Smartwings Thread/Matter Blinds Review

Back in October of 2023 I purchased a number of Smartwings Thread and Matter enabled shades. This post is a long term review of the six shades I've had in two different rooms. I have three roller style blackout shades in my bedroom, and three zebra style in my office. I've had all six paired to both Apple Home and Home Assistant, via Matter's multi-admin feature. This post is my detailed review of the Smartwings shades, the installation, long term thoughts, and...

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Ruckus One: Provisioning ICX Switches

This post covers how to provision a factory fresh Ruckus ICX network switch with FastIron 10.01.x to their new Ruckus One cloud controller. Ruckus sells a number of network switches which can be easily integrated with their Wi-Fi APs. For this post we will be using a Ruckus ICX 8200-C08ZP, which is a multi-gig/10G/25G PoE++ switch designed to support Wi-Fi 7 APs, such as the Ruckus R770. Disclaimer: Ruckus was kind enough to send me a ICX 8200-C08ZP PoE++ switch. However, there...

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Goodbye NextDNS, Hello Control D : My New DNS Service

This article discusses my recent migration from NextDNS, a popular ad and malware filtering DNS service, to Control D. Several years ago, I transitioned from Pi-hole, a local network-based ad and malware tracker, to NextDNS due to its enhanced functionality. However, NextDNS failed to keep pace with the industry. Its lack of new features motivated me to look for an alternative DNS filtering service.Interestingly, I discovered Control D in a conversation thread on the NextDNS forums. Amid the multitude of...

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Ruckus Unleashed to Ruckus One Migration Guide

If you are using Ruckus Unleashed as your Wi-Fi controller of choice, but want to migrate to Ruckus One, this post is for you. If you want to find out all about Ruckus One and the benefits it has over Ruckus Unleashed, check out my article Enterprise Grade Home Wi-Fi: Ruckus Unleashed vs. Ruckus One. This post is short and too the point. It will walk you through converting your environment from Ruckus Unleashed to Ruckus One. Pre-Stage Your Configuration...

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Unleashing the Power of 6 GHz Wi-Fi: Re-Think Everything

In January 2021 the Wi-Fi Alliance started their Wi-Fi 6E certification prorgram, which included the all new 6 GHz band. In January 2024 the Wi-Fi Alliance announced their Wi-Fi 7 certification program. Wi-Fi 7 builds on the prior 6E standard with even higher performance across all bands, including 5 GHz and 6 GHz. With this entirely new 6 GHz spectrum and Wi-Fi 7 pushing up maximum PHY data rates, people need to re-think many aspects of their Wi-Fi deployment to...

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Enterprise Grade Home Wi-Fi: Ruckus Unleashed vs. Ruckus One

This blog post compares the major differences between Ruckus Wi-Fi controller options for users seeking a premium home Wi-Fi experience. I provide detailed information on both Ruckus Unleashed and Ruckus One. If you're considering upgrading your home Wi-Fi, check out this post for enlightening information on why Ruckus should be on the short list of your next Wi-Fi brands to consider.Over a year ago, I began researching enterprise-grade Wi-Fi APs suitable for residential use. I was tired of the issues...

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Home Assistant: Ecowitt Weather Station Setup

For Home Assistant users that want hyper local weather information, the 2023 ECOWITT Wittboy Weather Station GW2001, with Wittboy Wi-Fi Hub is an excellent choice. Unlike a traditional weather station that you might be thinking of, the Ecowitt Wittboy is solid state with no moving parts. If you are using Home Assistant and want to integrate the Ecowitt Wittboy, you might run into a wrinkle. If you secure your Home Assistant server with a trusted SSL/TLS certificate, then the Home...

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My Dream Desk Setup (2024 Edition)

For the last couple of years I've written detail posts on my dream home office setup. Now that 2024 is almost here, it's time for an update! If you want some inspiration for your own home office, look no further! I've included products links (non-affiliate) for nearly everything in my office. This year I've made a lot of upgrades to my home office and now it's better than ever! And I've made some massive improvements to my smart home automations, which...

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Proxmox VE 8.1: Windows 11 vGPU (VT-d) Passthrough with Intel Alder Lake

Interested in sharing your Intel Alder Lake GPU between multiple Proxmox 8.x VMs? This post covers configuring Intel vGPU virtual functions on Proxmox 8.1/8.0 using an Intel 12th Generation CPU (Alder Lake) with Windows 11 Pro. I will walk you through the Proxmox 8.x kernel configuration, modifying GRUB, Installing Windows 11 Pro, and then setting up the Intel graphics inside Windows. I've completely updated the content from my Proxmox 8.0 vGPU post which appeared on my blog back in June. While...

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Configuring Netgear M4300 IGMP & MLD Multicast Snooping

When building a smart home based on Matter it is critical that you get networking gear with working IPv6 multicast support. This post covers how to configure both IGMP (IPv4) and MLD (IPv6) snooping for Netgear M4300 Pro AV fully managed switches. If you have TP-Link Jetstream switches, check out my sister post: Configuring TP-Link IGMP & MLD Multicast Snooping.Finding a switch with working IPv6 multicast support is easier said than done. For example, both QNAP and some Ubiquity Unifi gear...

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