to speed it up, you will get a bumpy difficult to watch video. Hyperlapse smooths out the bumps using software-based video stabilization technology from Microsoft Research.

As we all know Windows 10 is mooted for release later in 2015, probably with the initial desktop releases in about July, and other variants following later in the year.

One version of Windows 10 that is causing a degree of excitement is the Raspberry Pi variant. This will be a very much cut down version of the OS and is not intended to be a desktop alternative, rather more a cut down version to power IoT* type solutions.

Recently I took delivery of a Microsoft Band in order to improve my fitness and lose weight and so far so good! I'll probably do a more in depth write up when I have had a chance to really get to know the device.

You can alter the devices settings through the associated app on your phone, but they don't seem to have publicised the Windows app. Interestingly this is a desktop download rather than a "modern" app, but I think is a pre-cursor to Windows 10 apps being universal.

You can download the app at

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