Apartment Automation Adventures Pt 2

01 July 2015

Installed the in-wall Z-Wave switch for my bedroom lights today. It's this little device that sits behind the light switch in the junction box and allows you to turn any light switch into a Z-Wave connected one. That's nice cause I like the way my light switches look. Most of the Z-Wave enabled switches I've seen look like crap.

I've installed light switches before, but I was a little afraid when hooking up this device. If I hooked it up incorrectly, I could've blown it up and I'd be out $35. Or worst case scenario my apartment burns down. So I made sure to triple check my wiring with the documentation before turning the breaker back on.

In the end, it went pretty smoothly. I did have an issue with the light status not reporting correctly when I flipped the physical switch but that was just a configuration problem. I had to make sure to set the association groups for the device so that it would report the status back to the controller.

Next step is installing these for the rest of my lights. And then maybe figuring out how to get my ancient AC units connected to the system.

Apartment Automation Adventures Pt 1

30 June 2015

I've been thinking about implementing some home automation in my apartment for a while now. I've always wanted to be able to control my lights, blinds, ac, fan, etc using just my phone. So I finally got off my butt and started working on it.

After doing some research, I ordered a Z-Stick, a Z-Wave switch, and a Z-Wave in-wall relay. I also had a spare Raspberry PI collecting dust so I decided to use that as the server. I'll probably pick up some more devices later on to connect the rest of my apartment if things go well.

Originally I was gonna write some server software to handle the all this stuff but then I found out about openHAB. It's this open source automation software that seems pretty popular. I figured there's no point reinventing the wheel so I went with that and installed it on my rPI.

And so after a couple hours of wtfs I finally got one of the lights working! Check out the video.

It was actually super exciting the first time it flipped on. It's been a while since I got to work on something fun like this. I can't wait till I get all the other stuff installed.

New chenstopher.com

30 April 2015

I rebuilt my site using pelican. I wanted to simplify things a bit so I switched from using Wordpress to a static site generator. I picked pelican cause I already knew some python and the feature set seemed decent. It has a wordpress importer which sped things up a bit.

The source for this site is on github if you'd like to take a peek. The theme is on github too.

And since the entire site is static (no db, no server-side scripting), I can host this on github pages. Which is prettttttty awesome because now I don't need to pay and fiddle around with a webhost.

Hope nothing is broken.

LD29: Depth Beneath

29 April 2014


I made this game with Hannan in 72 hours for this thing called ludum dare. Play.

Vans SK8-Hi Core Classics

05 December 2013


I ordered a pair of shoes last week that was slated to arrive Monday. They never showed up. So I checked the UPS tracking info to see what the heck happened. It just said, "The package was missed at the UPS facility, UPS will deliver on the next business day". Thinking that they'd just deliver the thing tomorrow (like it said in the message), I just put it off as some UPS nonsense and decided to wait for it to arrive on Tuesday.

Tuesday comes, doesn't show up. Wednesday, doesn't show up. Each day the UPS tracking info page updates at 10:00 pm saying the same exact message: "The package was missed at the UPS facility, UPS will deliver on the next business day." Surely, something must have gone wrong. I give Zappos a call and they say to just wait it out and if it doesn't arrive, just give them another call.

So I wait another day and guess what.. the shoes still haven't arrived. I call up Zappos again, explain my situation, and the guy says they'll just send another pair free of charge (btw, great customer support). The very second I get off the phone, some guy comes to the door and rings the bell. It's the UPS guy. With my shoes. That I ordered last week.

I end up calling Zappos for the third time to explain my matter of great coincidental timing and tell them to cancel that order they made just two minutes prior.

So that's my exciting ordering shoes online story.


05 November 2013

Some guy I used to be good friends with instant-messaged me today. It was totally unexpected and weird and cool. Sent me down this spiral of looking up people from my past (which was difficult cause I don't use/have facebook). It was strange seeing people I haven't even thought about in years again. It was depressing.

I had this theory when I was kid that when you flew on an airplane to some destination on the other side of the planet, that the airplane wasn't actually moving, but the world outside was being reconstructed into the destination. Further places took longer because the landscapes, cultures, people were more different than places closer to where you were currently. What a stupid fucking self-centered idea.

Note to past Chris: you are/were stupid. Note to future Chris: do something.


04 November 2013

Ignore creepy face.


09 July 2013


Here is a non-random list of stuff about this keyboard:

  • I built this keyboard.
  • It was fun.
  • I got the parts from Massdrop.
  • It was my first time soldering.
  • I messed up some of the soldering as you can see from the pics. But everything works!
  • It has Cherry MX Clear switches. I'm not sure if I like them. Too heavy. I think I'm gonna switch 'em.
  • I wish there was another column of keys so my "|\" key isn't in a stupid place.
  • My WPM dropped since using the Ergodox. I blame the Clear switches.
  • But it's pretty comfortable.
  • Building this was the nerdiest (geekiest?) thing I have ever done in my life.

More pics:


20 August 2012

Voxel Terrain 3

07 May 2012

Here it is. The completed final project for my computer graphics course.


  • Textures stolen from JohnSmith Texture Pack for Minecraft (please don't sue me)
  • Trees!
  • Awesomer caves
  • Better lighting
  • Faster (~350 FPS if chunks aren't loading)

Download here, if you want to play around with it. However, I can't guarantee it will work with your machine cause the only ones I've tested it on is my desktop and my laptop. And both are pretty beefy machines. So, good luck.