Saturday, August 20, 2016

My Floor Plan: All Out With Concrete Except Home Theater/Bedroom

With "Save As" feature disabled by AutoDesk, getting me to try out a new design that I cannot seamlessly transition to a new web app without changes to my workflow, I have to keep with what I got. And so, this is my second revamp of my floor plan. I went all out with concrete which can be made whatever style and color I want it to be for my appeal. See my previous blog article in case you want to read it. Minus the garage, the house is actually 860 square feet.

I also added landscaping and the outdoor table which will be a porch. I'm hoping it does not have to cost more than 10 grand to build a minimalistic outdoor porch (not a deck) with recessed lighting (and possible a grill and ceiling fan, but I'm unsure if that will double to 20 grand). It will feel like I'm at Epcot, but not as fancy as The Future World. :)

And to top it all off, I thought about adding recessed lights throughout the outside of the house. Plus, the exterior will be plain with no decorative details and only two windows. I like a house that is economically built.

by the way, if you are interested in looking at modern houses, have a look at this website: MODERN HOUSE, THE 20TH CENTURY ARCHITECTURE DESIGN

I don't know why they gave the headline "20th century," but it looks like a house of a 21st century or later. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Revamped Floor Plan, But Without a Loft

So today, I've made major changes to the floor plan and forgot to save as new file, but there are some good things I would like to tell you. There won't be a loft to climb up to, even though that is one of the main inspiration for tiny houses. Instead, there will either be a fold-down bed or a couch that slides out to form a bed. But IKEA does not have fold-down beds that can be pulled from the wall, which is disappointing. And yes, I said "IKEA." What gave me an idea to change the floor plan is this:

Yep, I went to IKEA this Monday, so with the idea in mind, I have combined the two walls while eliminating the door in the right wall, forming the center wall between what will be a wardrobe and the part to the left will be the laundry area for washer and dryer, thereby eliminating the need for a laundry room. That, to me, is what I call "space efficiency." And one aspect that is important for home theater is symmetrical design, so I'm thinking I could make use of ILSENG, which can be placed opposite of the wardrobe, to the right of the TV screen. It will function as a decorative design, if it could be carved in through the wall. I don't want the wardrobe to stand out.

Here's the link to the wardrobe: IKEA PAX Black-Brown Wardrobe
I want the wardrobe to blend in with the dark home theater, so I do not want reflective properties. Could a fabric prevent the door from sliding?

Plus, the hallway won't be as long, which gives space for the home theater that doubles as a bedroom and if coming from the kitchen through the living room, opening the door to the right reveals a home office/recording room. In other words, the two rooms that serve different roles were flipped. What used to be the closet in a home office/recording room is now a wardrobe in a home theater/bedroom.

As for the garage for my tricycle, it's smaller in width with the laundry room removed and only a bathroom that lines up nicely with the garage and the rest of the house' structure. Since I cannot find a garage door that is less than 6 feet in width, the garage will have dual entry doors and won't be motorized. I suppose I could set something up such as an Arduino-powered motor that opens up the door automatically... And even close the door once I'm in! :) But I could live with manually opening a door myself; clever ideas would be very expensive, though, especially when it comes to labor cost.

Now here's my favorite part: the kitchen:

This, to everyone who reads my article, is how I define my house "space-age." The cabinetry defines how my house should revolve around the same design language.

Speaking of design language, I'm not sure if tiles have the same reflective properties as hardwood flooring when it comes to home office/recording studio. Yes, hardwood flooring is important as it brings life to home recordings, but the colors of hardwood flooring do not speak the same design language, which I would probably ask in the Gearslutz or LinuxMusicians forums, although since I'm a registered member of LinuxMusicians, I'm more likely to start my thread there.

So with that in mind, this is the floor plan that has been revamped: Floor Plan with Separate Rooms and Hallway

And an image of the floorplan:

But keep in mind that the flooring of the floor plan is only a prototype, but at least this will be my final floor plan. And yes, you've got to love IKEA targeting people with different lifestyles.

Last, but not least, I'm not going to have fancy rounded edges and curved walls when it comes to keeping costs down. Maybe one day when the economic system switches over to resource-based economy, or RBE for short, even after I reach the end of my lifespan. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mr. Coffee WiFi Controlled Coffee Maker Damaged During Shipment

Care must be taken when packaging a fragile product that contains glass. I've had to ship it back by tomorrow. Yes, I bought it used.

I'm a home automation enthusiast. I like to brew tea during the morning using Home Assistant, but man, that's too bad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Because There Are No Cars In The World of Pokemon...

Why not build a new city where there are no cars at all? That way, people like me can have fun with Pokemon GO while making sure to pay attention while walking around. You can freely cross the streets and you don't have to watch for traffic. Build a car-free city where people can live in. There would be no parking spaces for grocery stores and shopping centers, so a car-free city would be very compact. Plus, people can socialize in streets. If you need to go somewhere that requires traveling long distances in a compact, car-free city, a monorail can be built so that people can go to work and get back home. Gas stations and convenience stores are unnecessary, including restaurants with drive-through.

With all that done, people can have lots of fun with Pokemon GO because a world of Pokemon in games such as Pokemon Yellow or Pokemon Platinum do not have cars, but they do have bicycles! And people with smartphones still have to pay attention while walking! :)

But in a world of cars, I don't bother playing Pokemon GO. It's an accident waiting to happen if you do not pay attention.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My finished HomeStyler Floor Plan With 3D Modelling Of A House

I have made a floor plan since a couple of weeks ago in HomeStyler and I want to show you what it looks like. I want the house to be about 900 square feet with a garage for parking my adult tricycle. I wanted my house to have a dedicated home theater room with dark walls and carpet. A/V equipment except for game consoles are stored in the media closet. The room facing the opposite direction of home theater room is going to be a home office/recording studio room with plenty of space to put musical instruments in. Have you ever watched Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House Nations, or any of the Tiny House-related TV shows (it's on HGTV and fyi channel)? There is going to be a loft that is right above the closet. I want to show you the image.

This is an image that is rendered using Blender. It's a home office/studio room with a loft, which doubles as a bedroom.
This is an image that is rendered using Blender. It's a home office/studio room with a loft, which doubles as a bedroom.

The rendered image isn't realistic even though it has nice hardwood floors that give off reflection. The light fixture isn't realistically placed and there are imperfections shown in the lower-left of the image; however, I'm not trying to build a realistic scene, which is good enough to give you an idea of what the room is going to look like. Plus, adding the stairs that are shaped like a ladder adds extra time and complexity in Blender. It won't be the traditional stairs found in most houses, but stairs found in tiny houses. It will be similar to climbing up and down the ladder.

So, moving back to the topic at hand, the home office/studio room is 12 feet in height, the closet is about 7 feet 6 inches, and the loft is 4 feet from the carpet to ceiling. I'd want the loft's ceiling to be high enough as to maneuver around when getting into and out of bed. Now, I know what you are thinking... "Why not upsize the house and have a separate bedroom instead?" It's because I have all the space I wanted in a house. So that covers the ground for the home theater room and home office room.

When entering the house, the kitchen doubles as a dining room. Walk forward and to the left is the garage and to the right is the home theater room and office room that I talked about earlier. Step forward and there's the laundry room to the left and a closet dedicated to server and home automation equipment. And last, but not least, is the bathroom with a walk-in shower. And that about covers the entire house. All the rooms with the exception of home office/studio room and the two closets are 9 feet high, which gives enough room for an unfinished attic. The attic gives me a place to wire all the networking cables and add a couple of speakers in the ceiling, especially for a dedicated home theater room...

But I'm not going to immediately install in-ceiling speakers. That's something that I like to do down the road if I decide to add a whole-house multi-room audio functionality down the road. That is why if I am going to go with a two-story house, I wouldn't be able to do anything between first and second floor.

My style of house is going to be modern from inside and out and I like to fit in recessed lighting around the outside of the house to give it an "Epcot" feel (I meant the Future World and it's behind Test Track where there's a path to World Showcase), but it's no big deal if adding recessed lights outside the house is going to be expensive. Even though I like the feeling of being at Epcot, I don't like the fact that the word "modern" could mean "costly." And the two windows are going to be just "ordinary windows" but reinforced to try and prevent break-in as I like to do whatever it takes to keep the house from being burglarized, as home security system (I will probably self-monitor it myself) will only be the last line of defense.

Anyway, here is the floor plan and the .blend file for use with Blender:

In Blender, with the mouse over the 3D view, press the SPACE bar, type "Walk" and you should see "Walk Navigation." Once in walk navigation, use the W, S, A, and D keys for movement and use your mouse to look around. When done, click with your mouse button to exit out of walk navigation mode.

Update as of August 18, 2016, 2:55 PM EST: I forgot to make a backup HomeStyler file when I make major changes to my floor plan. More details will emerge soon; mostly there won't be a loft, but will have either a fold-down bed or a couch that turns into a bed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How To Stop PCWorld's How To Videos From Autoplaying?

If you are using AdBlock in either Google Chrome/Chromium or Mozilla Firefox, add the filter to AdBlock. This is the filter that you need to add:

http://www.pcworld.com/www/js/video/player.js

The .js at the end is JavaScript. The code gets executed by the web browser to play the video automatically.

Note: I only cover instructions for Google Chrome, Chromium, and Mozilla Firefox in Linux. Debian users who have Iceweasel should follow instructions made for Firefox users. Iceweasel is Firefox but without any trademark/artwork from Mozilla, but Debian will distribute Firefox, which will be in Debian 9, codenamed Stretch, by early next year.

To add a filter, follow the steps for Google Chrome/Chromium users:

  1. Open the menu containing three lines and go to Settings.
  2. From the Extensions page (above Settings and below History links), open the Options page for AdBlock.
  3. Go to the Customize page, and next to the Manually edit your filters section is an Edit button. This will allow you to edit the filters.
  4. If the filter list is empty, simply add the filter. If there are list of filters (one filter per line), each filter is in its own line. If that's the case, go to the end of the line, hit Enter to create a new line, and add a filter from there.
    http://www.pcworld.com/www/js/video/player.js
  5. Save the filter you have added, and close the tab. You are done.
For Firefox:
  1. Open the menu containing three lines and go to Add-ons.
  2. From the Extension page, open up the Preferences page for AdBlock Plus.
  3. Go to the Custom Filters tab.
  4. Add filter group by entering the filter name (such as Simple Filter List), open the Actions menu and choose to show/hide filters.
  5. Add filter
    http://www.pcworld.com/www/js/video/player.js
  6. Close the AdBlock Plus Filters dialog, and close the tab.
Now, whenever you go to PCWorld articles such as Stop videos from autoplaying in your browser, the how-to video should stop autoplaying.

Thanks go out to Oron Feinerman for posting a URL for adding a filter in the article dealing with autoplaying HTML5 videos. With an exception of YouTube and Vimeo, videos in websites should not autoplay if I want to read an article first. That simply steals my bandwidth and I am strongly against it.

I hope I can be of help.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Site Telling Me To Update Flash With No Way Out

While doing a search for a mini-NAS case (don't care for hot-swapping), I came across the website about whether a 2.5" NAS is for me or not and surprisingly, I came across this:

This screenshot shows a Chromium web browser showing a web page with a mandatory flash update over a bright overlay.
This screenshot shows a Chromium web browser showing a web page with a mandatory flash update over a bright overlay.

I was shocked. I kid you to try and find a close button in the screenshot with a mandatory Adobe Flash update; there are none. Did you just look? I mean, there is no way out!

"AdBlock to the rescue!" I right-click in the web page, went to AdBlock, choose to "block this ad" (even though it's not an ad), slid the slider to the right, and viola! It works.

Goodbye, Flash overlay! Hello, "Block this ad!" This image shows a dialog which contains a slider. Sliding a slider to the right makes the bright overlay with mandatory Flash update disappear.
Goodbye, Flash overlay! Hello, "Block this ad!" This image shows a dialog which contains a slider. Sliding a slider to the right makes the bright overlay with mandatory Flash update disappear.

As it turns out with disabling and re-enabling an AdBlock extension in Chromium, an open-source version of Google Chrome, it turns out to be an Ad that shows an overlay. While an adblocker is disabled, I tried to get the web page to show the overlay again, but I couldn't. I can say one thing for sure, that the overlay with a Flash updater is a fake, that for someone who is cautious as I am, I do not click in them. Besides, if I come across websites that require Adobe Flash, I use Google Chrome just for that purpose. I use Chromium for my Flash-free browsing experience.

As malvertising is in the rise, so are adblockers. Yes, there is no such thing as free lunch, but publishers and website owners cannot blame people with adblockers for as a means of protection against malvertising. If you tell your readers to disable an ad-blocker extension, your readers could fall into a ransomware trap if a bad ad is encountered. That's why, to me, AdBlock is my first line of defense. Anti-malware and anti-virus is only a last line of defense for me, including Anti-Exploit and Anti-Ransomware from MalwareBytes. This is even with a good backup of all of my files.

That's why I use AdBlock, so I don't have to take my time to reinstall my operating system of choice. I run Arch Linux even though I don't get malware at all. And that's the reason why I prefer safety over revenue and it also saves bandwidth, especially when it comes to mobile network.

Be safe everyone and don't click in a Flash update as shown above.