Kwikset Premis smartlock review

Kwikset Premis smart lockControl your Kwikset Premis lock from your Apple device either at home or on the road.

Did you remember to lock the door?
Who is coming and going from your house?
What if I need to let someone in while I’m not there?
When did the kids get home?

You’ve managed important aspects of life from your smartphone for years. Why not have the same control over your home? Premis is designed to help you look after your home and family—even when you’re away.

Siri:

  • “Lock my front door”
  • “Is my front door locked?”
    – Also works with Apple Watch

Remote Access:

  • Add, change, delete user codes
  • Lock and unlock door
    *requires an Apple TV, or an iPad at home connected to your home network
  • See the lock’s history to see who has accessed the lock

App:

https://www.kwikset.com/premis/application

The App has a very useful interactive installation feature to guide you through installing the lock.

Code Options:

  • ONE-TIME
    Can only be used one time within the next 24-hours. Ideal for giving access to contractors who require a single instance of entering your home.
  • LIMITED
    Can be used anytime or recurringly within a set dates and times. For housekeepers and others that consistently come on certain days and times.
  • ANYTIME
    Can be used every day at any time. Perfect for family members and others who come and go frequently.
  • LIMITED BY DAY
    Can be used anytime within the date range set. Ideal for house vacationers who are meant to only stay from one date to another.

Security:

https://www.kwikset.com/premis/security

The lock will display 2 random numbers that you have to press first, before entering a valid code, that makes it impossible for someone to successfully read fingerprints off the keypad to try to determine your code. This is rather nifty and doesn’t add much hassle to using the keypad. If a long passcode option is your preference but you don’t want to have to press 9 or 10 buttons then maybe consider using a 5-digit passcode. This combined with the 2 random numbers you have to press first adds up to 7 digits. Also, Kwikset warranties the keypad for life in case you’re concerned about frequent use wearing down the keypad.

FAQ:

https://www.kwikset.com/premis/faqs

What devices are compatible with Premis?

  • Versions of iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iOS Premis lock can be enrolled with compatible HomeKit enable devices running iOS 8.1 or newer. These include the iPhone 4S, all iPhone 5, 6 and 7 variants, iPad 2 or newer, all versions of iPad Mini, and the iPod Touch 5th generation or newer.
  • Compatible versions of Apple TV Premis is compatible with 4th generation or newer.
  • Can I unlock Premis remotely? The lock can be locked or unlocked remotely using the Premis app or Siri, if the lock is connected to an Apple Home Hub. Home Hubs come standard on Apple TVs (4th generation and newer) and Apple iPads (with iOS 10 or newer). The Home Hub must remain in your home, connected to your home Wi-Fi network, and powered on.

Other things to consider:

Kwikset has a newer version of the lock that resists forced turning. Keep in mind that no lock is completely pick-proof. The idea is to make it as time-consuming as possible so that a would-be thief moves on. If they want in badly enough then there are likely easier ways.  (Windows, etc) Here is the video where they challenge professional locksmiths to pick the lock using various picking methods.

The SmartKey technology where you can ‘rekey’ the lock to work with your existing key requires that your current key shape will fit into the Kwikset lock. I had a different brand lock so my current key wouldn’t fit. I had to use the 2 keys that came with Kwikset Premis lock. It’s not really a big deal but I like to have a few extras, even with this new keypad feature. I ended up making a couple spare keys.

I read other reviews where people complained about the touchpad response time. I haven’t seen issues regarding this at all. It’s very responsive from my experience.

Installation Notes:

Installation was relatively easy though I had a few hurdles.

  1. My door frame strike, the receiving end of the deadbolt, was 1/2″ deep when it requires a 1″ depth. There was a metal frame in my door frame that I had to punch through. The Premis lock kept thinking that it was ‘jammed’ otherwise. It would still work but the locked/unlocked indicator in the App would show it as “jammed”.
  2. The outside portion of the door lock unit, the keypad part, wouldn’t slide into the door. The metal bar that turns the lock was about 1/8 of an inch off center. I had to unscrew the faceplace, the rectangular part that screws into the side of the door, 1/8″ inch to push the latch out a tad. It’s still solidly installed and you can’t really tell.
  3. The handing process worked but was a little confusing. When you install the batteries the first time the lock will go through a series of tests where it extends and retracts the bolt. The bolt would only retract in part way so I thought it was failing due to the previously mentioned issue (number 2) maybe due to too much friction on the turning mechanism. I took the lock apart, loosened the faceplate screws another turn, and redid the wired that you have to tuck into the inside portion of the lock taking more care that it wasn’t pressing too hard against the turning mechanism. I think it still exhibited the same issue retracting during handing but it retracts all the way, every time, when using a key, the keypad, or the app so it’s working and that’s all that matters.
  4. There are 3 small screws that have to be removed in order to remove the batteries. This is just not well thought out. However, if battery life lasts as long as it should then it’s not really a big deal. Two screws are on the sides and one screw is underneath the unit. My door handle is below the unit so it’s not the easiest screw to access. I ended up just leaving the bottom screw out.

So far I’m quite pleased with the Premis and would recommend it to others. I bought it for the convenience of letting others in if required, and as a backup, in case I somehow lose my key so I’ll have a way in.

I think in most cases installation is easy and it works as designed.

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Tips and Tricks for Surviving After Shoulder Surgery

I live alone so some of these may not apply to you but most should be helpful. As with anything, follow your doctor’s orders.

It’s been four months since I had my right shoulder repaired due to a SLAP tear from years of volleyball and overhand sports. I read a lot of information online and watched a bunch of videos! Some were helpful but many rambled on and repeated the same information. These are some things I discovered that I didn’t see mentioned anywhere else or at least rarely saw mentioned. Hopefully, you’ll find something helpful.

Pre Surgery Tips:

Buy anything you think you might need. (see suggestions below)

Get your home prepared:

  • Laundry
  • Clean if necessary
  • Food
  • Supplies (see below)
  • Open any jars of food that you might want to use because they are very hard to open with one hand. This goes for both new jars or jars you’ve already opened but might be tight for various reasons. [For example, salsa can dry around the rim and reseal an already opened jar. I struggled with this. ;) ]

Post Surgery Tips:

Sling Tips:

  • Get your sling adjusted and then you can just slide it over your head versus refastening all the straps every time you want to take it off. You really only need to undo the waist strap and lift it over your head. Often times I left the waist strap undone anyway and just used the shoulder strap. That way I didn’t have to do anything to take it off and it took no time. I tucked the waist strap into the area between the pad and the arm cup so it’s out of the way. At night I recommend fastening the waist strap to prevent you from any unintentional movements while you’re sleeping.
  • Your sling serves to not only support your arm but to prevent you from doing stupid things accidentally.
    • After a few days, you’ll gain confidence and leave it off when walking to the kitchen or bathroom. You’ll stumble over something and instinctually move your repaired arm and yell a string of curse words. Be incredibly deliberate with your steps or just don’t risk re-injuring yourself by moving around without your sling on. I was in the kitchen making something simple to microwave when I dropped a fork with my good hand. It bounced off the counter and I instinctually grabbed it out of the air with the hand on my repaired arm. Fortunately, it wasn’t a big movement but it woke me up to what could happen.
  • Ice Machine – “Polar Ice Machine”  – step on one end of the hose to hold it still to help connect the hose joints using only your good hand. (http://amzn.to/2xCvIbz)

Sleeping/Bed: (How to sleep after shoulder surgery)

  • Bed wedge (http://amzn.to/2hiYDgB) – The first few nights I mostly slept using the wedge but worked myself off of it as I grew more comfortable with my arm in a sling. Plus it comes in handy when you’re awake during the day, want to stay in bed and don’t want to lie completely horizontal.
  • Phone/tablet extender attached to your bed or night table with long charge cable. You’ll spend a lot of time in bed and you’ll get sick of trying to hold it or get it to stand upright. This is a hands-free option that allows you to lay anyway you want.
  • Light dimmer switch for bed http://amzn.to/2gA1MHA
    • I put this on the side of my bed so I could easily turn the light off/on or dim it without having to get up. Super handy!
  • 4 pillows (one on each side, 2 for my head)

Showering: (How to shower after shoulder surgery)

  • Liquid soap in a squirt/press bottle (http://amzn.to/2xDyguV)
  • Removable Showerhead (http://amzn.to/2gAehTt)
  • Washing Tips: Lean forward slightly in order to wash your repaired arm and use gravity in your favor.  Put your foot up on the side of the tub while standing and just let your arm hang or rest it against your thigh on the same side of your body. This way you can wash the repaired arm without having to use much muscle strength. Your leg will support your arm.
  • This goes for anything really but if you need to do something that is a bit challenging (shaving, shaving head) then do the hard side first because your good arm will get tired. It’s easier to do the easier side second.

Getting Dressed: (How to get dressed after shoulder surgery)

  • Because I worked from home for a couple weeks I lived in gym shorts and tees, very easy to put on! With your repaired arm held at your side, in the same position as if the sling were on, it’s easy to slide the first sleeve and t-shirt on over that arm and up over your head. Then put your good arm through the other sleeve second.
  • Slip-on shoes (like shoelace-less Converse, Vans, slippers, etc)
  • It’s possible to tie shoes w one hand but it’s hard (look it up on youtube).  I gave it a shot but gave up because it wasn’t something I had to do.
  • Completely fasten your pants with a belt before putting them on. It obviously helps a lot if they are slightly too big so you can pull them over your hips. Completely fasten them, lie down on your bed, and slide them on. Then stand up and tighten the belt. I used one of those D-ring belts that are easy to tighten with one hand once you have them on. (http://amzn.to/2ykZUv6)

Work:

It depends on kind of work you do, obviously, but if you work a desk job then a laptop is much easier to work on because your hands and arms move very little. 

I used a laptop at work and used Microsoft Remote Desktop/Apple ARD to remote into my desktop which was right in front of me. This basically allowed me to use my laptop keyboard for my main system. I preferred it over the other small keyboards I tried but you may not. (You can also get wireless keyboard or mini keyboard if you think it’ll help (jelly comb mini keyboard – http://amzn.to/2hs6nxc)

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Favorite Albums of 2016

favorite albums 2016

These are the albums that were released in 2016 that got the most play, listed in alphabetical order:

   Casper Skulls – Lips & Skull
   Daughter – Not to Disappear
   DIIV – Is the is Are
   exmagician – Scan the Blue
   Flyying Colours – Mindfullness
   Living Hour – Living Hour
   Operators – Blue Wave
  Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
   Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
   Syd Arthur – Apricity
   Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
   Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Favorite Songs Released in 2016  Favorite songs released in 2016

Spotify playlist below:

Continue reading Favorite Albums of 2016

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Catherine Wheel’s Ferment and Chrome to be re-released on 180-gram vinyl

Catherine Wheel bassist Dave Hawes reports today that their first 2 albums, ‘Ferment’ and ‘Chrome’, will be released on 180-gram vinyl.

This is great news for those who have been trying to acquire either of these out-of-print albums on vinyl in the past decade. They can easily fetch $150 for mint condition copies.

Dave also reports that Cherry Red will NOT be the company handling this re-issue. This is important if you followed the 2010 CD reissues and the quality control issues they had.

Instead, these are being released by Music On Vinyl, a Netherlands company who specializes in 180-gram re-issues, and distributed by Bertus Distributie. If you are thinking of contacting them for more info then don’t, I’ve already tried. I think it’s too early in the process for them to reveal anything as they couldn’t share anything more. If you want to read their faq then that may answer some basic questions.

Their mastering engineer’s experience is listed as:

“Our mastering engineer has 40 years of experience cutting records for many major artists like Michael Jackson, Alan Parsons Project, Santana, Mother Love Bone, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More and many more.”

“Which masters do you use?”

“We use the best audio available to cut our records. We receive and use different kinds of masters: analogue tapes, original metal parts, lacquers cut from analogue tapes and high res digital files 192/96khz/24 bit. Music On Vinyl does not use CD’s as masters.”

No release date information has been given yet but I expect it to be a while.

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Apple’s newly redesigned Music app is a band aid on a much larger problem

My first article on Medium:

Apple announced yesterday at WWDC that they are redesigning the Apple Music app, “from the ground up.” While it is much needed it isn’t enough.

Apple’s Music app was a mess and was in need of a redesign. It looks like they had too many Cooks in the kitchen, pun intended. It feels to me like the creatives were handcuffed by what their executives wanted. They need to make a music app for the music lover and I think this will be a step closer but still many steps away.

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New debut LP from exmagician

Scan The Blue, the new debut LP from exmagician who hails from Belfast is out now on Bella Union. Bella Union is the same label that includes Beach House, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, The Flaming Lips, and Wild Nothing.

The exmagician album reminds me of Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

exmagician.com/

Bio:

exmagician’s debut album Scan The Blue, released by Bella Union on March 25th, sees longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith looking to the future with new vigour and confidence. The Belfast duo, who have been friends since their teens, have made a multifaceted, sonically adventurous statement that fully justifies their decision to take full control of their work.

Danny and James last broke cover as the songwriters behind Cashier No.9, whose lush, David Holmes-produced album To The Death Of Fun (Bella Union) brought them critical acclaim (Best Album at the NI Music Awards, shortlisted for Best Album of 2011 by the Irish Times), strong radio support from BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Radio 2 and a string of sold-out club dates and major festival appearances across the UK and Ireland.

Since then the pair have moved on and returned with something new. Self-written and produced with the help of Rocky O’Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar, General Fiasco, Mojo Fury), Scan The Blue leaves behind the Laurel Canyon sheen of Cashier No.9 in favour of something louder, fuzzier and grittier, born of a playful attitude, greater confidence and a load of new pedals and synths. “It’s the dirt under the fingernails,” says Danny with a smile.

The musical reinvention is apparent from the very first seconds of opening track Kiss That Wealth Goodbye, which steams in with a filthy riff, the product of a guitar and a synth melding together so you can’t tell which is which – a feature of the album. “It’s like early Beefheart meets Add N To X,” says Danny – a measure of just how broad the duo’s influences are. “David [Holmes] lent me a Korg MS-20 and then I bought one myself. That synth shaped a lot of the record.”

Danny and James’s love for adventurous, psychedelic music from all eras is the current through Scan The Blue, as well as what James terms their “obsession” with detail. There’s Place Your Bets, a hopeful lyric over a shuffling rhythm that gives way to a widescreen coda, all layered synths and a trumpet solo from recurring guest Linley Hamilton. You might hear The Fall or Super Furry Animals on the swinging fuzz-stomp of Wild Eyes; late-period Pavement at their most graceful on the airy, spacious centrepiece Smile To The Gallery; or the heavy-lidded grooves of The Beta Band on Plan Retrieval, one of two songs sung by James, along with the poised ballad Feet Don’t Fail.

It’s a rich record full of sonic surprises, Danny and James’s decision to take the production reins themselves paying off in spades. Yet as James puts it, “The song is king. It has to be bulletproof before we start fucking about with it at all.” These songs have been carefully crafted over some time and only recorded and tweaked once the duo knew they were ready to be heard. Danny compares the process to sculpture, “chipping away at it” until the song is finished.

As for subject matter, don’t expect love songs… “Hope, trust and revenge, they always fall into those three categories,” says Danny. The title track, Scan The Blue, is evidence of that – a gorgeous slice of chamber-pop that brings the record to a satisfyingly hazy close. “It’s now time to drown it out, to move and shift the clouds of doubt away,” Danny sings on the chorus. After so many years of friendship and collaboration, these two songwriter-producers are looking to the future with their eyes firmly set on the horizon.

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Pandora Media may be exploring a sale as shares fall

http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-02-11/pandora-sale-talks-reflect-a-botched-business

“The Internet radio service surged as much as 14.8 percent Thursday on news of a potential sale before giving up much of the gains after hours in response to disappointing earnings. Even with some expectations of a potential deal now reflected in the stock price, the shares closed roughly 77 percent below their record high, meaning shareholders don’t expect the $1.9 billion company to fetch anything close to a knockout premium.”

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