Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home Automation with Insteon - New Ceiling fan

I got my first Insteon switches and setup in 2005. At the time it was an early product and still had issues and did not have the number of options that exist today.

I live in a 4 story townhome that faces southwest. Because of this the top floor can get super warm in the summer time. To help resolve this we desided to install a ceiling fan where there was just a light before.

There are 2x 3 way switches that control the light at the top of my stairs. There are also lights on the wall controlled by the same switches.

Here is how it looked before I started.


I replaced the 2 standard decora switches with Insteon KeypadLinc Switches .  Then added 2 wire-in controllers.  1 dimming controller and 1 non-Dimming controller.

Once all that was done I installed the new fan and wired the fan load to the non-dimming controller and the lights to the dimming controller.

Here is what it looks like now.

Friday, August 5, 2011

WDS and Symbolic Links

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is all my team and I use for OS deployments. We regularly use the $OEM$\$1 option to copy files and scripts to the target install. More on $OEM$

Recently we started updating scripts that are in a $OEM$, $$ or $1 folder. This was very time consuming because you had to update a large number (~50) different images.

The solution to this problem: Hard Links http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365006(v=vs.85).aspx
We use the Mklink command to create a Hard link to a “source file”. WDS follows this link and copies the script\file to the target OS during install. This allows us to have a GOLD set of scripts that will get copied yet we only have to make a change in 1 location.

The important thing when making the link with mklink is to pass the /k argument. This will tell mklink to make a hard link not a Symbolic link. You can find more on Mklink at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753194(WS.10).aspx

WDS will not work with a Symbolic link and will throw an error like:
Windows cannot copy files from \$OEM$ to C:\$WINDOWS.~LS\Sources. The files do not exist. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070003]

This works on Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2.