1.210 walk, shortcut, rejection

Sunday 6/28/2020

Nice Sunday morning, splendid weather. When watering the plants I dropped my moisture meter and it broke. Oh no, I will have to judge the plants by sticking my finger into the soil. Heck no, by noon I had ordered another. This one was made in China, as I suspect all of them are. Little green box with a meter, and a ten-inch metal probe. I opened it up to see if there was anything fixable, but no. It consists of a cheap microammeter, wired through a single resistor to the bimetallic point of the probe. Moisture creates a tiny current between dissimilar metals; that makes the needle swing — but mine couldn’t swing any more.

On Amazon you can see that there are at least 4 merchants selling the identical green plastic meter on a probe. There must be one Chinese factory cranking them out for middle-men to rebrand with their own decal.

Had a nice chat with Dennis, then headed out for a 3-mile walk. In the afternoon I played with Shortcuts some more. I succeeded in making a Shortcut that worked. Here’s the link, open that from an iPhone or iPad and you will be told you’re not allowed to open it. Because to use other people’s shortcuts you have to first go to Settings, Shortcuts, and enable “untrusted Shortcuts”. But if you do that you are shown the contents of the Shortcut and asked if you want to save it in your Gallery. You have no reason whatever to do that.

Every Channing House unit has a house phone extension. Anybody can call me by dialing 312. But to call from outside, you have to know that to dial an extension between 300 and 599, you use 650-324-7xxx while if the extension is above that range, you use 650-470-5xxx. Easy, huh? Not! So this app takes any extension, converts it to an outside number, and if you say OK, calls it.

What I eventually want to do is to have a shortcut that will let me enter a person’s name or room number, and have it dialed. That will mean accessing the Resident Directory which is in a web page. Shortcuts can be used to scrape web pages. But there are several barriers, first that you need a userid and password to get into intranet.channinghouse.org. Second that the directory isn’t available on that page in JSON format which is what Shortcuts let you scrape. So. Nerd nerd nerd, nerd nerd.

Late in the day I got another agent rejection.

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