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i'm about to do a thread about tech stuff and im drinking coffee while trying to figure out how to say the things i wanna say without dunking too hard on a piece of software way too many of y'all love (and by extension, dunking on y'all).
50 replies and sub-replies as of Aug 15 2019

the thread isn’t even about 90s Linux culture. But it’s the best comparison I have. And it was b a d
ok. here goes. IoT is fun and all, but for the home consumer, it's really, really, really really really really really bad if you try to do anything beyond hue + alexa. and i don't see a way out of this hellhole in the near future.
i used to love fucking around with things. i wanted to customize shit. i wanted to know the nuts and bolts of how things worked. this is why unix was great. this is why linux was fun back in the 90s. but it wasn't consumer ready.
now i'm old as fuck and i just want shit to work because i don't want to spend my time working on dumb shit that's already solved but iot is intriguing enough to me that my reservations about going beyond using a pretty frontend UI/good user experience were put aside.
but it was still a journey where i tried to take the path of least resistance - and that decision was made after first attempting to run home assistant on an rpi 3b. because fuck home assistant. seriously. fuck that piece of software, fuck the people that made it, fuck it all.
first off, people refer to home assistant as hass. but isn't actually home assistant. it's like this distribution of home assistant. and the instructions aren't interchangable. but different sites that rank high in google interchangably link between the 2.
Manage your Home Assistant and custom add-ons.
and this wasn't really clear to me when i first tried home assistant. plus i wanted to install it on my rpi without actually hooking up a monitor because i'm fucking lazy and i'd rather hand edit config files to make shit work but guess what linux is still a piece of shit
and even modifying the files like instructions said to do didn't allow me to be lazy. because systemd is a thing. because networkmanager is a thing. what the fuck is network manager? i don't even know. i don't care. don't tell me what it is. i really don't care. it's garbage.
so someone told me about hubitat, and i really liked hubitat! it's so much better than smartthings. the development community for it seemed kind of rad, but the doucmentation for writing apps was lacking, to say the least.
as far as user experiences go, hubitat was the best i'd seen. but it still isn't end user friendly. and the more zwave devices i added, the more apps i added, the more it slowed down until eventually i'd have to reboot it every few days.
i think one of the apps or custom device drivers was slowing it down, but there's no access to the backend so i simply couldn't tell. so, okay. let's give home assistant a try again. i got an rpi 4. at this point my rpi3 was being used as NAT/DNS.
and i hooked it up to a monitor and wasn't lazy and somehow managed to get it installed just by using pip, so that was nice. there's a lot of documentation, but i don't really like the way it's put together. it's VERY not-user-friendly.
the best way to learn how to do things on home assistant is to look at other people's configurations. and the more i dove into the homeassistant forums and documentation, the more i was reminded of 90's linux.
which is to say - this is a community built for neckbeard white dudes with too much fukkin time on their hands by neckbeard white dudes with too much fukkin time on their hands. at least i didn't see anyone using WAF, so that's +1 for home assistant over hubitat.
people do a lot with home assistant. not really what i think it was intended to do in the first place? and just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should... but they did some really cool things. i see the appeal.
but unlike 90s linux, no one is targeting 'home assistant in every home!' so they are focusing way too much on the ocol things and not enough on the ease of use and that is what i mean by neckbeard white dudes with too much fukkin time on their hands.
if you want a market to grow, you make it accessible. with accessibility comes users. with users comes more vendors making more cool shit. this is what advances the market. this is what gives you more cool toys to play with.
i've been running home assistant for a few weeks. it took quite a while to get my zwave shit all moved over. i haven't even started on my zigbee stuff yet. but then i started playing with hass in an aws instance.
and it's nice! it does add some accessibility. it makes a lot of things easier. it adds a lot of cool shit that is dumb as fuck but also really nice?
like a visual studio code-like editor in the browser. did i mention you have to ssh in and hand-edit config files to do like... anything? and then you have to restart the entire godamn thing. yeah, some parts you can restart in the browser, but what the fuck is 'core'?
it gives you easy access to add a lot of apps that people have written. but home assistant eats CPU like what the fuck dude why what are you even doing calm down anyone that says they run home assistant on some weakass device is lying or not doing much with it.
i'm not even running any of the cool extensions but i've got enough zwave traffic that my rpi 4 is usually at 2 load when it's just doing normal shit. nodered eats a little cpu, but home assistant is greedy.
i've got it working, which was hours. HOURS. HOURRRRRS. DAYS. of my life. i do not give up my time to any one piece of techonlogy easily. and my config still only has a few automations.
a lot of that time was spent playing with custom cards in the UI, but my UI isn't even anything special.
i just noticed this though, so yeah, that's great. not hass fault. chromium decided to eat all my swap in the night. fuck you, chromium. piece of shit.
so now i'm having this tech existential crisis. because i have things working, more or less. but hass looks cool and i kind of want the visual studio code editor in the browser and i could do it without hass (it's a user extension) but it wouldn't be as easy and hass looks rad
but why. what's the point. what's the point of any of it. i have it working. i don't need this. it's probably just going to bog down my rpi 4 more and what's next, do i go and get a fucking 1u server for my apartment? I AM NOT LIVING THAT LIFE ANYMORE.
i'm probably still going to end up getting another sd card so i can try to pop hass onto this rpi 4 and have the option of reverting to my former config if it fucks up and honestly i hate myself for being like this.
it's installing slackware from floppies all over again.
I thought this had been wiped from memory but this tweet just made my stomach hurt
Just did this with a 386
the 1U-apartment life is a noisy one, can confirm
lil Mac mini running it in a VM?
A reasonable alternative might be a NAS that can run containers. I played with Home Assistant a little on my QNAP and it worked well. Plus other NAS benefits. (I run my Unifi controller on there, too.)
I know a guy who has 2U rack full of Raspberry Pis running his house. Upon seeing that I had an immediate reaction of 1) that's neat, and 2) I am never doing this.
I do maybe 1% of what you do with ioT, so I'm not saying this as a solution for you, just sharing, but I spent ~two months with homeass before giving up and using a proprietary soln that only works in the LAN... and sticking a VPN server in there to get around that.
I'm so feeling this thread, because my week was rebuilding a couple of Pis for Octoprint and rebuilding a sensor, all because I thought I should get them up to latest versions. I tried Home Assistant on a Pi, could never get it to finish compiling the zwave stuff.
I'm now running OpenHAB, but I moved it to a refurbished PC to get more horsepower for it. It still takes way more care and feeding that the average person has time for, and it's definitely not for the non-tech-savvy.
i just installed homeassistant through pip. it was the only way i could get it working.
I think when I looked at it, to get z-wave, you had to build the library. the compiler ran overnight, I finally gave up. I've had OpenHAB running for a few years now, it's finally pretty stable.
i thought about openhab, but i've heard nothing but bad things about the community. not very female friendly.
Um, yeah, to say the least. I avoid interaction with the community as much as possible. I read the forums but if I can't get an answer that way, I'm not gonna ask. Honestly I feel like a lot of tech communities are doing the regression to the 90s Linux world. Not a good look.
Hass means hate in German so apt 😅
Well you tried to be nice 🙏🏻😄
Very much this. All of this. Home Assistant’s biggest selling point is that it’s less dumb than OpenHAB. That’s it.
I looked at home assistant to achieve some extra automation on top of what Hue supported and came to the conclusion that writing my own python scripts against the REST API was easier.