My new blog

I thought it was about time to start my own personal blog.


I thought it was about time to start my own personal blog. Why? I occasionally blog on, and on internal company blogs and I enjoy being able to share my thoughts and experiences. I’d like to be able to do this for other, non-work topics that interest me. At the very least this blog will act as a personal record that I can look back at in the future.

20160907_114243The blog needed a name so I looked around me for inspiration. Right now I’m surrounded by the left over pieces from my Sunday afternoon project of adding an infrared transmitter and MQTT interface to my Kodi media player so that I could stop a video playing, turn off the TV and turn off the network-connected lights with a single button. Also in the room is my perpetually under-construction model railway with its large collection of sensors, actuators, Arduinos and Raspberry Pis – the end goal being to have the entire thing run automatically with signal interlocking, timetables and so on. As I look at the open tabs on my web browser I see I’ve got various IoT related pages open. Given all this, and my history at XenSource and Citrix writing the original version of a large lab and test automation system (which now automates a significant proportion of the company labs) it occurred to me that automation is a theme that runs through a number of professional and personal activities – so why not base the name of this blog on this automation habit?

20160907_114554So what can you expect from this blog? Well, I’m going to write about what interests me, which may or may not align with what interests you – selfishly, I’m the target audience for this blog 🙂 . Right now my interests include home automation, using a local MQTT-based homebrew platform as well as integrating with Citrix’s Octoblu IoT/automation platform and IFTTT. I’m also building and automating a model railway and extending my flight simulation rig. I also enjoy travelling so maybe some travel related stuff will show up too.