Written: April 30, 2017

Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat – Not So Friendly

My wife exclaimed, “Our thermostat won’t do what I want it to anymore. It’s time to replace it.”

She was referring to our 20+ year old Honeywell thermostat that came with our home. I agreed and had already researched the new crop of “Smart Thermostats”, deciding to go with the chic Nest unit, now owned by Google. My local Home Depot store had it in stock, although I had to visit the Service Desk to actually get the unit because they don’t keep them out in the open, just in case a thief wants to walk out of the store with one.

Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat

Removing the old thermostat and mounting the new Nest was straight forward, however during the setup process the Nest device tried to connect or our WiFi called PAYNE. First attempt to connect was met with the error message, “Failed to connect”. OK, so I re-type the password, still no connection. Next I tried a second network named PAYNE-5G, same issue of “Failed to connect” for two attempts.

I visit the Next web site, find the support page, and give them a phone call. The recorded voice says that I have to wait about 10 minutes. No problem. On the web I visit their FAQ section and click around on WiFi issues, where they have six recommendations, none of which helps my unit to connect. After 10 minutes my support phone call is abruptly disconnected, having never reached a live person. Huh, this is not going well today.

Then I started to wonder why the Nest device couldn’t connect to WiFi, maybe I could change something on my WiFi router to make it all better, so I login to my router and notice that I can choose which Channel my WiFi is using. So I change from channel 3, to 4 to channel 5. Bingo, because now I could finally connect the WiFi on the Nest device to my home network. No thanks to the Nest phone support system or their web site FAQ, I had to figure it out myself and that took about 60 minutes of sleuthing and trying various combinations of settings.

Now that the new thermostat is installed and working I’m supposed to achieve some energy savings as this system learns our heating and cooling habits and preferences. I also applied for $50.00 cash back from the Energy Trust of Oregon, so that will help sweeten the deal a bit. Our family can also use an App on our Android phones to view the thermostat settings and control it remotely, kind of cool. We have officially started to build our Smart Home, so let’s see where this journey takes us.

Eco mode for energy savings

Eco mode for energy savings

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New Google logo

What About that New Google Logo?

I’ve been a loyal Google user for many years simply because their free search feature provides me the answers to my questions very quickly, and accurately. The folks at Google have a sense of humor and history, so they often show a different logo on their site to commemorate something important or fanciful. Recently they decided to change their iconic logo. Here’s the familiar, old logo with a serif font style:

Old Google logo

I like the serif font choice because it adds a touch of class to the logo, and is easy to read.

Now for the new Google logo with san-serif font:

New Google logo

With this new font the logo looks more child-like and simple, not at all sophisticated. There is a general trend now on the web to make graphics and logos super-sized, which to me looks a bit childish and doesn’t appeal to my sense of design. Of course, this is just my impression about the graphical feel for the new Google logo, others may just love it.

So it goes with your web site, the decisions that you make for your logo, font colors and sizes, type face, and combinations of graphics with text will all combine to create a feeling for your visitors. Do you want to come across as business-like, or playful? It all depends on your market place. A CPA or banker will want to appear more formal, while an author of children’s books may want to be rather playful in appearance and content.

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New Facebook Timeline = Google+

I try just about every social media at least for a week or so, just to see how it feels and to learn something new every day. Well, today Facebook launched a new timeline and instantly I had deja vu, because I’ve already been using Google+ and it appears that Facebook copied the Google+ look. Enough talk, here’s a comparison and you can decide:

 

The similarities:

 

“Imitation is a kind of artless flattery.”

Joseph Addison, 1776

From a user perspective I find that more of my high-tech, geeky, Google-loving friends and professionals are attracted to Google+. My personal friends and family tend to be using Facebook. There you have it, both social media channels will continue to grow, innovate, imitate, and on occasion innovate.

If you want a visual treat, then give Google+ a try on your iPad or Android tablet, it is gorgeous with how the images are positioned on the display.

iPad version of Google+

iPad version of Google+

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