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Update... The very definition of codependency. - but Bluespray is getting better!
on August 20, 2014
Update: BlueSpray has been working much better since auto-updates were enabled and having the repeater. It does still require occasional electroshock therapy (once every 3 months), but now isn't so demanding. I have even created a program called CatShooter, which will cycle through all the sprinklers for 15 seconds when the feral cats in the neighborhood get howling at night. Very useful... and I can tell that Bluespray likes it too.
Summary: Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition; and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control by, another. If you are prepared for this, then this is the device for you.
My relationship with Bluespray started in 2013. After setting up the device, although easy to do, Bluespray seemed to require me to come back to it often. I quickly realized that Bluespray wanted and needed me to interact with it. If I didn't do this, Bluespray got upset. If I communicate with it when it is in one of these moods, I learned that it thinks the time is January of 1970 as this is the time the system clock always seems to reset itself to (also the zero time for Unix). Fortunately, if I connect my browser to Bluespray, it likes me again and picks up the time from my system and is happy for a while, but if I forgot to connect to it regularly, alas... back to 1970.
Picking up when Bluespray lapses back to the 70's is fairly easy to see: I wake up in the morning and the garage door is open because Bluespray didn't close it last night, or if when coming home from vacation, I sometimes have dead plant because Bluespray has decided not to water them. But, connecting to it again usually fixes Bluespray, but not the plants (alas). And if I cannot connect to it via a browser which also happens, I just power cycle the device (like Electroshock therapy), and this makes Bluespray happy again.
Bluespray does behave better if it has a good connection to the Internet, where I guess it like to talk to NTP servers all day because they keep telling it what time it is. However, because Bluespray comes equipped with a tiny low power WIFI antennae, it can't easily connect to my WIFI router which is less than 100 ft. This is strange because Siri has 3 WIFI bars.
I think this makes Bluespray loney and sad, but by giving Bluespray a repeater (another $50-$100) and spending time getting that working with the security on my home WIFI network, Bluespray stays happy as long as both the repeater and router stay connected to the Internet, which also seems to be a problem in my Verizon DSL, but that is another woeful story, which I won't go in to.
Talking to the creators of Bluespray, fortunately is quite easy, and they are very friendly being also from Texas. We have interacted a lot, trading funny stories about Bluespray... We both wonder why Bluespray acts weird, we tweak settings on Bluespray, and sometimes fully reset Bluespray which lets me reprogram the device, seasons, sensors, schedules, and zones all over again. Also, you can get Bluespray to act differently if you upgrade its firmware. This is fun because Bluespray acts very funny then making the garage door do funny things like go up and down every five seconds until, at last, the door finds its way all the way down and it stops. By fully resetting the device and reprogramming it, Bluespray acts nicely again.
As with any codependent relationship, Bluespray and I are not as happy as we were at the beginning. What I had hoped to be a cool little helper has turned into relationship which requires attention often and is depressing us both (well at least me). My hope is that someday, Bluespray will act well and do as I ask, perhaps with another firmware upgrade, or perhaps with some hidden configuration setting, or perhaps Avidz would send me a new and improved WIFI antennae, or perhaps add a RJ45 ethernet port, perhaps perhaps perhaps....
I love you Bluespray.