Announcing SnugUp version 2

imageMore than a few years ago, I created SnugUp version 1, which is a handy way of synchronizing folders of images with SmugMug for Windows users. I’ve made a number of changes in the last month based on some requests and the result is a significant update (yet the core features are all there – just improved!).

New features:

  • (Changed to version 2)
  • Completely revamped look and feel (which did remove a few ‘flashy’ features)
  • Uses Click once for application updating (which should make it easier to push updates and bug fixes out to users)
  • Added settings for automatic upload (when application starts)
  • Added setting for Subcategory selection (only selection, no creation of subcategories through SnugUp)
  • Added setting for custom gallery naming
  • Completely changed settings user interface to more logically group and explain settings
  • Fixed a number of bugs (that shouldn’t have appeared to user anyway!)
  • Added support for new file extensions (to upload videos in particular)

It does require .NET 4.0 Framework Client profile (which likely you’ve already got on your machine, but if you don’t the installer SHOULD make it easy to download).

Go here ( for more information and to download. I’d recommend uninstalling the old version first.


Nest Thermostat Review, Update #9


When I woke up this morning, I decided that I’d use the remote features of my Nest Thermostat to increase the temperature of the first floor as the normal schedule hadn’t started yet.

Here’s what I saw on my iPad:


Basement: ?

First Floor: ?

When I tapped the Basement image, this alert was displayed:


“Thermostat Disconnected: The thermostat Basement last connected to more than 7 hours ago.”


I next checked the First Floor. Thankfully, it said that it had only been 17 minutes since it last connected. I’ve seen that issue before and it usually resolves. But, I’ve never seen one go more than about 50 53 minutes without reporting in.

The fact that I was using the iPad and the Nest application meant that WiFi Internet was available in our house.

I went to the Basement thermostat and noticed this glaring issue after clicking through to settings:


What?  Seriously?

As I wasn’t sure what the best option was at 6:45AM for support, I decided to re-add the thermostat to our account. The thermostat had no trouble accessing the Nest cloud and obtaining one of the one time connection keys. (So, I maintain, it’s not general Internet connectivity issues).

After deleting and adding it back, the web site still reported it as MIA. So, I tried a reset:


After resetting, and waiting several minutes after it had completely restarted, it appeared again on the Nest web site.

However, 3 hours later:


It’s again, gone missing.

So, I called support this fine Sunday morning and talked to one of the same support engineers I’ve spoken with in the past (“DK”). I explained the general problem (and emphasized that my biggest concern was that it had lost my account information), my “solution”, and said that it was again not reporting in. In a typical (somewhat ironic) support fashion, as I was explaining the issue and walking to the basement, the thermostat reported in successfully to the Nest cloud.

He had me drop the account, add it to my account, and restart it again. He said that resolves the problem in about 70% of the cases. In the other 30%, he mentioned that they often manually update the firmware and that will help. [ugh]

I’m going to keep an eye on it and will add more details as needed/available.


If you want to talk and discuss more about digital thermostats with others, I’d suggest here: (it’s a web site I created to help provide a better place to have discussions about the Nest thermostat).

Macbook Pro battery fails to charge

The non replaceable battery on my Macbook Pro (2010) had discharged recently completely as I’d left the laptop unplugged for more than a month without turning it on.

When I went to use it this morning, I plugged it in, and then turned it on. After a few minutes of use, the battery status still showed as “not charging.”


The light on the mag-safe connection was green, as if the battery was completely charged.

When I depressed the battery indicator button on the side of the MacBook Pro, the response was 5 quick green flashes on the first LED. According to Apple support, that indicates the battery hasn’t been charged to what’s required for a single indicator light yet. However, while my MacBook Pro had discharged like this before, it would normally start charging right away.

So, apparently, before taking it in for a repair (which is what a lot of people in forums were recommending), you might try resetting the System Management Controller. One of the issues that a reset could fix is that the battery does not appear to be charging properly.

To reset the controller, perform these steps (as documented on the Apple Support web site):

  1. Shut down your laptop completely.
  2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the MacBook if its not already connected.
  3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.  [Wow, it’s awkward to do that! I pressed the S-C-O keys first and then the power button and it worked]
  4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
  5. Press the power button to turn on the computer. 
    : The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

A few moments after I performed the steps above, the mag safe LED light switched to an orange color (charging) and the battery indicator no longer blinked 5 times quickly.

Problem resolved, and much simpler than taking it to a local Apple “Genius” bar.

As this wasn’t an obvious fix, I’ve decided to put this on my blog in the hope that someone else might find it useful, and so when I have this happen again, I don’t need to go hunting for the solution! Smile


Last week Johnk suggested in a comment that someone in the user community should set up a forum for discussion of the Nest thermostat.

I have done just that this afternoon. Smile

It’s brand new, and hasn’t had the tires kicked much yet (just the absolute basics), but I thought I’d put something out there as the comments and discussion have outgrown my installation of WordPress (and it’s ability to nicely manage a discussion effectively about multiple topics). I really enjoy the conversation and thought it might be best provided in a different forum (pun intended).

It’s here: (It’s short for Digital Thermostat)

If there’s enough traffic to warrant it, I’ll definitely promote some others as moderators, as it will be kept a civil location for discussions about digital thermostats.



Nest Thermostat Review, Update #8


A few new things have occurred since I last posted.

imageJanuary 11, 2012: Nest Labs updated the firmware of the thermostat to version 1.0.6. There isn’t any publically available information about what was updated however other than “bug fixes.” Thanks to GregN for pointing it out. Here’s a link to their current software releases and updates for anyone interested:

This week, one of my thermostats in “learning” mode wiped out some of the set points I had specifically added for the weekend (this has happened before). I have no rational explanation for why it would do this as our weekend schedule on the floor where it happened is routine enough that it shouldn’t have made that choice. Nest Labs support suggests turning off “learning” mode when this has occurred to see if it’s related to learning mode. They apparently don’t have a way to track the causes or triggers unfortunately (a debug log would come in very handy now). I turned it off for the time being and have added the deleted set points to see if the problem occurs again.

UPDATE: 1/25/2012:  One of our thermostats that still has “learning” turned off decided that our morning set points for our first floor weren’t important and deleted them. Apparently, we didn’t want the house to start warming before we got out of bed.

I found an interesting issue with the Away Temperature settings that you’ll want to watch out for until they fix it (as it could affect triggers for “auto away”).

Essentially, there are values that when you put them into the away temperature field, they won’t “stick.” You won’t necessarily notice this right away unless you click around:


In the video (GIF) above, you’ll see how the “58” won’t stay 58F. It switches to 57 (it happens with 60F as well). I’ve sent a support request to Nest about the issue (they responded the following day and said they’d look into it). Since their web API deals with Celsius, I speculate it could be a rounding issue in their JavaScript code.

Update: 1/24/2012 The bug appears appears to have been corrected in the few places I happened to check earlier today (as I’m not their QA team, I didn’t check around much Smile).

Randal pointed out that there was someone who’d done some analysis of the temperature readings of a working Nest thermostat (compared to another thermostat). I’d concur that the readings do seem to be far more consistently accurate on the Nest thermostat on average and that our house is more comfortable. However, I’m certainly aware that this comfort will come at a cost. The house is more consistently warmer (now in the heating season). So, depending on your old thermostats and how you handled the temperature in the house, you may find your heating costs rise a bit. Simple way to compensate: you may be able to turn down the thermostat a few degrees! Smile The temperature may read lower, but the actual temperature may be closer to what you had grown accustomed to. We may do that.

I’m still trying to understand why “Auto Away” is sometimes triggered when I wouldn’t expect it. I believe that once it was because the “away” temperatures were one degree LESS than the typical set point. So, the house would not “see us” around, and compared the day time (at work for example) set point (60F) to the “away” temperature (59F) and activate the “away” mode. I found the issue with the away temperature above when I was trying to make everything match one evening this week.  The problem with Auto-away activating is that your scheduled set points won’t be used until it is overridden via the remote interface or locally.

Update: 1/25/2012: Apparently, auto-away unfortunately can trigger even when the temperature settings match exactly. (Even when there’s nothing to do). I don’t understand what it’s “auto-awaying” from.

Here’s a few relevant tweets from @Nest:


Although I admit to not understanding the topmost tweet. My tweet had been:


I honestly didn’t feel like trying to clarify again in 140 characters.