It’s a nice long show but only a few topics this week. We’ll start with a walk through what I learned testing the Drobo 5N2 network attached storage. It’s not so much about the Drobo itself but more about the technologies involved. Then we’ll talk about the new Wyze Cam Pan $30 security camera. Finally I’ll tell you what I thought was interesting, exciting, boring, disappointing or just plain dumb in the announcements from Apple’s WWDC keynote.
Nite Ize Taglit might save my life, CES interviews with Mira ovulation monitoring system, Spartan radiation-blocking boxer shorts, Lynky Smart Home Hub and TRAE lamps made by geeks. I also talk about my disappointment with D-Link security on the Omna Webcam and tell you about an awesome new webcam called WyzeCam that’s only $20.
When Steve and I were at CES, we had the opportunity to hang out with fellow NosillaCastaway Joe LaGreca. While we were talking about the disappointment of the security model for D-Link and their $150 Omna webcam, he mentioned that he uses a little camera called the WyzeCam.
We were intrigued because Joe said the WyzeCam is only $20 plus $5 shipping. But how good could this camera be? Joe showed us a live erityideo feed of his kids’ playroom – and it was pretty darn good. For $20, it was amazing.
Joe cares as much about security as we do (if not more) but since a $150 HomeKit-compatible webcam from a big-name networking company doesn’t guarantee us great security, I have changed my expectations.
One of our goals in Home Automation has been to buy HomeKit-compatible devices whenever possible for security reasons. I’ve even created an elaborate network setup to isolate non-HomeKit (and Windows) devices from the rest of my gear.
Last year we bought the first HomeKit-compatible webcam, the Omna 180 Cam HD from D-Link. At $150 it wasn’t cheap but buying from a reputable company like D-Link who clearly have been in the business of network gear for ages gave us peace of mind.
The camera hasn’t been a huge success for us for a few reasons. The video isn’t as sharp as we’d expected. It was supposed to be 1080p but it’s pretty fuzzy. It doesn’t store information anywhere but on its own SD card, which might be a plus for some people but for us it limits the usefulness. It gets pretty hot which concerns us, and it is simply offline sometimes and we have to unplug it and plug it in to get it running again.
I’ve always thought it might be interesting to look back on all of the products I’ve reviewed over the years and see what I’m still using. That would be a gargantuan effort, given that I’ve been doing this for over 12 years!
But then I thought, maybe I could look at the past year and see what products are still valuable and what just fell away over time and maybe a quick discussion on why. I went through every blog post to see what I talked about in 2017, so here goes.
Continue reading “2017 Year in Review Part 1 – What Am I Still Using?”
About four years ago, my son-in-law Nolan bought Lindsay a webcam from a company called Foscam so that she could watch her dog Dodger. She followed the instructions to set it up to a wired Ethernet connection and it worked perfectly. From her Mac or her iPhone she could control the camera, move it around and watch the room. The only problem was that her router isn’t in the area where Dodger hangs out during the day. No problem, the Foscam should work wirelessly as well. But for some reason she could never get it to work.
Over the years, every once in a while we poked around at it and gave up. But this weekend we went to see them again and I decided to attack it full force. I started with a wired connection so we could take it one step at a time.