Week 17: Paul's Smart home diary

IFTTT recipes gone wrong
Week 17: Paul's Smart home diary

Let's talk recipes. No, not the Jamie Oliver-type, the IFTTT-type. This week, I've been messing around with IFTTT recipes. And, if you're new to the platform as I was – here's a word of warning: start out with some simple setups. Don't run before you can walk.

In fact, I think I attempted the IFTTT equivalent of the Marathon Des Sables before I could walk.

After setting up one recipe very successfully – turning on a Philips Hue Bloom when my kitchen's Nest Cam detected movement – I went massively off-piste for my next endeavour. And I never really found my way back.

Remember how, a few weeks back, I told you about my Sonos setup and described how, although it's not officially in the IFTTT ecosystem you can work around it? Well, you can, and I attempted to. But I got lost in GitHub hell.

GitHub, in case you're not familiar, is like a social network for coders. Sort of. It's a repository of hosted code from more than 14 million active users.

It all sounded so simple on the IFTTT search page for "Sonos".

"Play Sonos when arriving home" caught my eye. The fact that I had to first connect my Dropbox account to do this should have been enough to convince me not to go further. Two hours later, and after attempting to navigate my way through Hazel and SoCo Python library I was in a world of pip-based script pain.

Unless you have a decent understanding of coding, don't bother. Trust me.

This is not a criticism of IFTTT at all. Remember, I went wrong with recipes that were hack-jobs. Sonos is not officially a partner. There are plenty of awesome IFTTT recipes that are simple to setup. If you've got any of the big name connected smart home tech or wearables you're bound to find a recipe that makes your life easier.

And, when I can face looking at my IFTTT app again – and the Python flashbacks have passed – I'm sure that's exactly what I will do.

Now read Week 18


Week 1: Planning the ultimate smart home
Week 2: Getting started with home networking
Week 3: Deciphering the matrix
Week 4: Burying Ethernet cables
Week 5: Not much happened
Week 6: Things are heating up
Week 7: What smart home platform to use
Week 8: Do I really need a smart washing machine?
Week 9: Smart nursery made simple
Week 10: Lock all the doors, maybe they'll never find us
Week 11: There's more to connected speakers than music
Week 12: Plugging the gaps in a connected home
Week 13: Building a Nest
Week 14: Finally moving in
Week 15: Getting my house in order
Week 16: Home security made simple

Shop for recommended smart home tech on Amazon

Nest thermostat
Nest thermostat
Philips Hue starter kit
Philips Hue starter kit
Canary smart cam
Canary smart cam
Withings smart scales
Withings smart scales

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