October 30th, 2011


Solar Heat and Linux

Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows that our sunroom doubles as a solar heat collector during the cooler months. This morning I closed several exterior windows and the sunroom vent to the outside and tilted the window blinds to allow sunlight to stream in. By noon, the temperature had reached 85 degrees, twenty degrees warmer than the rest of the house. I lowered the top part of the double-hung house windows that open into the sunroom, one at each end, and set a small fan in one to circulate the heated air into the house. At the house thermosat, I set our heat pump fan to 'on.' We were solar heating. This evening when the temperature of the sunroom dropped below 75, I shut the house windows and turned off the fans. Except for last year, when we had too many overcast days, this manual heat collector system has worked well, saving us quite a bit of money. I keep thinking I should automate it somehow, but I probably need the exercise.

Lately, I've been wearing a sysadmin hat. I upgraded my upstairs computer to Ubuntu 11.10, then loaded Apache2, MySQL, PHP, and Drupal. The user interface of Ubuntu 11.10 is quite a bit different from the Ubuntu 10.4 that I had been using. I have yet to decide whether I like it.

I'll use Drupal to build a new blog and webpage at ztlcox.com, replacing the one that lo5an built for me using Wordpress. That one has been such a target for spam that I've stopped using it. I'm going to build a web page where comments can only be made by signed-in and qualified users, about the same level as lj friends. I also want a nicer home for my rejected stories and genealogy studies. lo5an could have done it with Wordpress, but he suggested that I might like to play around with Drupal 7. He was right. So far it has been fun.